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contents M A R C H - A P R I L - M AY 2 0 1 8




12 Steve’s Landing

Local restaurant is a hotspot for broadening your palate

20 Crawfish: A Cajun Delicacy Things heat up as this season brings back the mud bug by Kevin R. Roberts

26 Tiki Man

Discover the unique woodwork of local artist Kevin Kavanagh by Vince Brach, Ph.D.

04 Editor’s Note 30 Outdoors

Follow the birds

by David Roberts | Texas Kayak Chronicles

32 @Home

Refresh your home with the year’s hottest interior style trends by Melissa Roberts

36 Locals Who Inspire

Enjoy the race: Dan Priest prepares for the Boston Marathon

37 Events

A closer look at Spring events on Bolivar Peninsula and beyond

47 Gardening

Reap the benefits of the Galveston County AgriLife Extension by Karolyn Gephart

50 Directory 54 Sea & Be Seen 2 | THE LOCAL

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Bring on Spring THANK YOU for picking up your always

complimentary copy of The Local magazine, and welcome to our Spring edition! As we approach our third year of business, I am excited to say we are stronger than ever. Our publication took a small break in production following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, but like so many others, we are still here! We found that a lot of local businesses across Southeast Texas were in the same boat after the storm—impacted but not deterred. For us, it was an opportunity to assess how we could make our magazine better and continue to grow while still serving you, our loyal readers and advertisers. You’ll notice we have made improvements to the quality of our product, introducing a slicker cover and more pages filled with helpful resources and positive, engaging stories that will hopefully inspire you to get out and enjoy all that our area has to offer. I think it’s safe to say that we in Southeast Texas have never been more ready for Spring than we are now! Despite some challenging and unpredictable weather, it was my goal as Editor with this edition to represent the vivacity of Bolivar Peninsula and its surrounding areas this time of year. Just like that first glimpse


of sun after a streak of gray days, I hope the following pages will lift your spirits like a breath of fresh air. We’re heating things up with a feature about Steve’s Landing, a local restaurant that has become a hotspot known for its approach to fusion seafood dishes, island-inspired cocktails, and cool atmosphere. If you’re looking to take your palate abroad, turn to page 12. Then don’t miss our feature on mud bugs: a Cajun delicacy (p.20). We’ve also got some great articles about upcoming local events (p.37), how the birds of our waterways can help put your next fish in the box (p.30), and the hottest style trends to freshen up your home (p.32). Send us your feedback and let us know how we’re doing. I always enjoy hearing from you! Until next time, soak up some sunshine and salt air, and keep it local.


Destiny Martin Founder & Editor

& M JaMes





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Vince Brach, Ph.D. Karolyn Gephart Dave Roberts Kevin R. Roberts Melissa Roberts Sandi Smith Axel Stammel CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

Cody Bess Luke Mauldin Dave Roberts ON THE COVER

Photographer Cody Bess Photography Assistant Alex Morales Model Ashley Quarles Location Bolivar Peninsula, Texas Special thanks to Craig and Debby Ward for lending us their 1970 Willys to capture the spirit of Spring at the beach. The Local Magazine is produced by 650 Media Group, LLC. All rights reserved. The Local is not responsible for facts represented by its authors or advertisers. No part of this publication may be used or reproduced without written consent of the editor.

ABOUT The Local Magazine is a locally owned and operated quarterly publication that strives to connect its readers with helpful information and inspirational stories about local individuals, businesses, and places of interest.

CONTACT US To advertise in The Local, call (817) 505-8208 or email us at to request more information. News releases and story ideas to may be sent to

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LOCAL eats

{sa•vor} verb. to taste good food or drink and enjoy it completely


A Taste for Something New by destiny martin | photos by luke mauldin


ndian cuisine is not native to our region of the Texas coast, yet for chefs Davin Patel and Rahib Rahman, the concept of combining fresh Gulf seafood with the bold flavors of their backgrounds—and other cultures from around the world— makes sense. Their restaurant, Steve’s Landing has become a local hotspot known for its innovative approach to classic Cajun dishes, island-inspired cocktails, and casual atmosphere. If you’re looking to broaden your palate and enjoy a unique culinary experience, look no further than Steve’s. Tucked away at the end of an oyster-shell road, Steve’s Landing Restaurant sits pristinely on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway. Sights and sounds of passing barges, local shrimp boats, and panoramic sunset views can be taken in from their “Swings” patio and almost immediately transport you to a more relaxed state of mind. At this point, good food and drinks just seem like a bonus! Co-owner Rahib Rahman says that since he and Davin acquired the already-established restaurant in 2013, they have experimented, taken risks, and learned a lot along the way. “We’re constantly striving to create a better experience for our patrons,” he tells me. The young duo has hit their stride with signature plates like Shrimp Tikka and Grits, Coconut Fish Curry, and their not-to-be-underestimated Tiki Punch (limit three per customer). This fresh fruit-infused concoction is neatly finished off with a flaming sugar cube. The restaurant’s lead mixologist Jason King says he has been hard at work developing an upgraded cocktail menu that implements modern techniques and more unique infusions. He recommends the Pineapple Cilantro Margarita. Steve’s offers a variety of familiar southern dishes like chicken fried steak and pecan crusted snapper, but it’s the technique and dynamic flavors of Indian cuisine that have brought so much


LOCAL eats

STEVE’S LANDING RESTAURANT 1290 Bay Vue Road Crystal Beach, Texas 77650


visibility to the growing restaurant; their Tikka Masala taking the forefront of many of their popular dishes. This creamy tomato-based sauce is made from scratch with curry and other Indian spices, and dances on the tongue, highlighting most of

