17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre Wrap Up
PadreRita Grill’s Karen Hagerty prepares a Paella at the 17th Taste of the Laguna Madre Museum Fundraiser!
On Friday, February 7, the Museums of Port Isabel hosted their 17th Annual Taste of the Laguna Madre. Oh, the weather outside was frightful, but more than a half an hour before the doors opened at the Plains Capital Bank, attendees were already streaming in.
This year, the Museums partnered with Plains Capital Bank, Assistant Vice-President Banking Branch Manager Norma Mendoza, for a location. The bank’s facility offered flexibility, ample room and convenient parking. Mendoza and her staff were very helpful and accommodating and plans to utilize the space fell into place.
The Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade featured material announcing the Plains Capital Bank and Museums of Port Isabel partnership arrangement. Hundreds of emails were sent, advertisements placed, social media plied and invitations mailed.
Local musical legend Leslie Blasing joined the partnership with the offer to perform for the event and the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade printed the story.
The approach to this year’s event was meant to feature the Taste of the Laguna Madre through the fishing and shrimping history of our area and the fact that this event has always been an all you can eat affair. The Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade spread the word.
Plains Capital Bank, Leslie Blasing and the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade were just the beginning of the partnerships. Local restaurants led by PadreRita Grill on South Padre Island, pledged to donate seafood and sides to the Taste of the Laguna Madre. Other participating restaurants included: El Papa’s Restaurant, Pirate’s Landing Restaurant, Los Tortugo’s Seafood Market, Rincon Veracruzano, Feldman’s Liquor Store Marcello’s Restaurant, Pelican Station @ Dirty Al’s, Kiki’s Restaurant El Original, Joe’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant, Manuel’s Restaurant and Reyes Seafood.
The Taste of the Laguna Madre traditionally offers a silent auction and this year was no exception, the amount of silent auction items offered by the local business community was, however, exceptional. For three weeks leading up to the event, the Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade ran stories on the event spurring business community participation. Dozens answered the invitation and donations poured in.
On the evening of the Taste of the Laguna Madre, crowds showed up in record numbers. A combination of access to the information, the cover of the Port Isabel South Padre Parade, a ticket price of $25 which was half the usual amount, the lure of freshly prepared seafood and all you can eat and drink and the foundation laid by the partnership between the Museums of Port Isabel, City of Port Isabel, Plains Capital Bank, Leslie Blasing, Port Isabel South Padre Press and Parade and the business and restaurant community made this Taste of the Laguna Madre one of the most successful.
Funds raised through this event will go to make improvements to the historical Champion building. With the completion of the construction of the Port Isabel Event and CulturalCenter, efforts are underway to ensure that the façade of the Champion building will enhance the aesthetics of the area. Additionally, exhibits will be maintained and updated so that visitors can enjoy the full experience of the colorful and rich history of the Laguna Madre area. All thanks to the partnerships built for the Taste of the Laguna Madre. Plans are already underway to make 18th annual even bigger and better.