Who needs an excuse to head to the Texas coast for spring - or any time of year for that matter?

What began as a small event of a few arts, crafts and live music with the smell of homemade turkey legs and hot dogs in the breeze as Pioneer Days is now a tradition of 34 years celebrating the saltwater breeze that blows onto the shores of the Texas Gulf Coast as Windfest.  This favorite among the placeSouth Texas coast is an adventurous experience for all ages with a variety of activities for a total of eleven days.

The festivities begin in 2007 with a premiere VIP Party on Thursday, March 22 to show appreciation to the sponsors and Windfest planning committee with a night of food, live music and new this year- an art poster competition unveiling.  The Rockport Center for the Arts and the Portland Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to call all artists in the state of Texas to enter their artwork in the first ever competition.  The winner will be announced at the VIP Party and VIP guests will have a chance at owning the original masterpiece with a live auction.

Next on the agenda for Windtastic fun is the Windfest Rotary Golf Tournament at Northshore Country Club Saturday, March 24.  Golfers will try their skills to a literally windy day at a golf course that offers a spectacular 18 hole, 176 acre course. Players will leave the course in awe about four stunning holes set against the backdrop of Corpus Christi downtown skyline and bay.

The same afternoon children ages 3 to 18 test their poise, personality and skills in seven age categories to compete for the reign as Windfest royalty at the annual Windfest Pageant.  Miss. Windfest will receive an academic scholarship and represent Portland, throughout the coming year.

As a growing phenomenon on Portland's shores, a newly found sport- kite surfing can be seen at a distance as contestants test their abilities to go with the wind by kite surfing the Corpus Christi Bay at Violet Andrews Park at speed of over 40 mph.  These contestants from around the nation are full of thrills and exciting tricks on the water and compete for the best wipe-out, coolest trick and fastest run until sundown on Sunday, March 25.  Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket and a picnic to sit back and enjoy the scenery with an afternoon full of adventure.

And what would a celebration of wind be without a kite contest?  All ages will gather at Bayside Park to fly a kite on Wednesday, March 28 in honor of Portland Kite Month and compete in several categories, but the catch is the kites have to be homemade.  The creativity is endless and the prizes are definitely encouraging for the winners.  This family fun activity is free and priceless to the families that spend time together creating their homemade kite.

Thursday, March 29 the Windfest festival grounds will open for the 34th year in Portland.  As a tradition, Thursday night is known as `Carnival Night' and admission is free all night from 6 until 10. Friday the celebration begins at 6 p.m. and the smell of delicious food greets all guests at the entrances.  Live music in the entertainment pavilion and the new artist show inside the Portland Community Center will be just a few things to enjoy.  Saturday morning the annual Windfest Parade will fill the streets and travel through the heart of Portland with jugglers, floats, marching bands, dancers and much more.  The festival grounds will immediately open after the parade at 10:30am with a fourteen hour day full of activities for all ages.  Live music will fill the festival grounds all day long at the entertainment pavilion.  Arts and Craft vendors, food and over 40 artists from around the state will showcase their pieces for sale at the artist show.  Clown shows, Wild West shoot out performances and magic shows will entertain the children throughout the day.  Swing by the annual Windfest cook-off to taste the mouth-watering chili, ribs and beans to predict the winner.  Windfest guests can also try their skills with a Texas pastime and tradition at the horseshoe and washer tournament in the afternoon.  The children will truly enjoy the kid fair all day with special appearances by their favorite cartoon characters and a variety of hands-on activities.  A petting zoo, face painting and a carnival full of adventure will also provide entertainment for all ages throughout the weekend.

Sunday, April 1, festivities will begin at 12 noon and Dachshund owners will gather from around the region to register their pet in the annual Windfest Dachshund Dash for cash and prizes galore.  Families will seek excitement by watching the United Style Stunt Group perform throughout the evening with their bikes as they thrill the crowd with jumps, loops and high-ramp tricks.  
For more event information on Windfest 2007 visit www.windfest.org or call 877-643-2475