cavOILcade - Port Arthur, Texas 
History

REMEMBERING PAST cavOILcade's

Choose year for quick link
1953, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004,2005

"A Salute to the Oil Industry"
1953
   Although cavOILcade's to follow proved to be more extravagant, this first celebration was one to remember. Congressman Jack Brooks crowned Barbara Putman on the steps of the sub courthouse, with velvet drapes covering the doors and serving as a backdrop for the "stage". Neither the threat of rain nor that of mosquitoes kept spectators from attending the ceremony. Such events as the "Hat Breakfast", the street parade and a picnic on Rose Hill Manor made this premier cavOILcade a success.

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1954    For this second cavOILcade, Jacque Simonton was crowned queen on Thursday, so as to allow her to reign throughout the festivities. Lee Eagleson served his second of three years as Chairperson and the coronation ceremony was much more elaborate than the first. Wayne Dunham joined the cavOILcade team and designed the backdrop for this and 28 more coronation ceremonies.

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1955    Mary Elizabeth Bryam was chosen as queen for this cavOILcade. The Port Arthur Camera Club's International Exhibition of Photography began what would be an annual event this year.

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1956    Walter Nelson became general chairperson for this year and Darlene Jacobs reigned as queen. The Jefferson County Mosquito Control helped rid the area of mosquitoes before the parade and a turn-out of 40,000 arrived to witness the procession before it began to rain. Though the weather cancelled or postponed other activities, the 1956 cavOILcade was regarded as a success.

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1957    Jerry Brenner took over as chairperson and "The Holiday on Ice" troupe performed at the Redleg Stadium (later to be called Seahawk Stadium). In 1957, 110,000 were estimated to have attended the various activities, and Patsy Gerbens became queen.

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1958    With Tom Featherson as chairperson, Queen Ann Brannon reigned over this cavOILcade, with Gordon and Sheila McRae as headliners for the variety show. The attendance rate grew to an estimated 115,000.

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1959    Trinell Defour was chosen from 43 contestants as queen for this seventh celebration. Xavier Cugat headlined the variety show as cavOILcade said goodbye to the Fifties.

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1960    Under the chairmanship of Byron Hildebrand, the Pleasure Pier Ballroom was extensively remodeled for the activities. Anne Lofton was queen and Tony Bennett provided entertainment for the Friday night crowd.

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1961
"Arabian Nights"
   For all previous years, the theme of cavOILcade was "A Tribute to the Oil Industry", but for this ninth celebration a community-wide contest was used to choose a new theme. Therefore Leni Anderson reigned over "Arabian Nights" and became the first queen to have her picture appear in color in the Port Arthur News.

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1962
"Faraway Places"
   John W. Lestage was general chairperson for 1962. Over 2,000 marked crawfish were set loose in Jaycee Park for a crawfish hunt and crawfish race. Karen Ann Sealy became queen of cavOILcade and in 1963 was chosen as runner-up for the Miss Texas Pageant.

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1963
"Dick Dowling Centennial"
   The confederate theme "Dick Dowling Centennial" was chosen to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Sabine Pass. Peggy Gralino reigned as queen and Frankie Avalon headlined the variety show.

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1964
"Hi Neighbor"
   W.G. "Jerry" Thomall was general chairman and Alice Virginia Dumesnil reigned as queen. The Port Arthur Little Theater put on a production of "My Fair Lady" and the Thieves Market offered a new attraction to the festivities.

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1965
"Hits of Broadway"
   An all-professional touring cast of singers and dancers put on the "Hits of Broadway" variety show. George Stanley served as general chairperson and Hellen Lynell Smith became queen of the thirteenth annual cavOILcade.

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1966
"Ports of Call"
   The theme of this cavOILcade, "Ports of Call", was chosen to correspond with the opening of the new port for Port Arthur. Queen Ida Cloar reigned and Sam Henry was chairperson of the event. The Broadway touring company performed "Half a Sixpence" for the variety show.

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1967    
Although the Pleasure Pier Bridge was wrecked a week before the celebration, extra work allowed cavOILcade to go on as planned. Burt Lee was chairperson and though events had to be moved to other sights, Queen Gretchen Lueders still reigned over a successful cavOILcade.

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1968
"Looking for the Future"
PAISD Superintendent Dr.Clyde Gott served as chairman of the celebration. Bobby Vinton was the concert headliner. Queen Candy Carr reigned over the festivities.

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1969
"Texas' Greatest Corner"
   Ken Murphy was chairperson over the festival and Debbie Nunez became queen. A late cancellation by Brenda Lee brought in Jeanie C. Riley for the variety show.