PEOPLE ARE HUNGRY FOR A DIFFERENT TYPE OF CULINARY EXPERIENCE. the receptors on your palate in just one bite. But the culinary creativity doesn’t stop there. There is a world of global cuisines to explore across Steve’s menu, from Creole to Spanish, Italian to Asian. “We’re excited to be implementing new lunch options


with fresh takes on classic dishes like crab mac and cheese to delicious sandwiches,” Rahib adds. From pint to plate, the real artistry of Steve’s Landing lies in Rahib and Davin’s close attention to detail. Ingredients like handmade corn tortillas for their local-favorite Fried Avocado Tacos, fresh pressed pasta, and herbs grown on-site show their commitment to quality. “I travel to the Houston market at least once a week to hand-pick ingredients,” Davin tells me. “It makes all the difference when I’m working in the kitchen.” The passionate restaurateurs say their source of motivation is to continue elevating flavors and concepts. “We believe people are hungry for a different type of culinary experience,” says Rahib. “So we’ve dedicated countless hours to R&D, coming up with new ideas and flavor

profiles you won’t find anywhere else on Bolivar Peninsula.” It’s certain their unique vision has paid off. Steve’s holds a 4.5-star rating on sites like Yelp! and TripAdvisor and the reviews are compelling. “The level of detail [Steve’s] puts into their aesthetic is awesome, and I immediately enjoyed being there... this place is a MUST if you’re in Crystal Beach,” writes Shannon M. of Houston, Texas. So the next time you’re looking to take your palate abroad, head over to Steve’s Landing Restaurant. No passport required. They’re open Thursday-Tuesday (closed Wednesday). For more information about Steve’s hours, catering services, and private events, visit their website at or email them at TL

photo courtesy of Steve’s Landing Restaurant

photo courtesy of Steve’s Landing Restaurant

LOCAL eats


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LOCAL eats


Not so long ago, crawfish were relatively unknown outside of Southwest Louisiana. Even as recently as the 1970s both the Red Swamp species and the White River species were considered food for country-folk. Well, not anymore. Today, the mud bug is as fine a delicacy as any seafood on the planet, evidenced by its ever-growing popularity among worldly cuisines. story by kevin r. roberts | photos by destiny martin


LOCAL eats


rawfish began getting media attention thanks to an LSU festival called Jambalaya Jamboree. JamJam (as we called it) was a public relations idea to promote South Louisiana’s French heritage, her unique cuisine, and happy-feet music. Held every Spring at LSU’s AgCenter barn, the event featured live Zydeco music, two-step dance contests, and the intense aroma of a Cajun court-bouillon boiling in giant pots over propane flames. To the pot was added split Spanish onions, lemon halves, garlic pods, red potatoes, and sometimes even freshly shucked corn on the cob. In more recent times, people have started adding things like links, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, asparagus, and even canned green beans. But be forewarned, there is a practical limit to over boiling the onions and potatoes which can make the crawfish slimy. Boiling crawfish is an art that takes practice to master.

Suck da head and pinch the tail, mais ya sha! Crawfish boil etiquette is a paradox. It’s messy, it’s noisy, and it’s encouraged that you don’t wear white. You have to “pinch the tail” to peel out the delicate meat, then “suck da head” to get at the prized yellow fat. To purge or not to purge? That is the question. Purging is a preboil process in which live crawfish soak in salty water causing the crustaceans to purge their intestinal tracts. This trick has fallen out of favor with some Cajuns though. A new, preferred method is to vigorously rinse the crawfish with a garden hose until the water runs clear to avoid stressing them just before cooking. The key to boiling crawfish is not to boil them. Doing so makes the meat chewy and hard to peel. Instead, add live crawfish to the boiling water and spices, and bring the pot back to a rolling boil. Then kill the flame, stir, and cover.

CAJUN TIPS FOR THROWING A CRAWFISH BOIL CAJUN TIP #1 A good rule of thumb when buying live crawfish by the sack is to figure about six pounds per person. However, with enough cold beer, a true Cajun can easily go through ten pounds alone. CAJUN TIP #2 If you have leftover crawfish, you can peel and freeze them; saving the tail meat for later. Crawfish tails make for an excellent pairing with flounder fillets, omelets, or atop a pizza. If you are planning a recipe and don’t have fresh tails on hand, frozen crawfish tails are acceptable, just make sure they’re not imported. Locally raised crawfish are either wild caught or harvested in rice fields where they eat the rice that falls during harvest. Quality tail meat is packaged along with the flavorful fat, so look for a red-orange slurry in the packaging. Yes indeed, you can taste the difference. CAJUN PLAYLIST Dr. John, Gumbo Atlantic Recording Corp., 1972 BeauSoleil Avec Michael Doucet Parlez-Nous A Boire Arhoolie, 1990 Clifton Chenier, Zydeco Dynamite Rhino, 1993 Van Broussard, By Special Request CSP Records, 1997 Randy Newman, Good Old Boys Warner Bros. Records, 1974 Professor Longhair, Rock ’N’ Roll Gumbo Windham Hill, 1985 Tab Benoit, Wetlands Telarc Records, 2002

