TEXAS CITY Usually this time of year, Jimmy Hayley s biggest worry is how to fit thousands of people into the Nessler Center s Wings of Heritage room for the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce s annual shrimp boil and dance.

This year, the chamber president is fretting because ticket sales are lagging.

Hayley said he wasn t sure whether the economy or other circumstances were keeping ticket buyers at bay.

But he was hopeful once the doors open Saturday the crowds will be there.

One concern might be people are worried about the state of seafood after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Hayley was well ahead on that one. Working with Boyd s One Stop, the chamber bought shrimp early and harvested from waters well away from the spill.

Even the lawyers who have booked the Nessler Center for the last couple of weeks to sign up clients for an emissions lawsuit against BP will clear out this weekend.

The shrimp boil will include the usual activities, plenty of shrimp to eat, live music from the Pee Wee Bowen Band and a shrimp-eating contest that is usually a pretty good draw.

As of Tuesday, however, only five people had registered to compete in the contest that because of its popularity in year s past has a limit of 15 contestants.

The winner of the contest gets a trophy and $100 for eating the most shrimp in 10 minutes.

Hayley said even those who might not be fan of shrimp can grab a hotdog and chips and still enjoy the crowds and live music.


At A Glance

WHAT: Texas City-La Marque Chamber Shrimp Boil and Dance

WHEN: 6 p.m. Saturday

WHERE: Nessler Center, 2010 Fifth Ave. N. in Texas City

TICKETS: $20 in advance; $25 at door


CALL: 409-935-1408

This story was brought to you thanks to s partnership with The Galveston County Daily News.

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