CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The City of Portland is celebrating St. Patrick's Day in a new way this year.
It's hosting a concert event in a new 17,000 square foot event center in Portland's new Leisure and Entertainment District, or LED. It's the first event in the LED, which voters approved last May.
The concert is the first event in the LED that allows events and businesses in the district to sell alcohol -- as long as that's not the primary purpose.
Cass Real Estate broker Shawn Cass said that the concert event is just the beginning.
"We're so happy this year to take it from our humble beginning, you know, from a parking lot over here to this great event center," he said.
Portland recently purchased a city block near Houston and 5th streets to build the event center. It then partnered with Cass Real Estate to host Families on 5th, an expanded version of the annual St. Patrick's Day mixer.
"This is just the city’s investment right here in this, but really private enterprise is going to drive the, drive the next evolution of this area," he said.
The event could triple in size to more than 1,000 people in the event center in Old Town. It will start with the mixer and end with music -- a Roger Creager concert. Alcohol will be available under a new Texas law.
“It is something that we anticipate really driving activity, driving business to the area," said Kathleen Weisenberger, City of Portland assistant city manager. "And really helping spur growth in this area that previously was somewhat economically depressed.”
“This gives an opportunity to allow some alcohol but also to still keep things family friendly, you know," said Kristin Connor, City of Portland Parks and Recreation director. "It’s not a bar, it’s a family event.”
Named after St. Patrick, Cass said San Patricio County is the perfect place to celebrate the holiday.
“Come celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in the only Texas county with the same name," Cass said. "Why would you do it anywhere else?”
The mixer will be from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. and the concert will start at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and paid parking will be available.
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