By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
The first week of August is always a busy one in the Laguna Madre. There’s TIFT and LKT, throngs of day trippers and tourists flocking to the beach for one last hurrah before Labor Day, and the shrill sound of whistles piercing the air as the first football and volleyball practices of the season kick off in the morning haze.
On the one hand, you have events that celebrate summer: carefree days spent fishing and having fun on the Island. On the other, you have events that signal its close, foreshadowing cool autumn evenings spent cheering from stadium bleachers.
Like the song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds says, to everything there is a season. That always seems especially true during the first week or two of August. One season winds down just as another ramps up.
The approach of autumn also means parents and educators alike will be preparing for the upcoming school year. Folks will need to stock up on school supplies. Kids, who grow faster than the green grass we’ve had after this spring’s plentiful rains, will need new clothes to replace what they’ve outgrown. It’s a mad dash to get ready.
The State of Texas has tried to help lessen the financial burden of preparing for the upcoming school year by hosting tax-free weekends each August. This year is no different. The state Sales Tax Holiday will occur this weekend, from Aug. 7 – 9. Clothes, shoes, school supplies and backpacks priced under $100 will be exempt from the normal 8.25 percent sales tax. Many stores often offer additional discounts to help lure in savvy customers.
Though I wasn’t in school anymore when the state first started offering the yearly tax holidays, I can remember the special “back-to-school” shopping trips my own mom made when I was a child. Even without a tax break, there were still usually lots of good deals to be had, and the crush of the crowd could be overwhelming.
With the weekend expected to be a busy one, stores throughout the area will doubtless be packed with shoppers. Sometimes it can be hard to remember that bigger crowds also mean bigger tests of patience. So, while you’re out shopping — saying goodbye to one season and hello to another — remember to be courteous to your fellow shoppers. A kind word spoken to retailers and shop workers can go a long way, too.
So, stock up, save money and good luck this school year! And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com.
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