2020 Best

Notable Stories in 2020

It’s time to ring in the New Year 2021! It’s safe to say we are all ready to bid farewell to the unprecedented year that was 2020. It’s been a year of canceled plans, unknowns, heartbreaks, sadness, and confusion. But among the many negatives of the year, highlights shine through to remind us of the obstacles we were able to overcome and the happiness still found in the world, and our

Christmas Vacation in Egypt

By Mike Moad
When I was in High School, a classmate of mine returned from a family vacation to Egypt they took over the Winter break. I recall her bragging continuously about how amazing the trip was and she even carried a specially made picture album with her during our first week back to school that documented each point in the tour – this was

Dennis Stafford BAY VUE UMC Person of the Year

By Linda Elissalde
“A good man is one who serves others.”
Dennis Stafford is a good man by anyone’s definition. He is that quiet, calm voice in the background that gets things done. Dennis puts his faith in God and leads by example. His gift of handling difficult issues with tact and humor makes him a respected leader. Dennis is supported in his efforts

22 years of Bikes for Kids

The Annual Christmas Bike Drive, hosted by Texas Crab Festival Charities, brings joy and happiness to many children on Bolivar Peninsula. Now in its 22nd year, the tradition of giving continues. Thanks to your generous donations, 56 shiny new bicycles were given to local kids. And this year, helmets, bike locks, and winter coats were distributed with each bike.

Jingle All The Way

The Annual Crystaland Christmas Parade dazzled the community on Saturday evening. Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hosted the momentous event for all the excited boys and girls, and Santa’s helpers, too. This has been a trying year for so many. Santa is ready to surf the globe and spread some holiday cheer as we look forward to a new year…but first, he made a quick stop

Crystaland Lighting Contest

The dazzling lights are shining bright on Bolivar with the Chamber of Commerce sponsored Annual Residential and Commercial Christmas Lighting Contest, as part of the Crystaland Parade weekend. The lights around town bring holiday cheer and festive greetings to all as the lights guide Santa to town. Only 17 days until Christmas…The judges deliberated and chose the winners for the season.

Filling Santa’s Sleigh at the Christmas Market

While recovering from the chaos of Black Friday and with full bellies from Thanksgiving leftovers, shoppers ventured out to the Pavilion at Festival Park on Saturday to explore the Bolivar Christmas Market. As the rain came down, 30 booths of arts, crafts, handmade items and unique gifts were on display under cover. Although the weather outside was frightful, shoppers were happy to get out and help

Thank You from PSP

By Leslie Lowe
Peninsula Sports Park held its annual Fall Fundraiser “Party in the Park” on Nov. 14, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the generous auction bidders who contributed over $38,000 on items donated by our ever-supportive community, everyone who purchased tickets in excess of $7,000, and our fantastic sponsors:


Generosity is the virtue of being benevolent and charitable in giving. And our Bolivar community is overwhelming in its generosity. This was shown again at the Party In The Park on Saturday night in Crystal Beach. Peninsula Sports Park (PSP) has been promoting youth sports on the peninsula for many years, and Party In The Park is their annual fall fundraiser. It is an evening of dinner, dancing,

OVATION for Michael Feighan

By Linda Elissalde
Ovation: sustained, enthusiastic show of appreciation from an audience
Michael Feighan is known as one of the world’s best drummers. Crystal Beach Community Church and various venues have enjoyed his contributions to both sacred and secular bands. Now, Michael has expanded

Putt Putt for the Ladies

The Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce hosted the First Annual Ladies Putt Putt Extravaganza at The Gulf Range in Crystal Beach. The inaugural event welcomed 52 lady golfers with all proceeds going to the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. The festivities began on Friday night with a blind draw to choose the teams. The Calcutta followed with bidders hoping to select

Halloween – Back to Basics

Back in the Day, we used to roam the streets of our neighborhood Trick or Treating on one of our most favorite holidays of the year. We got to dress up in our favorite costume, mimicking whatever super hero was the most popular of that year, or dreaming of being a fairy princess, a cowboy or an Indian warrior! This year, due to pandemic and all the super natural changes we’ve had to

A Ghoulishly Good Time

Princesses, dragons, ghosts, and witches…pirates, ninjas, superheroes, and cowboys, too. All varieties of characters were represented this year for Halloween. Though it felt different than years past, the spirit of the season was alive. The Big Store hosted kiddos of all ages as they Trick-O-Treated on Saturday evening. The dressed-up visitors showed off their costumes and entered the

Robert Van Zandt BBQ Cookoff

On Saturday Oct 31, Robbie Van Zandt held a BBQ Cookoff at Lazy D&D RV Resort in memory of his dad Mr. Robert Van Zandt. Mr Van Zandt was very passionate about the Sports Association in Bolivar so Robbie donated all the proceeds to Peninsula Sports Park. With 12 teams competing, it a fun day for all ages with good weather and great BBQ. Robbie would like to make this an annual event.