Let them soak for 20 minutes, allowing the shell and head to absorb the water. Juiciness is the key to proper boiling, and soak time is critical. Serve crawfish immediately, hot off the boil. Dry mix or liquid boil? There are dozens of liquid and dry mixes on the market, and we all have our favorites. Regional brands include Cajun Land, Slap Ya Mama, Zatarain’s Pro Boil, Swamp Fire, Rex, Swamp Dust, Ragin’ Cajun, the list goes on. However, my preferred boil mix is from the historic Balinese Room. The recipe is still blended on Galveston Island by Maceo Spice Company located on the Market Street corridor. Owner Ronnie Maceo tells me, “This dry mix has it all...yellow and brown mustard seed, cayenne, whole allspice, fennel, coriander seed, bay leaves, imported black pepper pods, and crushed red pepper flakes.” Maceo’s recently added a new ground variation of crab boil that includes salt and 80,000-Scoville unit cayenne pepper. Ayee, dats hot! More tips for beginners For you first-timers, I’d like to point out a few traps to avoid. First, the proper spelling is crawfish, not crayfish. Second, boiled crawfish is so perfectly seasoned that it rarely needs cocktail sauce. And finally, one more tip: everyone has to peel their own crawfish, even the kiddos! Armed with all this information you are now ready to host your first crawfish boil of the season. To help create the right atmosphere, I recommend a playlist of Swamp Pop and Zydeco music. So, spread out the newspapers on a table, ice down some beer, and laissez les bon temps rouler! TL

Kevin R. Roberts is a Galveston-based food writer with roots in South Louisiana. He recalls that in 1973 his LSU fraternity hosted a legendary 2000-pound crawfish boil for campus police, the fire department, and all of Sorority Row.



Best brews paired with mud bugs Those who love crawfish know that nothing pairs better with the Cajun delicacy than cold beer. Ice down these recommended brews at your next party for a hopping good time. Grab a growler of Neches Brewing Company’s Pea Patch Pale Ale or Crying Eagle’s Hop Blooded IPA; both offer juicy, tropical notes of pineapple, mango, and citrus. Or cool down with Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy, a crisp weiss beer with refreshing natural lemonade flavor.


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LOCAL art & culture


story by vince brach, ph.d. | photos by luke mauldin


am always struck with a tinge of awe when I run into a truly creative person. Real talent has a way of jumping out at you, letting you know that this is no everyday occurrence. You can experience it for yourself at Kevin Kavanagh’s Tiki Loco Woodworks, located at Highway 87 and Crystal Beach Road. My first time meeting Kevin—or “Tiki Man” as locals like to call him—was on a chilly winter morning. His outdoor studio is within walking distance of my Crystal Beach home, but on this particular day, both he and I were in our cars keeping warm when I first pulled up. As we opened our doors to greet one another, Kevin’s dog Annabelle trotted up to give me a friendly welcome. The three of us walked toward the covered area of his workshop, and I took in some amazing sights. Front and center stood a gigantic twin mermaid carving made from an upside-down oak tree, more about which I will say in a bit. All around me, colorful seagulls and pelicans perched on pilings. Indigenous faces with toothy mouths and starring eyes decorated several Tiki carvings. Towards the back, carved cedar signs hung on a fence and a stack of yet-tobe-rendered wood pilings, including a large piece of fragrant cedar, stretched right up to our seats. Kevin Kavanagh is a spry man with a sandy, braided beard, and an interesting perspective on life. On any


TIKI LOCO WOODWORKS 1290 Bay Vue Road Crystal Beach, Texas 77650

given day, he will be busy at work on one of his signature chainsaw creations. While he shares his space with fellow artists Shirley Henderson and Ellen Simon (“If it’s a painted carving, it’s usually Shirley’s,” he says), his artistic work is most often a commissioned, Polynesian-inspired totemic figure. Polynesian carved art is diverse and embraces many cultures, ranging from the elegantly slender statues of the Maui to the scary, fanged faces of the Maori and New Guinean totems. A common technique is chip carving, in which repetitive, incisive cuts are made in the wood to produce geometric designs. Great diversity also exists in the totemic art of the Northwestern Pacific and Alaskan tribes. Styles from this region range from simple, unpainted figures to the elaborately carved, winged, and

gaudily-decorated totems of the Kwakiutl Tribe of British Columbia. Historically, totem poles were created to commemorate stories of the carvers and their people. In a way, the chainsaw carvings of Tiki Man echo his dynamic life, inspired by Kevin’s travels and experiences. Raised in the “Totem Pole Town” of Maplewood, Minnesota, Kevin’s early career brought him to Texas to work as a field engineer in the Gulf oilfields. He pursued a love of music at Trinity Valley College where he earned his Associate’s degree and then went on to play professionally in a band for many years. But Kevin pinpoints the awakening of his creative “muse” when he was on a family road trip to Disney World. Inspired by the many Tiki-style carvings he saw


there, he and his son Nick got some wood and started to “make something,” as he puts it. While his son soon tired of it, Kavanagh persisted, finding the activity to be almost Zen-like. “At first, no one took me seriously as a ‘folk artist,’” he says, but his persistence and 365-day-a-year work ethic have allowed his innate talent to shine through. Wood is to a carver as canvas is to a painter. Kevin prefers to sculpt his creations out of cedar logs, but he also does a great deal of carving from recycled odds and ends of treated pine timber left over from construction sites. “They’re glad when I offer to haul it off,”


he says, “and I take pride in making something from nothing.” Occasionally, storms and natural aging drop a huge boon his way. Not long ago, the tallest live oak in the Smith Oaks Bird Sanctuary in High Island fell to a storm. Kevin was able to salvage the trunk. This once-mighty oak formed the canvas for the 10-foot pair of facing mermaids which is currently for sale at his studio. A walk through Tiki Loco Woodworks reveals many practical offerings like carved placards and coastal décor. But Kevin’s real passion lies in abstract wood carvings that marry both form and function. Reveling in the one-of-

a-kind commissioned work that often comes his way, you may be fortunate to see a unique piece of art that reveals something of the artist’s soul. It is in these things that Kevin Kavanagh’s talent truly brings Polynesia to the peninsula at the Tiki Loco Woodworks. TL In loving memory of Annabelle. Vince Brach is a teacher, naturalist, and writer from Tyler whose articles are have appeared in Texas Highways, Texas Parks & Wildlife, and Highlights for Children. He has vacationed on Bolivar Peninsula for over 30 years. Contact him at

