Crab Festival in May offers weekend of fun to Southeast Texans

Roger Craeger

Crab time! Big plans are underway for the 2023 Texas Crab Festival. The family-friendly event is Mother’s Day weekend, May 12–14, at Festival Park, 1605 Hwy 87, Crystal Beach, Texas.

The 38th annual festival is a three-day event full of live music, cool coastal art, crafts, clothing, and jewelry vendors. In addition, food vendors will offer a vast selection of gulf coast seafood, crabs, and festival food favorites. The entertainment lineup includes 11 artists, including a Grammy winner, a Texas Music icon, several local favorites, and even a Norteña Band. From fan-favorite wiener dog races to a crab gumbo cookoff – there is something for everyone to enjoy.

The festival gets kicked off with the legendary Wayne Toups on Friday, May 12. Toups is an award-winning musician who brings to life Cajun sounds with zydeco rhythms. The high-energy showman known to his loyal fan base as “Le Boss” is no stranger to the festival and is always a crowd-pleaser. Big Jordan Band will bring their red dirt roots and classic rock vibes to the stage at 7:30 p.m. to open that night.

Wayne Toups

On Saturday, the heartbeat of the Texas Music genre and award-winning songwriter Roger Creager will be in concert. Roger, who knows a thing or two about snorkeling, sphere-fishing, and gulf coast life, will bring his incredible vocal talents to the stage. Hits from his lustrous career, such as “The Everclear Song” and “Rancho Grande,” have made his concerts epic in energy and party vibes. Also, on Saturday’s musical schedule, the Galveston Ukulele Society will start at 1:00 PM, Little Comic at 2 p.m., Salty Sounds Band at 3:15 p.m., PopGun at 5:30 p.m., and Texas Flood at 7:45 p.m. 

For Sunday, it is free admission and a vast range of music to enjoy. The music kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with “Coastline at LSCPA.” The musical/singing ensemble hails from the Golden Triangle and is part of the Lamar State College Port Arthur Commercial Music, Visual and Performing Arts Department. La Mentira Norteña takes the stage at 2:00 p.m. The six-man band will bring the Latin sound to the stage. To close out the 2023 Texas Crab Festival will be the regional favorite, Bayou Sounds. The true in spirit Cajun band will take the stage at 4:15 p.m.

The Texas Crab Festival was founded in 1986 by a few local businessmen to help promote business and tourism to Crystal Beach, Texas. For many festival-goers now, Mother’s Day weekend is a tradition to attend the Texas Crab Festival. Over 200 volunteers, with an expected 80 shopping vendors and nearly 20 food vendors, will make the festival a must-do event. Proceeds from the festival are reinvested in the community and help fund youth scholarships and camps, local schools and volunteer fire departments, and various outreach initiatives.

New this year is the Kids’ Activity Zone. Inflatables, a rock wall, and obstacle courses will be part of the new feature. Returning to the festival is a full schedule of contests for all to take part in. A Texas 2-Step dance contest takes place on Friday. The crowd-favorite wiener dog races are returning on Saturday, along with a 5k -1k run-walk, a strut your stuff in the Crab Legs contest, and the famous crab races. In addition, stir up the roux at Saturday’s Crab Gumbo Cookoff. A scavenger hunt for the entire family will occur on Sunday, and a washer and cornhole tournament will be held. A raffle and live and silent auctions will also be part of the weekend fun.

Boiled crabs, soft shell crabs, crab cakes, crab nachos, and more will be on the menu, along with corndogs, funnel cakes, and your favorite festival foods. The Texas Crab Festival offers weekend passes for $20, which are on sale now. For more information on the contests, tickets, or schedule, visit

2023 -Entertainment Lineup


  • 7:15 p.m. Big Jordan Band
  • 9:45 p.m. Wayne Toups


  • 1:00 p.m. Galveston Ukulele Society
  • 2:00 p.m. Little Comic
  • 3:15 p.m. Salty Sounds
  • 5:30 p.m. Pop Gun
  • 7:45 p.m. Texas Flood
  • 10:00 p.m. Roger Creager


  • 2:30 p.m. Coastline at LSCPA
  • 2:00 p.m. La Mentira Norteña
  • 4:15 p.m. Bayou Sounds


2023 Texas Crab Festival

  • Date: Mother’s Day Weekend, May 12-14, 2023
  • Place: Festival Park, 1605 Hwy 87, Crystal Beach, Texas
  • Hours: Friday 6pm-Midnight, Saturday 10 a.m.-Midnight, Sunday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Cost: Friday: $10, Saturday: $15, Sunday: Free (age 15 and under Free all days) Weekend Pass: $20 on sale now
  • Parking: Free

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