EDNA – James Harris made Edna’s Brackenridge Park his home for almost a year in 2019.

He and his wife were two of the park’s many seasonal residents, who live in trailers there year-round.

Harris, 60, moved to the park in November 2018 and sold his home in nearby Vanderbilt shortly afterward. This summer, he retired, and he and his wife prepared to travel the country in their recreational vehicle.

Before embarking on their travels, the couple enjoyed watching the park’s wildlife, taking their dogs for walks and having oodles of grandchildren come to visit.

“There’s no meanness out here,” said Harris’ wife, Edith.

That certainly held true on a summer afternoon shortly before they left the park, when her husband lent firewood to another camper, John Blankenship.

Blankenship, 67, was visiting the park with his wife, Maggie Blankenship, for a two-night vacation from their home in Angleton. Their family has been visiting the park for almost two decades.

On that July afternoon, Maggie was taking her two grandchildren, 9-year-old Mylie and 8-year-old Tinlee, to play on the park’s mini golf course.

Blankenship said the joy of sitting out and watching the lake with her family has brought them back for almost 20 years.

What distinguishes the Brackenridge Recreation Complex, said marketing coordinator Bridget Bustos, is the quantity of things to do there year-round. The complex is home to 240-acre Brackenridge Park and Campground and 590-acre Texana Park, as well as a main events center owned and operated by the Lavaca-Navidad River Authority.

At different times throughout the year, patrons can attend a chili festival, a Halloween carnival, an Independence Day celebration, an antique parade and several rodeos and fishing tournaments.

If a visitor happens to stop by in the time between these events, Bustos said they can always enjoy the disc golf, mini golf, various sporting facilities, historical sites and fishing, camping and hiking.

Bustos enjoys camping at the park with her fiance and their best friends. The two couples take their younger siblings out to Texana Park and hit the hike and bike trails before settling down for a night at the campgrounds.

“It’s a family fun atmosphere,” Bustos said. “You can’t beat the coziness of being around a campfire with your family.”

Morgan is the business reporter for the Victoria Advocate. She can be reached at (361) 580-6328, mohanlon@vicad.com or @mcohanlon.

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