To promote business, tourism,
recreation, economic development
and improve the quality and
standard of living in Aransas Pass.
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!
Over the years, Shrimporee has changed…and GROWN. Currently, held in the second weekend of June over three days, Shrimporee attracts festival go-ers from all over Texas. 50,000 to 60,000 people attend the Shrimporee and enjoying everything from arts and crafts, cooking demonstrations, Kidz Korner, carnival rides, games and shrimp cooked more ways than you can imagine! Great music is another highlight of Shrimporee; from Friday evening through Sunday evening, there is always something going on - on the main stage or our two other stages! Oil helped Aransas Pass grow in the late 60’s and the 70’s. As large industrial companies discovered, Aransas Pass was an excellent location for terminals and storage facilities. Oil was king during this time and the fortunes of the city came to rest it and shrimping. Unfortunately, just around the corner was the economic downturn of the late 80’s and early 90’s, and Aransas Pass felt the impact doubly. Oil work came to a stand still and shrimping operations began to dwindle as more seafood companies took their boats offshore. Aransas Pass stopped growing, and the economy wasn’t helping.
The commitment of grocery chain H-E-B to downtown Aransas Pass in the mid-90’s was the start of a rebirth for the central business district. Formerly boarded up storefronts began to have tenants and the City of Aransas Pass worked to attract new businesses including a new Super 8 Motel and most recently Hawthorn Suites. The City of Aransas Pass and the Chamber/Visitor Center continue to grow. We are poised for the future, but haven’t forgotten the past. It is a city steeped in tradition, but changing with the times both today and tomorrow.