The new year is approaching and we will soon be leaving 2020 behind. While greeting 2021 is a joyous occasion, doing so safely is a big priority in the Rockport community. Rockport has put together an excellent outdoor celebration for the holiday season and there are a ton of great ways to reign in the new year in the area. Make your Christmas and New Year ones to remember without straying far from town this year. The great outdoors combined with a strong small business influence makes it easy to have fun locally.
Christmas on the Beach
This celebration is lasting throughout the entirety of December and several days into January. It officially wraps up on January 3rd of 2021. It’s located at the circle at Rockport Beach and admission is free although donations are accepted. The celebration is a lighted holiday display and is a drive through event, making it safe for visitors. There are 13 unique displays with a giant gingerbread elf resort, a manger scene, a tribute to first responders and many more displays that offer an exciting drive through scene. Run by the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, Aransas County Navigation District and several local non-profits, this is the perfect way to enjoy an evening during the holidays.
Volunteer Your Time
Large social gatherings may be off limits but plenty of opportunity to volunteer and support the community still exists. The Women’s Club of Aransas is still meeting and organizing in a safe manner. Virtual networking events are also happening on Wednesdays and the Chamber and local organizations will resume meetings and volunteer operations as the pandemic winds down. Volunteers are a huge influence on the community, providing everything from fire and safety services to food for struggling families. Put your name in the hat and find a way to contribute in the new year.
Go Hunting or Fishing
Winter in Rockport is prime for hunters and anglers. Waterfowl hunting is full swing in Aransas, Copano and other local bays. Dusky ducks, mallards, wood ducks, red heads, canvas backs and other ducks included in the general season are available for hunters until January 31st. Spend the entire month of January chasing ducks to really stock up on excellent meat and feathers for crafts. The season for light and dark geese also runs through January.
The general big game season also runs until January 17th and you can bag 5 whitetail deer (no more than 3 bucks) with the appropriate licenses. If you have the freezer space or a canning system, this can stock your RV with high quality protein for much of the year. Canning is ideal when freezer space is limited and you can also make jerky and other cured meats with a long shelf life. The Rockport area has more public land available for hunting than many other regions in Texas. Securing private access is however very useful and can increase your odds of tracking down a big buck.
Anglers love Rockport in January because the Redfish are abundant in the shallows. Go explore the local bays for redfish and consider targeting drum and other species like black drum and sea trout. You can combine a duck hunt with a fishing trip to really maximize your time on the water. Fly and gear anglers visit from around the country to test the redfish in these waters. You can make a solo run at these fish or hire a guide with a low draft boat to explore the grass flats and reach the more remote areas where fishing pressure is minimal.
The Whooping Cranes are a highlight in the area and they just happen to be present in large numbers around the new year. Start your year off by grabbing a pair of binoculars and hitting the local watering holes for some whooping crane fun. The only migrating flock of whooping cranes in the world winters in the Aransas Bay National Wildlife Refuge and you can go see the 265 or so birds that visit the area.
Support Local Business
The Rockport community has a treasure trove of great local businesses. Kick off the new year by ordering food to go and visiting local businesses that are still surviving the pandemic while taking safety precautions. The restaurants, artists and all of the local shops really bring the community together and it’s a great time to show your support while helping them move forward into a vibrant 2021.