By CRAIG ALANIZ
The City of South Padre Island celebrated its 40th anniversary of becoming a municipality on Thursday.
Entertainment was provided by Leslie Blasing and guests were provided with birthday cake.
From the late 19th century into the 1950s, the only way to reach the area was by ferry.
The Island had become a resort during the mid-19th century but was not developed until the 1950s after the completion of the Queen Isabella Causeway. A $2.2 million swing bridge connecting Port Isabel to South Padre Island was completed in February 1954.
In 1978, South Padre Island had a population estimated at 314. Ten years later it had an estimated 1,012 residents and 111 businesses. In 1990 South Padre Island had a population of 1,677 and 109 businesses. The population was 2,422 with 243 businesses in 2000.
Local businesses will also be reveling in the milestone. PadreRita Grill will have guest speaker Steve Hathcock giving a history of the Island at 3 p.m. and The Coral Reef will have unofficial celebrations beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday.