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Festivals and Events Along the Texas Gulf Coast

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The Texas coastline stretches hundreds of miles. Along the Texas coastal curve are dozens of towns and cities -- each of which hosts great events, celebrations and festivals throughout the year. Of course, many of these festivals feature a coastal theme, celebrating sand castles, fish, wind, shrimp, seafood and more.

1. Galveston Mardi Gras

Galveston's Mardi Gras is a 12 day, 11 night party prior to lent. Not as famous as Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans or Mobile, the Galveston event is nonetheless packed with tradition and, more importantly, packed with fun.

2. Fulton Oysterfest

First staged in 1979, the Fulton Oysterfest is sponsored annually by the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department and the Town of Fulton. Today, the Fulton Oysterfest attracts over 30,000 visitors. Cash prizes are awarded for the winners of the Oyster Eating and Oyster Shucking contests. Additionally, visitors are treated to plenty of entertainment options, such as live music, arts and craft displays, carnival, family games, dances, food booths and more.

3. Nederland Heritage Festival

The Nederland Heritage Festival is one of the largest free festivals in the state. An annual event since 1973, the Nederland Heritage Festival features a carnival, pageants, golf and softball tournaments, a fun run, chili cook-off, craft show, live music and more.

4. Corpus Christi Festival of the Arts

The Corpus Christi Festival of the Arts is staged annually as a means of showcasing Corpus' art scene. The festival features a variety of art displays and demonstrations, as well as performances from ballet, folklorico, theatre, dance, and other performing arts groups. The Festival of the Arts also houses a 'KidZone,' where kids can utilize interactive art stations.

5. Portland Windfest

Portland's annual Windfest is a weekend full of fun events such as a kidfish pond, chili cook-off, horseshoe tournament, washer tournament, 5k and 10k runs, parade, clowns, live entertainment and more.

6. Texas Sand Fest

Sand sculptors from all over the world make their way to Port Aransas each year for the annual Texas SandFest. The events includes sculpting contests for professionals and amateurs, food and live music.

7. Shrimporee

Aransas Pass' annual Shrimporee offers entertainement, food, music and more. Highlights of the festival, which is billed as the "Largest Shrimp Festival in the World," include a carnival, kidfish tank, shrimp cookoff, petting zoo, arts & crafts, live entertainment and more.

8. Port Aransas' Deep Sea Roundup

Port Aransas' annual Deep Sea Roundup is one of the largest fishing tournaments on the Texas coast and includes fly fishing, surf, offshore and junior divisions. The fishing competition takes place on Friday and Saturday. The Deep Sea Roundup concludes with fish fry and awards ceremony held on Sunday. Contestants are also treated to a dinner at the Civic Center on both Friday and Saturday evenings. The Deep Sea Roundup is staged annually by the Port Aransas Boatmen.

9. Great Texas Mosquito Festival

Next to barbecue and bulls, Texas is best known for mosquitoes. So, why not celebrate them? That is exactly what they do in Clute during the Great Texas Mosquito Festival. This annual event features a barbecue/fajita cook-off, paintball tournament, karaoke, a Mosquito Chase “Run,” and more. Paying homage to a pest has never been so much fun!

10. Texas International Fishing Tournament

Held in the waters around Port Isabel and South Padre Island, the Texas International Fishing Tournament is the largest salt water fishing tournament in Texas. The tournament has bay, offshore and fly fishing divisions and draws around 1,200 particpants annually.

11. Texas Legends Billfish Tournament

With hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, the Texas Legends Billfish Tournament has no problem drawing a crowd. Anglers may leave out of any Texas port. Weigh-in is at Robert's Point Park in Port Aransas.
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