Dr. Chris Penning and family of Bridge City were the grand prize winners in the Cow Bayou Cattle Drive held on Saturday, Sept. 17. Similar to a “ducky derby,” 500 floating toy cows were herded by boat down the bayou to Cow Bayou Marina where a gathering of onlookers waited at the finish line.

Port of Orange board member, Barbara Winfree, wife of the late Lester “Buckshot” Winfree, plucked the winning cow from the bayou.

Penning will receive a 40-inch television donated by the Sears Hometown Store in Orange. Prizes will be awarded for the first five places during the Bridge City Heritage Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The heritage festival will feature carnival rides, entertainment headlined by Britt Godwin, arts and crafts, food and an arcade of games and contests. A children’s area will include games, a coin toss, duck pond, ring toss, milk bottle baseball throw, Plinko and a cow patty throw. On the Community Center grounds a beer garden will be sectioned off with dancing under the pavilion. The festival will spill over to the Knights of Columbus Hall where there will be an antique and classic car show and judging.

The Bridge City Heritage Festival is being hosted by the Historical Museum of Bridge City, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization formed in 2009 to preserve local history and enhance tourism. Proceeds from the festival will go toward the future waterfront park adjoining the Cow Bayou Swing Bridge on the bayou.

The waterfront park on Cow Bayou will become used for numerous recreational and educational activities. It would include a large gazebo, playgrounds, a broad boardwalk along the bulkhead, period style lighting throughout the park and along the bayou, covered picnic tables, walking trails, floral gardens and concessions. Boat docks and access to the park from the water is also included.

The park will become the home of the new Gisela and Tony Houseman Nature and Heritage Center. The over 4,000 square foot facility will house the vast Tony and Gisela Houseman collection of art, photography, artifacts and wildlife trophies from around the world. The facility is intended to provide the children of Southeast Texas an opportunity to learn about conservation, wildlife and it’s natural habitat. An area of the new visitor’s center will be a museum for Bridge City history.

For more information about the Bridge City Heritage Festival contact Paige Williams at 409-670-3192 or e-mail at info@bridgecityhistory.com. The Bridge City Heritage Festival and the Historical Museum of Bridge City can both be found on Facebook.