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LOCAL outdoors

Follow the Birds story and photos by dave roberts / texas kayak chronicles

HERE SEVERAL YEARS AGO, my brother Blaze and I

decided to head to one of our favorite spots in hopes to pick up a few trout. When we arrived at our destination, we were greeted with by the warm Texas sun. We began throwing our lures without much luck for the first 20 minutes. As we started to contemplate moving locations, the nearby cormorants leaped off their pylon perchs and began diving right in front of us. Every time they would dive down, they would appear back to the surface holding a croaker or shad in their mouth. As soon as the feeding frenzy started, Blaze and I quickly started to pull in a trout with every cast. The action was fierce and only lasted a few minutes, but we managed to pick up several good fish. As the bite began to slow down, the cormorants returned to their perch. We


fished for another half hour with nothing to show until the same scene replayed itself; the cormorants began diving again to feed, and we started catching more trout. At a young age we were taught that looking for working seagulls is a good way to locate schools of feeding trout; however, that was as far as the lesson went. Through years of experience, we have discovered that fish can be pinpointed by other birds as well. Nearly every bird that lives in the marsh, lakes, and by the sea shares the same diet as the fish that swim in them. The birds will take advantage of the bait fish that are being forced out of the water or onto the bank by the fish. This makes for an easy meal for birds and in turn, makes it easy for an angler to spot feeding fish. Other than seagulls and cormorants, egrets and herons

are a great sign that fish are in a certain area. These shorebirds will line up along the bank waiting for fish to force schools of bait within striking distance. If you are ever cruising across the bay and see several egrets lined up, stop and fish them for a little bit; they are at that specific spot for a reason. Another bird that I like to look for are ospreys, which are part of the raptor family. A majority of their diet consists of large mullet that they find in shallower water.

They can often be seen in the back ponds of the marsh, but I like to find them scouring the flats in the main lake. Their food source is the same as larger trout, and since you can’t see in the water, a soaring osprey can give away the location for potential flats that hold bait, and in turn, trout. There are several other ways to find feeding fish, but birds will point the way every time. Nature has a compelling way of working together and the Gulf Coast is one of its greatest examples. I hope everyone takes advantage of the warm weather coming our way and when you get on the water, be sure to follow the birds. TL

photo credit Michael Fitzsimmons


Dave Roberts is an avid kayak fisherman, writer and photographer who travels the Texas Coast documenting his experiences along the way. For more info, visit his blog at


LOCAL @home


2018 Style Trends by melissa roberts | photos courtesy of melissa roberts interiors

At the beginning of a new year, we often find ourselves setting goals related to diet, exercise, and positive lifestyle changes. As an interior designer and home décor enthusiast, I think it’s equally important to focus on your home. After all, your home is your sanctuary, so creating a space that exudes your style is imperative. Hurricane Harvey damaged many houses across Southeast Texas, which resulted in homeowners searching for guidance in the remodeling process. Though it was an unfortunate event, I hope to provide you with decorating inspiration as you continue to rebuild. Even if you’re not remodeling, there are simple and affordable ways to refresh your home this Spring, and I have incorporated many of them into this dining space. Let’s talk about this year’s top trends.


Sherwin Williams Color of the Year


COLOR PALETTE Throughout 2018 we will notice the color

palette is warming up. Trends are steering away from bright white rooms and cool gray colors, and moody hues are being introduced through accent pillows and rugs. Add color to your space by incorporating rich, deep jewel tones. We’ll see beige making its way back to walls and in our accents. Many of us have brought gray elements into our homes through sofas and other pieces that aren’t so easy to dispose of without a large financial investment. If this is the case, simply paint your walls a warm color that’s clean and defined. A good choice is Sherwin Williams Intellectual Gray, featured on these walls. It is a taupe color with gray undertones that pairs well with both brown and black finishes. NATURAL ELEMENTS Sneak natural elements into your remodeling

project by incorporating wood-beaded lighting and durable stone sinks (goodbye stainless steel!). Concrete accents, agate sculptures, fresh flowers and greenery, leather, and marble accessories are great ways to integrate these diverse organic elements into your space. Velvety textiles aren’t going anywhere so plan to include them in pillows, chairs, and drapes. MIXING MEDIUMS I love this trend as it’s both affordable and easy to

achieve. Wood materials are being mixed with gold tones and paired with leather accents. Bring in natural elements through a variety of stains and heavily-grained wood textures. Painted furniture and cabinets are still a big hit, but only if you’re bold with it. We’ll see lots of blue kitchen and office cabinets. Sherwin Williams’ color of the year is Oceanside, a striking paint color that would work great in an office with built-ins, walls, and trim all painted the same color. Throw in brass accents and marble pieces to set the stage. If bold isn’t your thing, you’re safe to go with a natural wood tones. This year is all about blending different wood stains together, so don’t be afraid to mix things up in the same room. CLASSIC BLACK Black made its way to us in last year and we fell in love,

hard. This trend is here to stay. When selecting finishes, dark hardware and fixtures are the way to go. Incorporate a black faucet with black cabinet pulls for a show-stopping look in your kitchen or bath. Notice here how the dark nailhead trim on these Klismos chairs pairs perfectly with the concrete candle holders. For more tips, follow my blog at www. and enjoy your home! TL Melissa Roberts is an interior designer and stylist specializing in residential interiors. She is originally from Port Acres, Texas and now lives in Houston, allowing her to fully service both areas. Melissa is a creative who is passionate about designing homes that directly reflect your personality. For more info visit


