Officials got an early glimpse of a citywide celebration tentatively titled “We Remember,” to mark the one-year anniversary of the day Hurricane Ike hit.

The event is planned for Sept. 13 at Bridge City Park, near the Community Center, where residents met with city and school officials in a makeshift town hall meeting in late September, 2008. Soft drinks and bottled water was provided in iced coolers, but it went fast. Many residents didn’t realize there had even been any.

Speaking before Bridge City City Council Tuesday was committee chairman Richard Solomon, who said the Bridge City High School Band would perform, and the fire department and its ladies auxiliary would likely be involved. Zumo Links has agreed to provide some of the food. The Rev. Bobby Hoffpauir is set to give the invocation, Solomon said; and Janelle Sehon with the Bridge City Chamber will invite other area pastors. 

“Things are moving along, and we have a month to work with,” Solomon said. “We still have a few bugs to work out.”

It was noted that the organizers and volunteers of “Mid County Kindness,” which provided help to residents after the storm, would be invited; and that perhaps FEMA officials would like to speak.

“I’m not sure they’d actually want to speak very much,” said Mayor Kirk Roccaforte. “But we definitely want to invite them.” Solomon said state Rep. Mike Hamilton and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady have committed to the event. 

Suggested speakers included Bridge City schools Superintendent Jamey Harrison. Councilman David Rutledge asked organizers to invite state Rep. Joe Deshotel and state Sen. Tommy Williams.

Wayside Florist will provide the flowers, Solomon said. “[They’re] going to decorate the whole place,” he said. “There are so many people that want to help … some who aren’t even in the city.”

Also Tuesday, Winn LeLeux with the Bridge City Lions told council the club wants to host Jackie Callier and His Cajun Cousins, and Chris Ardoin and his band (NuStep) in a free concert – date to be decided probably at city park. 

“It would have to be on a Friday because they’re usually booked up on Saturdays,” he said. Speaking metaphorically, he added, “They told us that if any money is exchanged, even a penny, they’ll walk off.”

The event will likely take place outside and will be “BYOB,” LeLeux said, and area meteorologist Dana Melancon has agreed to be master of ceremonies. Police officers would likely provide security, City Manager Jerry Jones said.

Suggested times would be 7-11 p.m. or 8 p.m.-midnight. “What about the neighbors in the area?” asked Councilman Louis Davis. “They might not take kindly to the noise at midnight out there.”
“They can come for free,” Roccaforte joked.

“Well if you want it 7 to 11 that’s fine too,” LeLeux said. “And the Lions will do all the clean-up.”

Jones added after the meeting, “We appreciate their doing it for the city.”

In other business:

• Council heard a first reading to install an identity theft protection program newly-required by the Federal Trade Commission. The program would be used on utility billing, is confidential and sends up “red flags” when something seems abnormal, City Attorney Paul Fukuda said. The Texas Municipal League suggested the model to be used, Jones said. After a second reading at the next council meeting, the proposal will become an ordinance.

• Council approved to allow “Outstanding Maps” to produce maps of the city and get local businesses to buy ads in them. The company can make the maps anyway without city approval, Jones said. The maps will include information about city hall, the fire department and other services.