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UPDATE: Boat show postponed; Old Towne Fest still on

TOP: The Lydia Ann schooner, a project of Farley Boat Works in Port Aransas, was nearly unscathed by the winds of Hurricane Harvey. BOTTOM:  This storage facility at the boat works was not as lucky. It was completely destroyed. Courtesy photo

UPDATE: The annual Wooden Boat Show has been postponed, expected to be rescheduled in spring 2018. The Old Towne Fest will continue, though, and will include festivities such as a parade, surfing contests, chapel tours and more. Port Aranansans who stayed put during Harvey have been invited to participate in storytelling sessions about their experience waiting out the storm.


The Port Aransas Museum and Farley Boat Works were both damaged by Hurricane Harvey, but the organization’s annual Old Towne Fest and Wooden Boat Show will go on as planned Oct. 20-22.

“We’re doing it, we’re going to get back on the horse,” said Rick Pratt, director of the nonprofit historical museum. “We feel we have to do this to show the world we are still here and we are coming back.”

Damage to the boat works included a collapsed wall that pinned a number of boats inside and a shop filled with mud from the storm surge. All the motors on the major power tools in the shop had to be replaced, Pratt said. The storage building west of the main Farley building was mostly destroyed.

The museum building suffered roof, wall and door damage. The good news is that the Lydia Ann, the museum’s tall-ship-in-progress, came through with barely a scratch. The 60-foot schooner, which is near completion, has been under construction for three years.

“She’s up on a cradle,” Pratt said. “It’s amazing. She smiled at me and said, ‘Let’s do that again.’ We’re hoping to launch her next year.”

While this year’s Old Towne Festival and Wooden Boat Show may not be as grand as fêtes in years of yore, features will still include the parade, gumbo lunch, old-time story telling and children’s activities. Visitors can try out rowing a variety of skiffs, hear boat building presentations and take a tour of the Eight Wonders of Port Aransas.

So, what ARE the Eight Wonders of Port Aransas? You’ll have to come to the festival to find out.

Once known as the Old Towne Festival and plyWooden Boat Festival, this year’s newly named event runs from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21; and 9 a.m.-3p.m. Sunday, Oct. 22. For a complete schedule of events visit portaransasplywoodenboatfestival.org.

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