Fun on the water

Fun on the water

Hosted by the Orange Chamber of Commerce, the massive weekend coming up full of fishing, fun and live music during the Orange County River Festival will feature the two-day Bassmaster Central Open Tournament as well two days of live music, food vendors, and plenty of activities for children beginning Thursday, June 15, and running through Saturday, June 17, at the City of Orange Boat Ramp (1000 Simmons Drive). The big event is free to attend.

The Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Opens is a series of tournaments that tier up to the Bassmaster Classic and the Bassmaster Elite Series. A total of 200 pro anglers as well as 200 co-anglers will fish tournament waters at the Sabine River in Orange, Newton, Jefferson, Chambers, Galveston counties in Texas and Louisiana rivers, creeks and canals connected to the Sabine River.

Fishermen will launch June 16 and 17 at 6 a.m. from the City of Orange Boat Ramp and return for weigh-ins at 3 p.m. Fans are encouraged to watch the weigh-ins as the anglers show off their impressive catches of the day. The field is cut to the Top 12 in each division for the final day, with weigh-ins.

They will compete for more than $250,000 in cash and prizes as well as a boat and motor package in each division. The winning pro angler will receive more than $50,000 in cash and prizes and a spot in the coveted 2018 GEICO Bassmaster Classic.

“Many of the most competitive Elite Series pros fishing today qualified through the Bassmaster Opens,” said Chris Bowes, Opens tournament director. “There’s not a better way to prove you’re ready to fish on the national stage.”

The Orange County River Festival will also host plenty of other events throughout the weekend including a great lineup of live music.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 16, local act Curse & The Cure featuring the acoustic sounds of duo Norma Hinojosa and Jason Touchette will perform, followed by another local group — LN & The Crush — with Ellen Bradford on vocals backed up by a three-piece band.

Headlining Friday’s musical portion will be Americana rock act The Ruxpins at 9 p.m.

Music on Saturday, June 17, consists of local country music act BB & Company at 6 p.m., then headliner and national record artist Colt Ford will take the stage at 7:30 p.m.

Once a professional golfer, Ford, from Athens, Georgia, has released six studio albums, including his latest, Love Hope Faith, that features multiple artists like Brad Paisley, Lit, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and The Voice winner Javier Colon. The album peaked at No. 7 of the Billboard Country chart.

Ford released his debut album in 2008 called Ride Through the Country with the hit “Dirt Road Anthem,” which went on to sale more than 1 million copies. The following five albums all reached the Top 10.

Other popular hits of Ford are “Chicken & Biscuits,” “Country Thang,” “She Likes to Ride in Trucks,” “Back,” “Drivin’ Around Song” and “The High Life.”

Kiddos will have plenty of activities such as a Kid Fish tank, where youngsters can also have the ability to catch and release fish as well as a carnival. Gator Country will also be there. Festivalgoers will have a chance to take a photo with baby alligators.

For events schedule and locations visit or call (409) 883-3536.