GC: Seadrift is home to Shrimpfest and finishing line for endurance races

Jessica  Rodrigo By Jessica Rodrigo

June 7, 2012 at 1:07 a.m.

On the edge of the Golden Crescent, before the pavement ends at the Gulf Coast, rests the small town of Seadrift.

In June, this quiet port town experiences an influx of people during the weekend of Shrimpfest.

Between 3,000 and 3,500 people visited the town during last year's Shrimpfest event, said Nan Burnett, vice president of the Seadrift Chamber of Commerce.

The event attracts more than 50 vendors who set up right on the bayfront to sell anything from gifts to food, including barbecue, fajitas and fried favorites - not only shrimp.

So where did the name Shrimpfest come from?

Burnett admitted she doesn't know. She did know, however, that this is the 32nd year for the event.

"It started with the locals setting up and selling their shrimp," she said. "And then things changed and evolved."

Aside from the food, the event will also have entertainment for everyone in the family.

"You just have to come out and see for yourself. Getting guys to come out in bathing suits or tutus, and high heels can be kind of hard," she said of the Miss Bayrat contest, which includes men dressed as women.

She said it's all part of the festivities. "They're just there to have a good time. It's hilarious."

Race time

Seadrift also serves as the finish line for the Texas 200 and the Texas Water Safari.

During the hot days in June, outdoor enthusiasts will have their fun in the water. Both the Texas 200 and the Texas Water Safari races end in the waters of Seadrift and bring in people from all over the country.

Burnett said people will wait for the contestants to finish the race, but she added that there is not a whole lot to do while waiting. Both of the races are more than 200 miles of vicious track.

The Texas 200 is a sail boat race that starts June 11 in Port Isabel and ends June 15 in Seadrift.

"Some of these people will come in on little 8-foot sail boats with one person," she said. "That, in itself, is a feat also."

The Texas Water Safari is a 260-mile race for canoers or kayaker, which starts on the San Marcos River, then joins the Guadalupe River before heading into the bay to Seadrift.

"It's such a long grueling thing. They all come in at different times," Burnett said.

People may wait for racers to come into Seadrift for the finish, but she said it may take some racers a few days to complete the races.

As a reward to the contestants of both races, the Seadrift Chamber of Commerce and other businesses host a dinner, open to the public, for everyone to celebrate.



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