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Galveston Island is approaching five-year anniversary of Hurricane Ike
On September 13, 2008, Galveston Island was struck by Hurricane Ike. Hurricane Ike made landfall at 2:10 a.m. with a 17-20 foot storm surge and 110 mph winds, flooding 75 percent of Galveston Island. It is the third most destructive hurricane to ever make landfall in the U.S. An estimated $3.2 billion worth of damage was caused on the Island alone. As Galveston approaches its five-year anniversary in 2013, all tourism related businesses have reopened with the exception of one museum. All hotels have reopened and the Flagship Hotel, which was torn down, is being redeveloped as the Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier which is opening in May 2012. Recently, two new attractions – Haunted Mayfield Manor and Pirates! Legends of the Gulf Coast opened in downtown Galveston. Galveston has weathered many hurricanes over the years, including the deadliest natural disaster in United States history – the 1900 Storm, but the island’s resilience keeps it strong.
Frequent festivals and free events attract visitors to downtown
The calendar of events for downtown Galveston is filled with festivals and free monthly events to entertain visitors. Annual festivities include the Yaga’s Chili Quest and Beer Fest (January), Mardi Gras! Galveston (February), Galveston Island Food and Wine Festival (April), and the Galveston Island Shrimp Festival (September). These festivals compliment the free monthly events, scheduled in March through October, that include Movie Nite (first Saturdays), Music Nite (second Saturdays) which will include some theme nights and Market on The Strand (third Saturdays, March through December). Downtown is also host to Santa on The Strand on Saturdays in December.
Visitors will soon be able to learn more about Galveston’s history as an entry for immigrants
Pier 21 Theater will soon air a 57-minute documentary called “Galveston – Gateway on the Gulf” at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily. This documentary tells the story of the more than 200,000 immigrants who entered the United States through Galveston between 1835 and 1935. It will pair well with “Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America through Galveston Island,” an exhibit that chronicles the Port of Galveston’s forgotten history as a major gateway to American immigration. Forgotten Gateway is scheduled to come to the Texas Seaport Museum later this year. Pier 21 Theater also airs “The Great Storm” and “The Pirate Island of Jean Lafitte.”