“This is Bridge City!” exclaimed U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady to residents of the Hurricane Ike stricken community of Bridge City in a celebration marking the anniversary of the storm. 

The City of Bridge City hosted “We Remember’ an area-wide event commemorating the one year anniversary of Hurricane Ike on Sept. 13, 2008. The gathering was held in the newly remodeled Community Center ‘now open’ since being flooded by the storm.

To ring in more good news Bridge City ISD Superintendent Dr. Jamey Harrison announced that the over $9 million necessary to proceed with plans to build a new elementary school has been funded by the state.

The school district will move ahead with the demolition of Sims Elementary and Hatton Elementary. The new school will be located on West Roundbunch where Hatton Elementary now stands.

Harrison also said that BCISD enrollment is back at around 92 percent since Hurricane Ike an idicator of the health of the recovering community.

Gary Stelly served as Master of Ceremonies for the event and Reverend Bobby Hoffpauir gave the invocation. Speakers also included State Rep. Mike Hamilton, Bridge City Mayor Kirk Roccaforte and Orange County Judge Carl Thibodeaux.

“We really owe the credit to our citizens,” Roccaforte said, “They are the ones that held everything together and put back the pieces after the storm.”

Bridge City City Manager Jerry Jones and the City Council visited with guests and helped as volunteers during the festival.

Also in attendance were Orange County Commissioner John Dubose, Bobby Fillyyaw with the Orange County EDC and Bridge City Chamber of Commerce president Mark Dunn.

The ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ was led by Boy Scout Troop No. 125 of Orangefield. The Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross, The Bridge City Fire and Rescue Ladies Auxillary and Bridge City Project Graduation were among the vendors. The Bridge City Lions Club had a moonwalk for the kids.

The state champion Bridge City Little League All-Star 12-year old boys baseball team were each introduced by team manager Ronnie Shuggart.

Entertainment was provided by the White Horse band and Milestone led by Tracy Addison. The Bridge City High School Band and the Strutters drill team performed as well.