In this week’s article I will be discussing two great Coastal Bend events. The Barefoot Mardi Gras Festival and Sandfest.

Barefoot Mardi Gras will be kicking off in Corpus Christi on March 2nd with a parade. The parade will begin at 11:00 am at Whitecap Beach. The Barefoot Mardi Gras parade will be fun for the whole family and filled with different parade floats that will make you feel like you have stepped onto Bourbon Street with a taste of the beach. Following the parade, there will be a Mardi Gras Festival all day from 11:00 am – 5:00 pm. The festival will take place at Balli Park at the Briscoe King Pavilion. The festival will also include a variety of artists, float displays, exhibitors. That evening there will be the King & Queens Ball from 7:30 pm – 12:00 am, and the grounds of the festival will be transformed into the streets of New Orleans. Come on out to experience a true Mardi Gras night while supporting a great cause!

The Barefoot Mardi Gras Parade and Festival is a great way to spend the day at Padre Island and fill your Saturday with a truly unique experience. We are excited to see such an amazing and successful event every year. For more information on the festival, check out Barefoot Mardi Gras. Over the past few articles, we have explored the different arts that are important to our South Texas community. The arts, including local theatres, performing arts centers, artists, and musicians have proved to educate the public on the culture of South Texas and what it means to have the opportunity of self expression. A unique style of art that is representative of the Coastal Bend is the Texas Sandfest.

Sandfest is a cultural staple of the Coastal Bend and began in 1997 and was created by the Port Aransas Art Center. The popularity of the contest grew and became a 3-day, nonprofit festival that supported the Port Aransas Community Theater (PACT). By 2006, PACT was able to build a brand-new theater thanks to the many years of fundraising. Because of this accomplishment, Texas Sandfest branched out and began to help various nonprofit groups in our community.

Texas Sandfest, is a Coastal Bend event, encompassing tourists, vendors, and sculptors from all around the South Texas region. The 2019 Sandfest will take place on April 26-28, 2019 and will be an event for the whole family (including your pets)! Events include live sand sculpting, live music, amateur contest for kids, teens and adults, and even a golf cart raffle. Sandfest is on the beach between mile markers 9 and 13. The north entrance is at mile marker 8 and the south entrance is at mile marker 18. Texas Sandfest will also be providing free cart shuttle from Sandcastle drive to the festival entrance. Tickets will be on sale on site. Ages 5 and under: Free. Volunteers are also welcome for this event. For more information and volunteer opportunities visit Texas Sandfest.

As a reminder, the 86th Legislative Session is currently underway! If you would like to follow the Texas House and learn more information on news, committees or other aspects of the legislative body, you can access its website at Texas House of Representatives. The site features live streaming from the House floor and committee hearings, as well as access to several resources. If you would like to follow the Texas Senate, you can visit Texas Senate. Additionally, the Governor’s office website is full of important resources, which you can access by visiting Office of the Texas Governor.

If you have questions regarding any of the information mentioned in this week’s article, please do not hesitate to call my Capitol or District Office. Please always feel free to contact my office if you have any questions or issues regarding a Texas state agency, or if you would like to contact my office regarding constituent services. My offices are available at any time to assist with questions, concerns or comments (Capitol Office, 512-463-0672; District Office, 361-949-4603).

– State Representative Todd Hunter, District 32

Rep. Hunter represents Nueces County (Part). He can be contacted at todd.hunter@house.texas.gov or at 512-463-0672.