T H E R E I S N O SU B ST I T U T E F O R E X P E R I E N C E . Over forty years of building exceptional homes on Bolivar Peninsula. NEW CONSTRUCTION • REMODELING • PROJECT MANAGEMENT CONTACT TYLER COCO AT 409.651.6004 2290 HIGHWAY 87 | CRYSTAL BEACH, TEXAS 77650

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LOCALS who inspire

Enjoy the Race DA N P R I E ST P RE PAR E S FO R THE B O STO N M AR ATH O N story by destiny martin


hen Dan Priest began running at the age of 16, he might not have thought he’d ever qualify for a marathon, let alone the world’s largest. Back then he was a heavyset teen merely motivated to shed a few pounds after a friend had convinced him to run six miles in one day. In four months, Dan managed to lose 40 pounds and the habit stuck. “I realized how good running made me feel,” he says, “so I decided to keep it up.” Now at the age of 58, Dan is in his prime and still enjoys running every chance he can—even competitively. He has completed numerous full and half marathons, triathlons, and 5k-runs over the years, but his ultimate goal he says is to compete in the Boston Marathon. Commonly referred to as the “average guy’s Olympics,” qualifying for this one is not for the faint of heart. Last year, Dan made the cut and come April 16 he will see his goal become a reality as he runs alongside 30,000 other qualified entrants at the 122nd Boston Marathon. But to Dan, competitive running is not always about being the first to cross the finish line. To him, it’s about enjoying the journey along the way, and it begins even before the starting pistol is fired. “Marathon running is a mind game,” Dan shares with me from the comfort of his insurance agency office. Even now, he’s actively planning, accessing his food and water intake weeks ahead of time to ensure his body is optimum to perform come race day. Over the course of the 26.2 miles, which racers have six hours to complete, he explains that the human body goes through many physical changes, “but the mind can be an even bigger struggle,” he adds. “That has helped me a lot in life. Marathoning teaches me to pace myself.” He’s applied this principle not only to his running career but also to how he approaches everyday life. Whether running a marathon or a business, Dan says if you start too fast or compare yourself to others, you’re likely to grow anxious and burn out 36 | THE LOCAL

photo courtesy of Dan Priest

before you’ve had a chance to get started. His motto: take it easy and run the race marked out for you. That sounds simple enough, but what about overcoming unexpected obstacles, like injuries? Dan’s been fortunate to have had only one, but he says he didn’t let it defeat him. Last fall while on a recovery run, Dan tweaked his Achilles tendon. “There was a period that I had to take a break from running, listen to my body, and allow myself time to heal,” he tells me. “That’s tough to do when preparing for an event as monumental as the Boston Marathon.” Through some persistence, physical therapy, and regular conditioning, Dan has worked himself back up to running 15-18 miles and is feeling optimistic about the road ahead. “Initially my goal was to run Boston in six hours, now I’m striving to complete it in under four!” When asked what it means to him to be able to run at Boston in light of the tragedy that occurred there in 2013, Dan says he couldn’t be more honored to take part in such a commemorative and patriotic event. “It’s going to be an emotional experience for me in a lot of ways,” he says. “Runners are persistent. Boston signifies not only a sense of personal accomplishment, but it underscores the determination of thousands of people not to let things affect our freedom.” TL

Follow Dan on his journey to Boston [f] and cheer him on this Patriot’s Day. Best of luck, Dan!

community & events 42




LOCAL community & events

STAY AND PLAY AT T HE BFGO O DR ICH J EEP RES ORT P RES ENT ED BY BU D LIGHT by axel stammel | photos courtesy of unlimited off-road expo


during Go Topless Day. Or is it the weekend? Some may say that year-round, these iconic American vehicles belong here. After all, it’s where the hype about Jeeps first started: in the dunes, in the surf, on the beach—the ultimate destination for showing off your ride. The Jeep (originally known as a Willys) made its first debut during WWII as a small four-wheel drive vehicle intended for military use but has since become part of so many peoples’ lives. Built to go anywhere and do anything, Jeeps represent freedom, for our country and for everyone who owns one. They give you that feeling of independence and adventure. From color-popping 70s models like the one featured on our cover to the modern-day Jeep JL built for a family, nothing represents a free and easy lifestyle like owning a Jeep. No matter what make or model, ours is a community of like-minded adventure-seekers.


So what drives people to own a Jeep? And what is it that brings them to the beach? Well, it’s the fun and functionality of the vehicle, sure, but also the opportunity to show off all the new add-ons that have been acquired to make your seven-slotted ride a reflection of you. Owning a Jeep means shaping it, lifting it, improving it, and of course, showing it off. Taking it out for a spin, even if for no particular reason, is just what we do. And when you’re ready to go off-roading through mud and rugged terrain, you can bet Jeeps are up to the challenge. Let’s just hope the driver is too! This year, Unlimited Off-Road Show brings the best of all these worlds together in one cool and exciting place: the BFGoodrich Jeep Resort in Crystal Beach. Located at Texas Frog Fest grounds just 400 yards off the beach along Hwy 87, Jeep Resort is at the center of all things Go Topless. Cruising the beach and enjoying the crowd is great, but there comes the moment when it’s time to make a turn and

JEEP RESORT 1609 Hwy 87 Crystal Beach, Texas 77650

enjoy some great entertainment outside the traffic jam! Open to all ages and conveniently located, the venue adds a new dimension to the Go Topless weekend experience. BFGoodrich Jeep Resort presented by BUD LIGHT offers 54 acres of unlimited Jeep stayand-play fun! Amenities include food and drinks at several stations on the grounds, including the state-of-the-art BUD LIGHT Bar, camping spots for tents and RVs, as well as bathrooms and a shower house. Attractions include a gaming area, RC Course, Kids Jeeps, lounge areas, and musical entertainment. But the much-anticipated highlight of this year’s event is the obstacle courses. Inside the vendor area, courses allow Jeepers to drive through different obstacles (some optional) following a trail that leads along the Intracoastal Waterway. Surprises included! From the highway, you can see the BFGoodrich 4x4 Experience that lets you drive one of their Jeeps through a dedicated obstacle course. All this and more happening May 17-19 at 1609 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach. Proceeds will benefit the Lone Survivor Foundation. For more info, visit TL


