Orange sets another Bassmaster Elite attendance record
Published 12:49 pm Friday, June 9, 2023
The 2023 Folds of Honor Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River is officially an event for the record books.
Local officials announced a total of 42,448 attended events throughout the week, which included not only takeoffs and weigh-in festivities, but an outdoors expo, the Orange County River Festival and nightly concerts featuring Casey Chesnutt, The Molly Ringwalds, Cole Whittlesey and legendary Texas act the Randy Rogers Band.
“We are very proud that we set a record once again in attendance for the Bassmaster Elite Series on the Sabine,” said Ida Schossow, president of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event.
“This community never ceases to amaze me! They love the event, and they continue to show up to support B.A.S.S. and the anglers. Our relationship over the past 10 years with B.A.S.S has been fantastic, and we are looking forward to bringing future events to Orange County.”
Event co-chair David Jones echoed the excitement and thanked the many volunteers from across the region who helped to carry out the long-term vision of success that began 10 years ago.
“I’m ecstatic to hear we beat our record once again,” said Jones. “The spirit of the southeast Texas community never ceases to amaze me. They are tough, resilient and always deliver. They have overcome so much over the years from recessions, several hurricanes, floods and even a pandemic. They always unite and come out on top.
“When you bring a great organization like Bassmaster to town — along with professional anglers, entertainment, food and fun — then pour some of that southeast Texas, Orange County love on, it becomes a catalyst for success. Some call it magic, I call it the ‘Bassmaster Fever!’ We did it again! I am beyond proud of our community and incredibly thankful to our committee, sponsors and all our volunteers that truly made this event incredibly successful. Thank you Orange County! Let’s continue to grow.”
Previous Elite events in Orange have also drawn record-breaking crowds — in four previous visits, the crowds totaled more than 136,000.
In fact, Orange holds five of the Top 10 highest-attended Elite Series events of all time.
“Our partnership with Bassmaster and Folds of Honor has once again set the record for attendance at an Elite Series tournament, which continues to show our citizens’ commitment and support of the great sport of professional bass fishing,” said Orange County Judge John Gothia.
“The hard work of our committee and volunteers insured another family fun experience which continues to grow this fantastic sport. We look forward to hosting another event in the future.”
Over the past decade, Orange has hosted six major B.A.S.S. events — five Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments and a St. Croix Bassmaster Opens Series derby.
“The event marked the 10th anniversary of our great relationship with Orange,” said Eric Lopez, director of operations for B.A.S.S. “It’s amazing to see how the entire town and communities across southeast Texas come together to put on a huge party welcoming B.A.S.S. and our anglers. We are extremely grateful to everyone involved in making this our biggest event ever.”