An open letter to the Bolivar community:

As you may have heard, the 2019 Texas Crab Festival will be moving from its long-time location at Gregory Park to a new permanent home at 1605 Hwy 87, former site of the Texas Frog Festival. Along with the congratulations that followed that announcement were a number of questions and concerns voiced from the community, which I would like to address here.

The first question many are asking is why we’ve decided to relocate the Texas Crab Festival from Gregory Park – its home since it began in 1985. What began as the brainchild of a group of Bolivar friends and business people looking for a fun way to promote the area has grown into an annual event pulling in over 8,000 visitors over the course of a Mother’s Day weekend. Through the tireless efforts of countless volunteers and supporters the festival has continued to expand, and so too have the demands for visitor parking and accommodations.

In a happy twist of fate, just as the Crab Fest was facing additional challenges with an aging pavilion and the loss of surrounding areas used for parking to new home development, the former site of the Texas Frog Fest became available for purchase. The non-profit Texas Crab Festival Charities was offered the opportunity to obtain the property at a discounted price, and a generous, private investor who believes in our mission to serve and support the Bolivar community provided long-term, no-interest financing. The 51-acre site, now dubbed “Festival Park,” features a larger, better equipped performance stage, a dedicated dance floor, beer garden, ticket booth, skybox viewing stands, increased parking space, and plenty of room to grow. It is our intention that Festival Park will eventually become a “community park,” hosting a variety of events throughout the year in addition to the annual Texas Crab Festival.

Some of the concerns I’m hearing stem from muddy memories of the site during the early days of the Texas Frog Fest. Access, parking and site elevation have been much improved over the years. The need for further improvements is being accessed and addressed as we make plans to kick off the upcoming 2019 Texas Crab Festival in the new location, May 10-12.

Another issue is the lack of golf cart access to the new site. True, we will now be located on the north side of the highway, and there are no cross streets nearby. We are looking into possibilities for visitors wishing to travel to and from the site via golf cart, and hope to eventually have a solution.

Lastly, folks are wondering if the Texas Crab Festival 5K/1K race will be relocated as well. As of now, the race will continue to be held at the original location of Gregory Park and its surrounding neighborhood. It is a familiar, certified course, and at this point we do not have time to lay out and certify an alternate course. Racers will still receive a ticket to the festival with their registration.

While the move will have its challenges, this is a very exciting opportunity for Texas Crab Festival Charities to grow the Crab Fest. Texas Crab Festival Charities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves to improve the lives of those who call the Bolivar Peninsula home. Since its creation in 2013, TCFC has awarded almost $400,000 to help support local residents and organizations. Proceeds from the annual Texas Crab Festival and donations from our patrons are reinvested in the community and help fund youth scholarships and camps, local schools and volunteer fire departments, and various outreach initiatives.

We value the insight, input and support of the Bolivar community and all of our faithful festival patrons as we work to build a permanent home for the Texas Crab Festival and continue our mission to “Turn the Tide for a Brighter Future” for residents of the Bolivar Peninsula.

Tom Osten
President, Texas Crab Festival Charities
[email protected]

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3 Responses to “An open letter to the Bolivar community:”

  1. Rene Gedaly says:

    Wow, what a great opportunity! Love the CB Local News!! Thank you, Tom Osten 🙂

  2. Brenda B. Smith says:

    Covered concerns well, Tom. Thanks! Hope the golf cart issue can be solved.

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