LOCAL community & events

BIRDS OF A FEATHER Thousands of birds—and birders—flock to our area each year during the Spring migration across the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston Feather Fest offers nature photographers and outdoor enthusiasts four days of exploration to get a glimpse of the more than 200 species of birds that take flight along the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail. Enjoy workshops, field trips, and opportunities to meet some of the top naturalists in the country. Event dates are April 19-22, 2018. For more information, visit


LOCAL community & events

HELP KEEP IT CLEAN ADOPT-A-BEACH COASTWIDE CLEAN UP RETURNS TO BOLIVAR Hosted by the Texas General Land Office, join volunteers and beach lovers to help keep Bolivar beautiful during the annual Adopt-A-Beach Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 21. Participants can sign up online or show up at the Crystal Beach Fire Department at 930 Noble Carl Road to receive gloves and trash bags. It’s a great opportunity to do your part and help protect our local environment. Visit for more details.



Texas Crab Festival by sandi smith | photos courtesy of luke mauldin

If you’re looking for a unique festival experience to enjoy with family and friends, the 33rd Annual Texas Crab Festival in Crystal Beach could be just the ticket. Fun, family-oriented and affordable, the Crab Fest has become a tradition for many, who return year after year for a Mother’s Day weekend packed with Gulf Coast style music, art, and crabs. Crab Fest features a full weekend of family entertainment with carnival rides, contests, games and prizes. Join the fun of the Two Step Dance Contest, 5K/1K Run or Crabs Legs Contest. Cheer on your favorite pup in the Wiener Dog Races. Browse booth after booth of coastal arts and crafts, beachy furniture and home décor, clothing, jewelry and gifts. Other highlights include a Kid’s Stage, Crab Races, Live Auction, Washers Tournament, and RV and Boat Shows.


The 2018 music lineup includes some pretty hefty country cred with Saturday night headliners Shooter Jennings and Jack Ingram. Friday night features Gruene Hall regular Jason Allen and New Orleans party band Bag of Donuts. On Sunday Scott McGill delivers his brand of Beaumont swamp pop. The live music schedule also includes high-energy country from David Joel, classic rock with The Cadillacs, hot tejano from Houston sensations Sandy G y Los Gavilanes and the cosmic swampy-tonk of Austin’s Mayeaux & Broussard, along with Bolivar favorites Bris Crider and Haley Comeaux. This year introduces an exciting new show on Sunday entitled “Bolivar’s Got Talent” spotlighting young local performers. Visitors are encouraged to bring beach chairs to settle in and enjoy the weekend’s entertainment.

LOCAL community & events

Of course, the real star of the show is the crab. Find vendors offering a variety of crab creations from crab nachos to crab stuffed jalapeños to barbecued crab. Get there early on Saturday for a taste of the prize-winning cup in the Crab Gumbo Cook Off. Enjoy a selection of fresh seafood and classic midway favorites at the event USA Today called one of the “10 Best Food Festivals to Dive Into.”


Festival Opens

4 pm to 6 pm

DJ Music

6 pm

Opening Ceremony, Crenshaw Choir

6:15 pm to 7:15 pm

Haley Comeaux

7:45 pm to 9:15 pm

Jason Allen

8:30 pm

2 Step Contest

10 pm to 11:30 pm

Bag of Donuts


The Texas Crab Festival is the 1985 brainchild of local friends and business people seeking both a way promote Bolivar Peninsula and a way to give back to the community. Today, 100% of the net proceeds from the festival goes to support Texas Crab Festival Charities, a 501(c)3 non-profit. Since 2013 it has granted over $300,000 to fund scholarships, youth camps and outreach programs that better the lives of Bolivar residents and their families. This is only possible through the generosity of local sponsors and the efforts of countless volunteers who work tirelessly each year to bring the Texas Crab Festival to Crystal Beach. The Texas Crab Festival is May 11-13, 2018 at Gregory Park, 2292 Hwy 87 in Crystal Beach, Texas. Admission is $10 Friday and Saturday and free on Sunday. Kids 15 and under are always free, as is festival parking. For the latest news and updates, “like” Texas Crab Festival on Facebook or visit www. TL

10 am

Festival Opens

10:15 am to 11 pm

Bris Crider

11 am

Wiener Dog Races

1 pm to 2:30 pm

The Cadillacs

3:15 pm to 4:45 pm

Mayeux & Broussard

5:30 pm to 7 pm

David Joel

7:45 pm to 9:15 pm

Shooter Jennings

9:15 pm

Live Auction

10 pm to 11:30 pm

Jack Ingram

SUNDAY, MAY 13 10 am

Festival Opens

11 am to 1 pm

Bolivar's Got Talent!

1:45 pm to 3:15 pm

Sandy G y Los Gavilanes

4 pm to 5:30 pm

Scott McGill

6 pm

Closing Ceremony

For a complete schedule of events, visit

LOCAL community & events


What’s Happening Locally

Kids Hardhead Haul-In Tournament photo courtesy of Casey Blume

Port Bolivar VFD Oyster Supper March 10 Port Bolivar Can you say all-you-can-eat fried oysters?! The Port Bolivar Volunteer Fire Department will be hosting their 48th Annual Oyster Supper on Saturday, March 10 from noon to 8 pm. This is a highly anticipated event with proceeds benefiting local volunteer firefighters who work hard to make Bolivar Peninsula a safer place to live, work, and play. The public is invited to come and show their support with a $25 donation. Sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are available. Those interested can inquire at the Port


Bolivar Volunteer Fire Station located at 1806 Loop 108 or by calling (409) 771-7026. Follow the PBVFD Facebook page for more detailed information.

