A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 18, 2008
Shrimp Capital of Texas (Aransas Pass nickname)

Aransas Pass has held an annual “Shrimporee” since 1948 and has called itself the “Shrimp Capital of Texas” (or “Shrimping Capital of Texas") since at least 1961. In recent years, however, the shrimp industry has diminished.

“Shrimp Capital of Texas” is not an Official Capital Designation as authorized by the Texas legislature and the slogan has been replaced with “Saltwater Heaven.”


Wikipedia: Aransas Pass, Texas
Aransas Pass is a city in Aransas, Nueces, and San Patricio Counties in the U.S. state of Texas. This city is located across the intersection of three counties. The population was 8,138 at the 2000 census. The city is named for the nearby Aransas Pass.

Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce
The Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce was chartered in 1937. Mr. Carl Houghton served as the first President and Mr. Hugh Lee as Vice President of the new Chamber. Aransas Pass was known as the “Shrimp Capital of Texas” and Conn Brown Harbor was filled with more than 300 shrimp boats.

Businesses in Aransas Pass joined the organization to promote the town and bring in businesses that would benefit from being a part of the shrimping industry. Tourism has always been an integral part of life on the Texas coast and Aransas Pass is no exception. Starting in 1948, Aransas Pass held an “Annual Shrimporee” festival to celebrate the shrimp industry and its’ impact on the community. Parades, beauty contest (yes...to be named Miss Shrimporee was truly an honor) and lots of food - especially shrimp cooked everyway imaginable!

4 May 1952, Valley Morning Star (Harlingen, TX), pg. 3A, col. 2:
Not once did we hear the tune “The Shrimp Boats are Coming” while in the shrimp capital of Texas.
(Port Isabel—ed.)

27 August 1961, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Aransas Pass Dates Annual Shrimporee,” section 5, pg. 10:
ARANSAS PASS, Texas—The shrimp will be boiled, but the crabs will run when this city on the Texas Tropical Coast presents its 13th annual Shrimporee next Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Each year, in September, thousands of vacationers pour into the shrimp capital of Texas to join in the celebration that includes among its standard attractions, a carnival, parades, coronations, beauty contests and dances.
(...)
Two hours after the shrimp boil the crab races are held on the water front.

19 May 1963, Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times, pg. 103(?) ad:
Two Growing Cities
ARANSAS PASS AND PORT ARANSAS
(...)
Aransas Pass is known as the Shrimp Capital of Texas and the Conn Brown Harbor is the home port of hundreds of fishing boats.

24 May 1964, Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times, magazine section, pg. ?:
Aransas Pass, shrimping capital of the Texas coast, and Port Aransas, the Fun Coast’s unique island city, lie at opposite ends of a seven-mile-long causeway about a 30-minute driver from Corpus Christi.

14 September 1969, Corpus Christi (TX) Caller-Times, pg. 23H:
Aransas Pass, situated less than 10 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, lies right in the middle of an excellent bay fishing area and is the home of hundreds of species of land and water fowl. It’s worth a visit to the “Shrimping Capital of Texas’ just to see shrimp boats anchor in Conn Brown Harbor.

9 May 1976, New York (NY) Times Travel section, pg. 51:
With fresh shrimps from the Gulf of Mexico currently selling at more than $4 a pound, Aransas pass, the self-styled “shrimp capital of Texas,” has decided to delete the free shrimp boil from its 28th annual Shrimporee Festival on May 14-16.

28 April 1991, San Antonio (TX) Express-News, pg. 1L: 
Aransas Pass is the “Shrimp Capital of Texas.” And Port Aransas asks visitors to “Get Hooked On Our Island” and “Warm Up To The Island.”

New York (NY) Times
Two Breeds of Survivor: Gulf Shrimp and Texas Shrimpers
By R. W. APPLE JR.
Published: May 2, 2001
FOR the better part of the last century, they billed this little port near Corpus Christi as ‘’the shrimp capital of Texas.’’ As a matter of fact, it was one of the shrimp capitals of the United States, working flat-out to help satisfy the nation’s ravenous appetite for its favorite shellfish.

But not anymore. A few shrimpers still operate out of windswept Conn Brown Harbor, but the mood along the docks is decidedly downbeat.

Imported shrimp have made up for any shortfall in the catch here and elsewhere in this country, so prices have not risen much. But fresh, never-frozen shrimp—always that little bit pinker and sweeter, always that little bit more succulent, in my obdurately old-fashioned view—are harder to find now, even in stores and on restaurant menus hard by the Gulf of Mexico.

Stop for breakfast at the Bakery Cafe, founded in 1929, for a glimpse of Aransas Pass in its glory days.

17 June 2001, Dallas (TX) Morning News, “Texas shrimpers leaving industry, citing shrinking supply, rising demands” by Scott Williams:
Mr. Kiefling remembers a time 20 or 25 years ago when boats in nearby Aransas Pass, the self-proclaimed “Shrimp Capital of Texas,” were tied up four deep ...

South Jetty (Port Aransas, TX)
January 3, 2008
Aransas Pass after slice of tourist pie
BY PHIL REYNOLDS SOUTH JETTY REPORTER
(...)
Gulf King, the massive company founded by the Herndon family, helped give Aransas Pass its nickname of “Shrimp Capital of Texas” (as recently as the 1980s, a huge statue of a shrimp dominated the intersection of Wheeler, Cleveland and Harrison streets in front of the Aransas Pass city hall). But Gulf King moved most, if not all, its 65 vessels to South America a decade ago.

The city’s new slogan is “Saltwater Heaven.”

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, March 18, 2008 • Permalink