Spring Break 2012 is almost here and kids on vacation from school will be flocking to warm-weather beaches.
The weeklong rite began somewhere around the end of World War II. For many years beginning about 1935, Fort Lauderdale, Florida was the destination. Spring Break caused so much havoc that in 1985, city government there passed laws restricting parties. In addition, federal laws meant that Florida had to raise its minimum drinking age to 21. Many under-aged partygoers went out of the country for Spring Break, while others took their party to the more permissive Daytona Beach. Not long after, Daytona Beach also legislated party restrictions.
The annual recess from local Texas colleges and schools means an influx of young people to our Port Aransas beaches and bars. Residents usually prepare for this annual onslaught by going on a pre-Break shopping trip, stocking up on a week’s worth of supplies and then hunkering down until Spring Break is over, leaving the beaches and byways to be overrun by badly sunburned youths in casual attire. Meanwhile we grumble about the traffic jams, crowded streets and shorelines and hope our visitors don’t cause too much damage to our town or themselves.
But this year may be different, thanks to the efforts of Sandria Stout and the Parrot Heads of Port Aransas. The Parrot Head Club of Port Aransas is one of 200-plus clubs in Parrot Heads In Paradise, Inc. “Parrot Heads” are fans of the singer/songwriter/author Jimmy Buffett The club is sponsoring “Spring Phling” on Saturday, March 10.
Sandria, who is the club’s treasurer, floated the idea during the winter of 2010, when sunny warm spring days were just wishful thinking. “Spring Break is fine for college kids and high school students,” she said, “but there ought to be a Spring Break for the rest of us.”
Other club members agreed and the planning began in earnest. Members began recalling scenes from the iconic Spring Break movie, the 1960 Where the Boys Are, and firing off the titles of tunes that harkened back great Spring Breaks from their past.
As is always the case with the Parrot Head club, the party has a serious side. The Parrot Head club’s motto is “party with a purpose.” Spring Phling will be a fundraiser for the Helping Hands Food Pantry.
To help partygoers keep up their strength, the club will be offering plenty of food: Frito pies, barbeque, chicken wings, sausage wraps and sandwiches are on the menu. To wash that down, there will be soda for sale and alcoholic beverages will be available for a donation. Phlingers will receive a Spring Phling 2012 keepsake. There will be games, a raffle/auction and plenty of music, including The Port A Rockers who will play from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The day long party will start at 2 p.m. and end at 9 p.m. The location is the cul de sac at the end of East Oaks Avenue in Old Town Port A. Tickets are $10 per person in advance and $15 at the gate. No outside coolers will be permitted, but guests are welcome to bring beach chairs. Carpooling is encouraged.
For more information, contact the club president, Luann Ferguson, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a phone message at (361)-749-7552. Or, just show up at the Spring Phling. I’ll see you there.