By Gaige Davila
While South Padre Island’s beaches and entertainment have fully opened to the public, quintessential Port Isabel events and facilities were slow to return, until now.
Port Isabel’s Historical Museum, housed in the former Champion Building on 317 E. Railroad Ave., reopened on June 9, after being closed for more than a year. The Port Isabel Lighthouse, which reopened fully this past month, is open later into the evening and on Sundays now, allowing visitors to ascend to the Lighthouse’s gallery for morning, afternoon and night views of the Laguna Madre area. The Treasures of the Gulf museum, which faces Highway 100, is still closed.
The City of Port Isabel had been planning since last fall to reopen the museum and lighthouse by the beginning of summer, City Manager Jared Hockema told the PRESS. The Treasures of the Gulf museum remains closed for repairs and updates, Hockema said.
“We’re really glad to see the reopening,” Hockema said. “Frankly, the visitors have been there for a while, we’ve been busy since last May. But of course with the situation with the (COVID-19) virus we couldn’t have people in indoor facilities. Now that concern has abated somewhat, we’ve been able to reopen.”
Movies on the Lighthouse has returned, too, a summer staple in Port Isabel that was cancelled last year because of COVID-19 concerns. July has a full marquis of features, with a film showing every Thursday at 9:30 p.m. Admission is free, and pets are allowed. For a schedule of films, call (956) 943-7601.
Finally, the summer Causeway Run & Fitness Walk has returned this year, too, after being cancelled last year because of COVID-19 transmission concerns. The 10K run will be held on September 18, starting from the Port Isabel side of the Queen Isabella Memorial Causeway to Louie’s Backyard. The 5k walk will end at the South Padre Island welcome sign.
Hockema said the city is still encouraging people to use face masks when around others, practice social distancing and wash their hands frequently, since they can no longer legally enforce COVID guidelines after an executive order by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
“We obviously don’t want the situation to deteriorate again, but we’re happy to return to some form of normality.”
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