PORTLAND WINDFEST 2017

Every year, Windfest, the largest festival in Portland, Texas, ushers in spring to the Texas coast. This year Windfest takes place Friday, April 7 through Sunday, April 9. Now in its 44th year, Windfest is a family event—enjoyed by Coastal Bend natives and visitors, alike.

 

When:  Friday, April 7, 6-11:30 p.m.;

Saturday, April 8, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.;

Sunday, April 9, Noon to 6 p.m.

 

Where: Portland Community Center,

2000 Billy G. Webb Drive

 

Cost: General Admission $5;

Saturday after 5 p.m. is $10.

Prices for other activities vary

 

Each year, Windfest brings in some of the best musical talent around, and this year’s event is no different. This Windfest’s musical lineup includes...

 

Curtis Grimes

Texas native Curtis Grimes is known as a country music traditionalist in the tradition of George Strait and Alan Jackson. A former contestant on “The Voice,” Grimes has opened for country superstar Kenny Chesney, and played shows with other country music artists LeAnn Rimes and Jack Ingram, as well as other major acts. The Gilmore, Texas native has a massive following in Texas, but he’s branching out to make a name among country music fans across the country. Curtis Grimes will perform on Saturday night, April 8.

 

Jake Ward

Hailed as the best kept secret on the Texas music scene according to TexasMusicPickers.com, one of the premier resources for Texas music, Jake Ward is a native of Corpus Christi. Last year, his singles, “Take My Hand” and “Lonely Street” both reached the top spot on the Texas Regional Radio Report. Ward and his band have a reputation for high-energy, original songs that blend classic country with contemporary rock and rich harmonies. Jake Ward takes the main stage on Saturday night, April 8.

 

Los Arroyos Del Rio

One of the best Tejano bands around and a South Texas favorite, Portland-based Los Arroyos Del Rio brings their high energy, up tempo beat to the Windfest stage on Friday, April 7.

 

Robert Ray

Allice, Texas native and aspiring Texas country artist and songwriter, Robert Ray is known for his mix of traditional country music and today’s Texas Country sound. He makes his Windfest debut on Friday, April 7.

 

Luke Prater Music

Luke Prater returns to Windfest this year. This young country music artist is all about “real” country music. He hails from La Vernia, Texas, and he performs two sets at Windfest on Friday, April 7.

 Reverend’s Daughter

One of the most popular bands on the Texas coast, and throughout Texas for that matter, Reverend’s Daughter draws its influences from such diverse musical legends as Stevie Ray Vaughn, George Strait, Pearl Jam, and John Mayer. Whatever their influences, their blend of rock and country music simply works. Reverend’s Daughter plays Windfest on Saturday, April 8.

 

Steve Trevino

This year, Windfest expands its entertainment options beyond music and into comedy. Steve Trevino, a Portland native and one of the country’s hottest comics, makes his debut at Windfest. Trevino has appeared on The Late Late Show, Comics Unleashed, and BET Comic View, among others. His first comedy special on Showtime landed in the Nielsen ratings Top 20. His second special, Relatable, opened on Netflix in January. He takes the stage on Sunday, April 9.

 

 

Portland is known for being family friendly—it’s also fun friendly. And adding to the fun-filled lineup for this year’s Windfest are the Swifty Swine Pig Races. Considered by some to be “the best low-tech thrill” in the great state of Texas, these little pigs sprint to the finish line in an Oreo-fueled frenzy, delighting audiences and eliciting squeals of laughter from children of every age. The famous little sprinters have traveled all over the country to local fairs and events—proving to be a fan favorite in towns and cities everywhere.

 

Swifty Swine Productions uses several breeds: Durocs, Hampshires, Yorkshires (think the movie Babe), and pot bellies. According to their handlers, the Yorkshires are the fastest, but they can sometimes be mean (okay, missing out on an Oreo throws us into a tizzy, too). The pot bellies prance around a lot and they take the time to stop and smell the roses (an interesting tactic in a foot, ah-hem, hoof race). See if you can spot the breed based on their running style and personalities or, heck, just watch and laugh. (Out of respect for the Swifty Swines, the hot dogs in the hot dog eating contest this year will be all-beef hot dogs. Not really—but don’t tell Babe and friends.) The Swifty Swine Races take place multiple times a day throughout the three-day festival. Check the event calendar for times.

 

But those little bacon-maybe pacesetters (what? too soon?) aren’t the only fleet-of-feet beasts at this year’s Windfest! Those amazing wienie dogs return for the ever-popular Dachshund Dash, sponsored by First Community Bank. These speedy little four-leggers compete for the grand prize…and the hope of being declared the top wiener! The Dachshund Dash is slated to take place on Sunday, April 9. There’s also an All Dog Parade open to every canine of any age and breed.

 

There are lots of competitions in the two-legged category, too. Windfest has two fun runs, a people parade (no doubt an equal time effort to keep the canines in check), a hot dog eating contest (no relation to the wiener dogs noted above—just standard Oscar Meyers), a youth golf tournament at NorthShore Country Club, plus the ever-popular washer and horseshoe pitching tournaments.

 

For anyone not from Texas or for city folks, washer pitching is similar to horseshoe pitching. Teams take turns tossing washers toward a box or hole. Okay, it doesn’t operate at the pace of those swift little piggies or dashing dachshunds, but the competition can get intense. It’s the same for horseshoe pitching. If you think Texas football is big—it has nothing on tossing washers or throwing horseshoes. So grab a bite and a cold drink and settle in for some serious “bigger in Texas” competition.

 

If you can’t throw, can’t cook, and can’t run—well, the Crazy Boot Contest might be just what you’re looking for. The contest seems self-explanatory—but for anyone who can’t make up their mind—cowboy boots are probably the name of the game. (The city stuff is frowned upon. We’re talking to you, Jimmy Choo.) And to satisfy the artist within, there’s even a Plein Air Art Contest—which is all about painting in the great outdoors.

 

And, while playing at Windfest is what it’s all about, the festival is serious about its food, too. Every year some of the best cooks in South Texas and beyond compete in the annual cook-off. Categories include: a pizza cook-off designed especially for young chefs, a chili cook-off, barbecue cook-offs for both ribs and brisket, a dessert cook-off, and the Chef’s Choice Cook-Off. The culinary competition takes place throughout the day on Saturday, so check the schedule for the time and place for each category. Cook-off winners will be announced late Saturday evening.

 

With three days of music, contests and races of every kind, plus food galore, there’s something for everyone at Windfest 2017. But the entertainment options don’t stop yet—there’s also an exotic animal petting zoo, martial arts demonstrations, dance and Zumba showcases, and the thrill-a-minute Windfest Midway & Carnival. There’s even a Market Day section for some serious shopping for homegrown Texas products that have been made, cooked, or created in the local area.

 

Spring is in the air—and that means Windfest in Portland, Texas. We’ll see you there!

 

WHEN YOU GO

 

When:   Friday, April 7, 6-11:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 8, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.;

Sunday, April 9, Noon to 6 p.m.

 

Where: Portland Community Center, 2000 Billy G. Webb Drive

 

Cost:    General Admission $5;

Saturday after 5 p.m. is $10.

Prices for other activities vary

 

For Further Details, call 361.777.4650 or visit Windfest.org.