Let The Good Times Resume

After many months of staying home and distancing due to Covid restrictions, people were anxious and ready to get out and celebrate at the 4th Annual Brad & Big Rich’s Cajun Chef’s Cookoff. Festival Park’s Crab Fest grounds were booming with excitement on Saturday as it welcomed participants and guests. The event was previously held at Stingaree Restaurant but has moved to the

An Unlikely Winner

The first ever Brad & Big Rich’s Washers Tournament was thrown on Saturday as part of their annual Cajun Chef’s Cookoff. Twenty-four teams signed up for this inaugural event and tossed washers under clear and breezy skies. It was the perfect day for large crowds to watch as the teams competed for the $500 first place prize. All styles of teams registered including Knuckleheads, Hairy Crabs, No Shoes Nation,

Chamber Scholarship Golf Tournament

The skies were blue and the weather was perfect for the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Golf Tournament on Saturday. The annual tournament was rescheduled a couple of times due to the pandemic, but on Saturday it looked and felt like the old days. Thirty-six players signed up to play in support of the Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund. The ten teams were selected by blind draw

The FOE 3719 Eagles are Back, AGAIN!

By Jim Denys
After a second state forced shutdown, the Eagles Board have been working with TABC to have their re-opening, meeting all of the State guidelines for providing a food menu in addition to full returning to normal operations. One of the key elements with re-opening is ordering food with your second beverage. The menu includes Pizza, a variety of

Governor’s Community Achievement Award

Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) has recognized Keep Bolivar Beautiful as runner up in the 2020 Governor’s Community Achievement Awards (GCAA) for outstanding community improvement. Keep Texas Beautiful, in partnership with the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), has awarded the GCAA to Texas communities for more than 50 years. This year, the 10 winning communities will share

TCF 2020 Golf Cart Raffle Winner

Though there was no festival this year, the Texas Crab Festival continued with the Golf Cart giveaway. Tickets began selling in January and have continued through covid quarantines, spring break, and all summer. The winning ticket was drawn on Sunday, September 6, and Kim Hill from Vidor is the proud owner of the 2020 TCF Golf Cart. Kim spent her summer on Bolivar, and knew the proceeds

Set Sail and Race On

The 6th Annual Bolivar Rig Run and Stretch Race took place on Saturday under perfect weather conditions. Hardheads Ice House & Grill sponsored the races, bringing blue skies, favorable wind conditions, and a large crowd to boost excitement and support. This year brought 30 catamarans to participate in the regatta, the largest attendance to date, according to Jim Denys, Commodore of

Dear Texas Crab Festival Friends

We had hoped for a Labor Day festival, but given the spike in Texas Covid cases, new closures, (including schools) and the need to avoid large gatherings, we have cancelled the 2020 Texas Crab Festival. Our team is as disappointed as you, but confident this is the right choice for the safety of thousands of people. However, we have a plan. It involves a better-than-ever Mother’s Day Weekend Crab Festival in 2021,

Beach Pavilion Grand Opening

Galveston County officials and the Bolivar Chamber of Commerce Board members held a joint ribbon cutting ceremony on Friday to celebrate the Grand Opening of the Galveston County Bolivar Beach Pavilion. The new facility features large restrooms, outdoor showers, and a gathering area with tables and benches. The pavilion is located on Crystal Beach Road and is open

A Very Happy Story

By Mack Wallace
The first time my wife left me alone for more than a few days, she went to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. She was gone way too long, but don’t worry – that is not what this story is about. This is a story about how I fell in love with Crystal Beach. You might have noticed from my last story that I pine a little bit for my wife. Linda and Marcel Elissalde noticed

HI, YO, SILVER! Who Is That Masked – Person?

By Linda Elissalde
The masked Lone Ranger’s adventures started on radio in 1933. He and his faithful companion Tonto set out to bring justice to the Old American West. These stories turned into movie serials. I remember watching them on Saturdays at the Gay Lynn Theater in Beaumont, Texas. Each chapter ended with The Lone Ranger and Tonto in a precarious

How the Virus Stole Easter

By Kristi Bothur
With a nod to Dr. Seuss

Twas late in ‘19 when the virus began
Bringing chaos and fear to all people, each land.

People were sick, hospitals full,
Doctors overwhelmed, no one in school.

Small Acts of Kindness

By Linda Elissalde
“We can do no great things-only small things with great love.” Mother Theresa
I visited Crystal Beach Post Office to buy a special envelope. Everyone waiting in line was friendly while keeping their distance. Diana (Dee) Wilkins was working diligently to place something in a package. She asked

Build A Dream

The overcast skies drifted out as the First Annual Build A Dream sandcastle building contest took place on the beach. Bolivar Tourism & Visitors Center, David Harris and Cathie Ropp hosted the event on a perfect spring break Saturday, with Latitude 29.2 Surf Shop as the presenting sponsor. There were fifteen registered teams in two categories: six adult teams and nine kid teams. With five hours to

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