Easter “Sonrise” Service April 1 Crystal Beach Join thousands of worshipers on the beach at sunrise for praise and worship, fellowship, and a moving Easter message. A celebration like no other, this event continues to draw record crowds every year. Come by golf cart, and don’t forget to bring chairs. Gathering location is usually near West Lane in Crystal Beach.

editor’s pick Bolivar Peninsula Lions Club Stingaree Saltwater Slam & Kids Hardhead Tournament April 28 Crystal Beach Guaranteed cash prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Individual fee $100; team of 4 $350. Entries must be received by 6 p.m. on April 27, 2018. Free Kids Hardhead Haul-In for children 12 and under starts at 8:30 a.m. at Stingaree Marina with weigh in between 9-10 a.m. All proceeds benefit the Bolivar Peninsula Lions Club Youth Scholarship fund.

Tall Ships® Galveston April 5-8 Galveston Produced by Galveston Historical Foundation, in partnership with Tall Ships America, this family-friendly event will showcase Galveston’s rich maritime history through unique programming and visiting tall ships. Welcome visiting ships with an exciting Parade of Sail down Seawall Boulevard on the afternoon of Thursday, April 5. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, the festival will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily for ship tours, live music, vendors, and more. Tickets, ship information, and special event details are available at

photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation and Tall Ships® America


LOCAL community & events


Marsh Fest Winnie


Volunteer Fire Department Oyster Supper Port Bolivar

Facebook @pbvfdems


Easter “Sonrise” Service Crystal Beach


Tall Ships® Galveston Galveston


Peninsula Sports Park Watermelon Crawl Crystal Beach

Facebook @PeninsulaSportsPark


Bosco’s Crawfish Bash Stingaree Restaurant & Marina


Jane Long Style Show United Methodist Church Crystal Beach

Facebook @BayVueUMC


Feather Fest Galveston


Adopt-A-Beach Spring Coastwide Cleanup Crystal Beach


Bolivar Peninsula Lions Club Fishing Tournament Stingaree Marina

MAY 11-13

Texas Crab Festival Crystal Beach


JEEP Worldwide Go Topless Day Crystal Beach




photo courtesy of Galveston Historical Foundation and Tall Ships® America


LOCAL community & events

Reap the benefits O F AG RI L I F E EXTENSI O N

story by karolyn gephart / galveston county master gardeners


to gardening on the Texas Gulf Coast and gardeners in this area have that extra help. The AgriLife Extension Office in La Marque is a yearround place for help, information, and problem solving for trees, shrubs, lawns, insect pests, plant diseases, soils, etc. in the area. It’s like having an extra set of hands to help make outdoor environments the best they can be. The AgriLife Extension Office offers practical, how-to education based on university research from Texas A&M University. Gardening FAQs as well as specific information on plants, soil and water are available on their website at Handouts and brochures about specific plants can be picked up at no cost at the office.

Gardeners with problems or questions can call into the Master Gardener HotLine at (281) 309-5061. Several Master Gardeners staff the HotLine during the week; leave a message if necessary and a Master Gardener will return your call with information you need and can use. Often, county residents bring in samples of plant leaves or grass blades, tree bark and more with questions for an onsite assistant who will do the research and find out what could be affecting the item in a certain way. The information also includes what the resident can do to help address the problem. The AgriLife Extension Office also offers help with soil testing and water quality testing. Twice a year in the fall and spring, the Galveston County Master Gardeners—whose program is based with the AgriLife Extension Office—host huge plant sales with


plants and items ideal for local gardeners. Master Gardeners are at the sale answering any questions. The next sale will be in October. Monthly educational programs are offered on a variety of subjects such as Garden Tools, Plumeria, Square Foot Gardening, Herbs, Roses, Citrus Trees, Vegetables and much more. The programs are posted on the website monthly. Weekday as well as Saturday workshops are offered. All are free and open to the public. Calling to reserve a seat ensures that there are enough handouts for the audience. But the AgriLife Extension not only houses horticulture offices; it offers much more. It brings the resources of the Texas A&M University System to Galveston County. Through field-based faculty, Extension provides unbiased, research-based information, educational programs, and technical assistance in the following core service areas: 4-H & Youth Development, Better Living for Texans, Agriculture and Natural Resources; Coastal and


Marine Resources, Family and Community Health, and Horticulture. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is a member of the Texas A&M University System and reaches out to people across the state where they live and where they work. Their mission is to provide quality, relevant outreach and continuing education programs and services to the people of Texas. A unique education agency, the Galveston office of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension service teaches Galveston County residents, extending researchbased knowledge to benefit their families and communities. Make it part of your life and reap the many benefits. TL AGRILIFE EXTENSION OFFICE Carbide Park, 4102-B Main Street La Marque, TX 77568 Monday - Thursday 8 am - 5 pm; Friday 8 am - 4:30 pm

SOPHISTICATED STYLE Nothing puts the finishing touch on home decor like one-of-a-kind, custom window coverings. At The Blind Factory, we can help you liven up your living space with quality shutters, blinds, and shades. Call us today to schedule your in-home estimate.

