Weekend of May 4 packs punch for Orange. Plenty of community events planned.

Published 12:14 am Wednesday, April 24, 2024

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The hard work is near complete. The only thing left is the fun.

The weekend of May 4 promises to be a special one in the City of Orange as it promises three days of festival music, street dances, competitive boat racing and a special tribute to a local landmark.

“On the heels of a very successful Art in the Park and Classic Car Show, we’re moving forward with the DSRA Drag Boat Races out at the Sabine River,” Economic Development Director Jay Trahan told Orange City Council members Tuesday evening. “In conjunction with that, we’ll have Rock the River, which is entertainment driven with food vendors.”

Later, Trahan said in the spirit of synergy, Depot Day is scheduled for May 4 at Orange Train Depot Museum with plenty of live entertainment and family fun.

“(The organizers) have spent months planning with a lot of moving parts, a lot of logistical planning to make this a very family oriented successful event,” Trahan said.

“We love trying new things, being creative and bringing new opportunities, because the hotel occupancy tax funds (our promotion efforts).”

Seen performing at a previous Depot Day, Orange Community Players performers are again taking the stage to raise money for an ongoing renovation effort. (Courtesy photo)

Depot Day

The Friends of the Orange Depot was founded in 2014 with plans to renovate the Southern Pacific Depot for the community. All that has been accomplished in the last ten years is being celebrated from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 4, and everyone is invited to the Orange Train Depot Museum, 1210 Green Avenue, for the annual fundraiser.

Rides and children’s activities are featured, as well as entertainment from the Orange Community Players and Orange Blossom Dancers.

Model trains will be displayed inside, and a special memory game sponsored by the Stark Museum of Art will be held outside under the main tent.

Children can enjoy the trackless train, the pony rides, the bronco ride and more.

Depot day is free to all, with a small fee for the activities ($1 or 6 for $5).

A large raffle with lots of prizes is planned.

Food vendors are going to be on the grounds and additional vendors inside the depot.

To further celebrate the anniversary, all are invited to the Depot Street Dance from 6 to 8 p.m., with music by DJ Chas White with Real Stage playing a wide variety of tunes, from rock to zydeco.

Free State Cellars Winery will be on site, as well as food vendors.

Dance entry is a $5 donation per couple. Everyone is encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

For more information, call 409-330-1576 or visit orangetxdepot.org.

Rock the River fun in 2023. (Randy Strong/Orange Leader)

Rock and Racing

Attendees can rev their engines May 3 – 5, when Explore Orange and Deep South host Rock the River and DSRA Boat Races at the Riverside Pavilion and City of Orange Boat Ramp on the Sabine River.

Trahan said the Friday night (May 3) fun kicks off with a Zydeco concert at Riverside Pavilion with Keith Frank and the Zydeco Band, which is a free admission concert from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Gates open at 5 p.m. with food vendors and plenty of other family attractions.

The Saturday/May 4 lineup includes all day racing, as well as a live music lineup.

  • 1 to 2 p.m. – The Flip Flop Man
  • 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – The Pegwinders
  • 5 to 6 p.m. – Jamie Talbert
  • 6:30 to 8 p.m. – The Velcro Pygmies

Trahan described the headliner Pygmies as an 80s cover band performing in Orange for the first time.

The Sunday/May 5 lineup includes all day racing, food vendors and a kid zone.

“Rock the River and DSRA Boat Races have something for everyone, with a summer concert, drag boat races, tasty food and family-friendly activities, making for a perfect weekend by the water,” a City of Orange release stated.

“Please note, no dogs or pets will be allowed at the Riverside Pavilion. For more information, please call the Explore Orange Convention and Visitors Bureau at 409-883-1011.”