Are you looking for a Mardi Gras celebration with a local flare? Well, look no further than the LaMardi Gras festival in Lamar, TX. Lamar is located just nine miles north of Rockport on Highway 35. Lamar is a small residential community. It is the home of Goose Island State Park and The Big Tree. There is also the attraction of the original Winter Texan, The Whooping Crane.
The Lamar Fire Department is an all volunteer organization. Lamar VFD covers the communities of Lamar and Holiday Beach as well as assisting the Fulton and Rockport Fire Departments. Lamar VFD is also a first responder unit for EMS. Due to the communities distance from the EMS base in Rockport, first responders are a necessity to ensure rescue and first aid is achieved without delay. The volunteers are well trained and respond to all emergencies. If an accident or fire occurs on or north of the Copano Causeway, you can be assured they will be the first to respond.
Founded in 1964, the fire department started with a handful of volunteers and a fire truck donated to Lamar by the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department. In 1964 the population of Lamar was 150 citizens. A small piece of land and small garage were procured on a fifty year lease. Over the years, the equipment inventory has increased to six trucks including two brush trucks to fight grass fires. To accommodate the larger fleet, the building has been expanded three times and a larger detached two bay garage was added. These expansions have used up most of the available property. In 2002, the Lamar and Holiday Beach Fire Departments merged. Currently there are two fire stations, one in Lamar at 302 Bois D'Arc Drive and the other on Highway 35 North in Holiday Beach. In 2010, the population of Lamar was listed at 636 and Holiday Beach was 510. With the expanding population and additional fire equipment, a larger facility is required. The current lease will expire in December 2014, so with an eye to the future the volunteers started a fund raiser in 2001. It was decided that Aransas County needs a Mardi Gras celebration and the LaMardi Gras was born.
This year's LaMardi Gras will be held_Friday Feb 10th and Saturday Feb 11th The festival will kick off Friday _Feb 10th at 5 pm with a casino featuring Black Jack and Texas hold-em. There will be live music featuring Monkey Bizzness from 5 pm to 8 pm. Southern Wave Shakedown will take over the stage at 8 pm and play until 11pm.
Many individual and businesses have donated items and services that you can win in a Chinese Auction. There will be items in the Chinese Auction that will be drawn on Friday night, so don't miss out on this limited opportunity. To win one of these fantastic donations, simply purchase tickets, write your name and phone number on the back and drop them in a bucket. You can win anything from sporting equipment, guns and fishing gear, to jewelry and household furnishings. There will be gift certificates to restaurants, automotive services, oil changes and details and guided on-the-water birding trips.
Saturday the party begins at 10 am. The Casino will be in full swing - come early and find a place at the tables! Check out all of the items in the Chinese Auction and get your tickets early!! Don"t miss the Parade at 11 am! The parade will have participants throwing beads, candy and souvenirs. The Parade will feature this year's King and Queen. You can vote for King and Queen on Friday Evening. If you wish to be in the parade, contact Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pat is your contact for a parade entry application and she has beads for sale at a discounted price. The parade will travel west on Hagy dr. The turn North on Bois D' Arc and continue on to the new fire station. Park anywhere along the parade route, sit back and enjoy the fun. Saturday's festivities will include live music by Cavabien from 12 noon to 3 pm. The Shiner Hobo Band will entertain you from 3 till 6 pm. The Live Auction will begin at 6pm and go until 7pm you won't want to miss out on the awesome items we have this year. Rip Tide will take over the band stand at 7pm and rock your worls until 11pm.
Stop by the souvenir booth located at the center of the main tent to get your LaMardi Gras souvenirs. In addition to the festivities, there will be vendors selling everything from Jelly to Jewelry. If your looking for fantastic food, you will not be disapponted! This year's menu includes BBQ Pork Ribs, Egg Rolls, Gumbo, Jambalaya, Red Beans and rice, Rice, Hot Dogs, Nacho's and a local favorite, a Baked Potato topped with Lamar VFD Brisket! The Lamar Women's Club will have home-made baked goods, Cakes, Pies, Brownies and Cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth. And when you get thirsty, stop by the beverage garden for an ice cold beer, glass of wine, wine cooler or a soft drink.
Parking for the festival is along Bois, D'Arc and 12th Street. Not familiar with Lamar? From Highway 35, turn south on Park Road 13, proceed to the first left, Bois D'Ark street. The new Lamar VFD station is straight ahead! You may also look for the red and white signs that point the way to the fire department. Park anywhere and a volunteer will pick you up and shuttle you to the festival. They will also return you to your vehicle when the party is over.
While you are partying at LaMardi Gras, please take notice of the many sponsors - there are too many to list. If you have the chance, please patronize their establishments. Without their support, the LaMardi Gras Festival would not be possible. If you need any assistance, there will be LVFD staff and community volunteers to assist you. Just look for the Blue Jackets and Red Shirts.
Since the Lamar VFD began the fund raiser in 2001, all the years of hard work and community service is now at a stage where they need your support the most. We still have not met our fundraising goal for our new facility. If you wish to become a volunteer fireman - or to donate money, time or resource, please visit www.lamarvfd.com Without a strong community and individual support, the Volunteer Fire Departments could not survive to protect us all. You can make donations through PayPal. Be sure to support your local fire departments. The home or life they save may be your own or someone you love.