THE BLIND FACTORY 409.866.4055 Toll free at 877-281-9717 7396 College St. Beaumont, TX 77707 Shutters - Roller Shades - Blinds Roman Shades - Woven Woods


Local Directory ATTRACTIONS Fun Spot Water Slide 2061 Hwy 87 409-684-2384 Fun Town Water Park 965 Noble Carl 409-466-1262

Pelican Point Development 200 Hwy 87 409-767-4464

Jeep Resort 1609 Hwy 87

Swede’s Real Estate 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345

VACATION RENTALS Aloha, Little Fish Vacation Rental 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345

HOME DÉCOR/ FURNITURE Alyson Jon Interiors 6430 Phelan Blvd. 409-866-3171

Gone Coastal Vacation Rental 2290 Hwy 87 409-684-3790

Bayside Chic 4002 Broadway 409-621-9540

Heavenly Horizon Vacation Rental 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345 Ocean Blu Vacation Rental 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345 The Flight Deck Vacation Rental 2840 Hwy 87 409-684-3345 The Reserve at Bolivar 731 Hwy 87 409-974-0064 REAL ESTATE Amy Chance Team 8245 Gladys 409-350-5650 Cobb Real Estate 2290 Hwy 87 409-684-3790


Mary Ellen Smith, Broker 2290 Hwy 87 409-457-1070

Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom 2912 Eastex Fwy 409-899-9911 Galveston Furniture & Flooring 4214 Broadway 409-762-5244 Melissa Roberts Interiors Beaumont/Houston 409-718-7630 The Blind Factory 7396 College St. 409-866-4055 HOMEBUILDERS Brint Construction 970 Surfside Dr. 409-767-4464 Cobb Homebuilders 2290 Hwy 87 409-651-6004

Kelli Untermeyer, Realtor 2290 Hwy 87 409-795-7257

SHOPPING The Big Store, Gulf Coast Market 2385 Hwy 87 409-684-2400

Luz Gray, Broker Associate 2290 Hwy 87 409-457-6820

BOATING/RV Bolivar RV Resort 731 Hwy 87 409-974-0064


Gated beachfront community Steve’s Landing Restaurant 1290 Bay Vue Rd. 409-684-1999

Harold’s Tackle Shop 1755 Hwy 87 409-684-1755 Texas Marine, Beaumont 1140 IH-10 N 888-620-8097 Texas Marine, Conroe 1107 I-45 S 888-486-7840 Texas Marine, Seabrook 2700 NASA Rd. 1 888-524-2859 INSURANCE Dan Priest Insurance 347 S Main St. Ste. 100 409-755-7600 Gabourel Insurance 6454 Concord Rd. 409-898-2693 Landry Insurance 1717 Magnolia Ave. 409-724-2454 SERVICES 3rd Coast Internet 4298 Hwy 87 409-684-7021 Frontier Pest Control PO Box 277, Midway 866-400-7378


BANKING Neches FCU, Port Neches 2239 Nall 409-727-1639 Neches FCU, Port Neches 776 Magnolia Ave. 409-722-1174 Neches FCU, Nederland 2623 Nederland Ave. 409-729-2831 Neches FCU, Beaumont 1955 Dowlen Rd. 409-860-0800 Neches FCU, Beaumont 1254 Pearl St. 409-832-4936 Texas First Bank, Crystal Beach 2385 Hwy 87 409-684-3523 Texas First Bank, Galveston 2401 Broadway 409-762-7974 Texas First Bank, Galveston 6501 Stewart Rd. 409-744-6353

Giglio Distributing 155 S ML King Jr. Pkwy 409-838-1654

Texas First Bank, Galveston 13701 FM 3005 409-737-5400

ICM Air Conditioning 4445 Westpark Ave. 409-853-3513

Texas First Bank, Winnie 210 Hwy 124 409-296-2111


Private Road • Gated Subdivision FEMA & TWIA Insurable


Located at Boyt Road and Hwy 87 CRYSTAL BEACH, TX 77650


What will you find when you

redis c over Bolivar Peninsula

t his is b o l iva r

like you’ve ne ver s een. Those who know Bolivar know it’s no ordinary destination. Nestled just east of Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula is its own Texas treasure. A national refuge for coastal birds and fishing, the area has become a vacation destination for families and tourists across the state. With beautiful vacation homes, peaceful beaches and endless local fun—some say it’s Texas’ best kept secret.

Start exploring at

Music, Art & CRABS! MoTHeR’S DAy weekenD, MAy 11 - 13

Gregory Park, 2292 Hwy 87, Crystal Beach, Tx

2018 Music Entertainment

Jack Ingram | Shooter Jennings Bag of Donuts | Scott McGill Jason Allen | David Joel Mayeux & Broussard | The Cadillacs Sandy G y Los Gavilanes Haley Comeaux | Bris Crider Bolivar’s Got Talent Show

Area Information Live Webcams Local Events Business Directory Beach Rentals Fishing Reports

With Thanks to Presenting Sponsor


Gumbo Cook Off | 5k Run | Carnival | RV & Boat Show

Take your brand beyond.





817.505.8208 THE LOCAL | 53

LOCAL sea & be seen

Sunrise Landscape by Paul Noland

Sea Fog Sunset by Dannialle Clayton


Dragonfly Fishing by Scott Mistrot

Working the Birds by Cody Martin


LOCAL sea & be seen

The Gathering by David Lambert

Share your local scene.

Send us photos of your favorite places, people, and past times. Submit high resolution images (300 dpi minimum) to Don’t forget to include your name and picture title.

Low Tide Swirls by Dannialle Clayton


Stingaree Sunset by Barbara Nelson

Who says you can’t feel

W O R L D S A W AY when you’re this



Experience Runs Deep


Call 409.684.3790 to discover the COBB difference.

The Local Spring 2018  
The Local Spring 2018