Port Lavaca Flip Flop Festival grows to its largest size
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PORT LAVACA - Fun at the third annual Port Lavaca Flip Flop festival came in many shapes, styles and sizes on Saturday.
The Villarreal family has attended each of the previous festivals and said they always enjoy the different events each year.
"It's great for the kids to get out of the house and have some fun," said Jennifer Villarreal, 37, of Port Lavaca.
Villarreal and her daughter, Michaela Villarreal, 12, enjoy watching the competitions. Last year, Villarreal participated in the wet T-shirt contest - but with a twist.
"You have to try to untie a T-shirt that is soaking wet," Villarreal said.
"It is so funny watching people bang the T-shirts on the ground and things, trying to loosen them up," Michaela said.
For the past two years, Angelina Villarreal, 18, and Billie Villarreal, 15, have hosted a face painting booth while their father and grandmother operate a crafts booth.
This year, the Villarreal's youngest daughter, 4-year-old Geneva, planned to participate in the Baby Swim Suit Pageant.
First time festival attendees Kyrsten Rosenbrock, 25, and Van Critendon, 24, of Palacios, also entered their 2-year-old daughter, Riley, in the pageant.
"Riley's just excited about being the center of attention," Critendon said.
While Rosenbrock was excited to see the venders, Critendon said he was looking forward to the beer and the music.
The Flip Flop Festival is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce to promote tourism in Port Lavaca, said Executive Director Tina Crow.
"We're on the coast - it's a coastal beach town, so flip flops are significant to the area," Crow said.
A stunt team presented three BMX bike shows and there were performances by Victoria Country Cloggers, The Dance Company Kids and several musical groups throughout the afternoon and evening.
Festival goers participated in a horseshoe and washer tossing tournament, a fling flong contest and a frozen T-shift contest.
Crow said this year is the largest Flip Flop festival with 25 crafts vendors and 11 food vendors.
Vendors sold a variety of woodwork, home decor and clothes. Some of the booths were interactive, with face paint or hair feathers.
The Hosp family left their home in Whitesboro about 3 a.m. Saturday and drove eight hours to sell "Glitter Flops" at the Flip Flop Festival. Their flip flops provided orthopedic support from memory foam, particularly designed for people who wear cowboy boots a lot and injure their feet.
Lynda Herrera, 32, of Victoria, attended the festival for the first time with her 12-year-old son, Nathaniel.
One of Herrera's friends from high school performed in the feature band as a drummer.
Nathaniel ate a cone of homemade ice cream to help cool off in the heat. Both Herrera and her son said they enjoyed looking at everything vendors had to offer.