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Portion of 2023 Port Neches RiverFest sales will raise money for churches, revitalization of Tugboat Island

Aside from funds helping around 20 different churches, sales will also help fund the rebuilding of Tugboat Island, which was demolished in 2020.

PORT NECHES, Texas — The Port Neches RiverFest kicked off Wednesday welcoming hundreds of families.

This year, a portion of ticket sales will go towards revitalizing Tugboat Island, which was demolished in 2020.

Funds from sales will also help around 20 churches send their youth to summer camps. 

On Wednesday, families gathered on the lawn of Riverfront Park in Port Neches with their blankets, ready to listen to live music.

Others were buying food from vendors, all to support the good causes their money will help fund. 

"I mean who doesn't want something as amazing and contagious as this in the middle of their week so i'm super excited," said attendee Michelle Faul. 

RiverFest Committee Member Shana Burt says this event is a gift to the community. 

"It's something something where people can come together. It's a family event," Burt said. 

RiverFest is a five-day event jam-packed with boat races, concerts and food. 

Wednesday's theme was "Faith and Family". 

Youth pastor at Life Youth Church Enrique Carmona is helping sell Mexican street corn to help send teens to summer camp, who otherwise couldn't afford to go.

"What they do here at RiverFest is really amazing one night very specialized for the local churches to come out and add on to the vendors that are already here," Carmona said. 

Aside from funds helping 20 churches, ticket sales will help fund the rebuilding of Tugboat Island.

"I grew up always going to that park so it's kinda sad when they tore it down so for them to be able to rebuild it I think it's a great idea," Faul said. 

Burt says a committee is working hard to raise money to rebuild the park.

"People come from all over  the area to let their kids play on TugBoat island and we had to tear it down in the last couple of years because it got old," Burt said. "So, there's a committee that has been working on raising money to rebuild TugBoat Island " 

Burt says the new park could cost $1 million, but community members like Faul say a $10 festival ticket is worth it.

"Those are all good things you want to see our young generation being sowed into good things so if I can help sow I absolutely want to do that for sure," Faul said.

On Thursday May 4, 2023 and Sunday, May 7, 2023, admission into the festival will be free.

On Friday, May 5, 2023 and Saturday, May 6, 2023, attendees can expect to pay $10. 

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