County renews Lions Club contract for Rice Festival

With the renewal of a 10-year contract with the Bay City Lions Club, area residents will be able to enjoy the sights and sounds of the annual Rice Festival for years to come. (Tribune file photo)

Matagorda County Commissioners renewed a 10-year contract between the Bay City Lions Club and the county regarding the lease of the Matagorda County Fairgrounds facilities for the annual Rice Festival.

The contract allows the annual Rice Festival to be held at the fairgrounds for a payment of $25,000 with $2,500 due annually Sept. 1 for the term of the contract.

The Bay City Lions Club holds the annual event to raise funds to help support their work with the youth, handicapped, aged, sick of the community. 

The Bay City Rice Festival came to have its name in 1941, which was the first year the Bay City Lions Club celebrated its Rice Festival. 

The Rice Festival was held for the first time in 1941 and has been postponed only five times: from 1942-1946 because of World War II and again in 1961 due to Hurricane Carla.

Bay City’s farmers and the community as a whole would celebrate the rice harvest. 

The Bay City Lions Club consists of men from throughout the community who work together towards a common goal of living the Lions motto; “We Serve.” The Rice Festival Chairman and all of the Committee Chairman have been hard at work and to make the Rice Festival as good as any other. Through the generous support of all of the participants, the Lions Club are able to make contributions throughout the community, across the state, and toward international humanitarian projects through Lions International.

With the funds that the Lions Club raises, they award college scholarships to local high school graduates, and also to high school students to enable them to take dual college credit courses. The Bay City Lions Club also faithfully support the Texas Lions Camp located in Kerrville,  which is a camp for children who are physically challenged, diabetic, or have Down Syndrome.  

Other projects and charities our club participates in include: Academic Achievement Awards for local elementary students with straight A’s, MEHOP, Matagorda Regional Medical Center, American Cancer Society, Bay City Public Library, Matagorda County Museum, Crisis Center and much more.  

Over the last several years, the Bay City Lions Club have used their Spot Vision machine to screen the eyes of hundreds of children to detect problems with their vision and helped to supply glasses for those in need. 

In other action:

Commissioners approved the Western Surety Company official bond and oath for Loretta Griffin as county treasurer. The bond is renewed annually by county officials.

County officials also approved a request for Matagorda County Precinct 6 Justice of the Peace James Powell to purchase a new laptop from Southern Computer Warehouse in the amount of $1274.28.

Commissioners approved the board appointments of Kent Pollard, Angela Cunningham and Charles Frick to the Economic Action Committee of the Gulf Cast Board of Directors through 2022.

Commissioners also approved the board appointment of George Deshotels as director of the Southeast Texas Housing Finance Corporation through Jan. 31, 2022.


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