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1970
"Bridge to the Patriotic Seventies"
   With the opening of the new bridge to Pleasure Island, Jack Scott served as chairperson and Mary Barrileaux as queen. John Gary headlined the variety show that year. cavOILcade was also expanded that year to include more sponsors and also black princesses.

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1971
"Paint and Picture of Prosperity"
   Irwin Mingle served as chairperson over this event as 55 princesses competed for the crown. Beth Hansen was chosen to reign, and Lee Eagleson, the early chairperson, was honored for his help in getting cavOILcade off the ground.

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1972
"A Rainbow of Progress"
   Event chairperson was Jim Carr and Tara Angelle was crowned queen.

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1973
"Jubilee '73"
   Jim Stelly took over as chairperson this year and Katherine Singletary became queen. Tom T. Hall and Susan Raye headlined the entertainment.

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1974
"All American cavOILcade"
   Ray Stevens headlined this event as Jimmie Fields became chairperson. Lydia Garcia was chosen to reign over the 22nd cavOILcade. A crowd gathered to watch as Port Arthur and New Iberia, LA firefighters challenged each other to a water fight with firehoses after their annual softball game.

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1975
"cavOILcade '75- a Bicentennial Salute"
   Chaired by Roy Shotts, this 23rd event chose Deborah Bowling as its queen. Minnie Pearl headlined with a troupe from the "Louisiana Hayride" TV show.

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1976
"Reach for the Stars"
   Rain threatened this year's events, but most of the festivities proceeded before the weather arrived. Randy McAlpine served as chairperson and Lynn McPherson became queen. Johnny Rodriguez headlined.

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1977
"Silver Reflection"
   For this 25th Anniversary, 18 of the previous 24 queens returned to witness Desiree Leon take the crown. Crystal Gayle entertained and the Skyhawk Sport Parachute club gave a demonstration of jumps and free fall. Wiley Ballard was chairperson.

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1978
"Visions into the Future"
   David Parsley was chairperson over this event in which the Boat Parade was revived. Rhonda Strange was crowned queen and Tammy Wynette was the headliner for the variety show.

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1979
"A Western Whirl"
   
Wayne Beshears was general chairperson and Kathy Wilkins was queen for this festival in which Eddie Rabbitt headlined the entertainment.

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1980
"cavOILcade Under the Big Top"
   Tom Snodgrass was general chairperson this year and the coronation ceremony in which Cheryl Reynolds was crowned queen was held in the Port Arthur Civic Center for the first time. "The Pleasure Island Enduro", a boat race, was a new-comer to the event and Charley Pride was the featured entertainer.

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1981
"Adventures into Space"
   Wiley Ballard served again as chairperson, Lisa Holstead was crowned queen and T.G. Sheppard was the featured entertainer.

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1982
"A Southern Tradition"
   Paige Lawson reigned as queen for this festival and Michael Hatton was chairperson. The Sports-A-Rama was a big hit, as drill teams and cheerleaders competed. Dottie West was the featured entertainer.

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1983
"cavOILcade- Texas Style"
   James Black was chairperson and Christina DeLeon reigned this year. Roger V and his band, a Las Vegas stage show, entertained for the "Texas Style Party" by performing country, top 40 and Broadway hits.

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1984
"An Autumn Festival"
   Robert Anderson was chairperson and Carlana Guidry queen. The Osmond Brothers were the featured entertainers.

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1985
"New Horizons- A New Beginning"
   In accordance with the theme, new people and new events were introduced. April Weeks was chosen as queen and Zip Zummo as chairperson. The Port Arthur Little Theater put on a production of "Barnum".

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1986
"A Salute to Texas Sesquicentennial"
   For the first time a woman, Sadalise Fredeman, was chosen as general chairperson. Kristina Chirafis was selected queen from 60 contestants and Bo Didley and The Shirelles were included in the concert event.

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1987
"Young at Heart"
   Charles Pearson was chairperson and the festival expanded to four weekends. Christi Carter was chosen to reign.

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1988
   Sissy Wood took over as chairperson this year. Heather Griffin became the first queen to live in a city other than Port Arthur; she was from Port Neches.

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1989
"Carousel"
   Joel Levingston took charge as chairperson and carousel horses appeared on shirts, bags and volunteers to coincide with the theme of "Carousel". St. James Catholic Church held a cake decorating contest for the festivities.Queen of 1989 was Jenni Dickerson

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1990
"Arabesque"
   David Parsley was chairperson and Tracie Christie was queen of this 1990 celebration. Frank Sinatra, Jr. performed at the variety show with comedian Fred Travelena.

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1991
"King Neptune"
   Randy Haggard took over as chairperson and LaRae Rising was queen. Jeweler Ed Turnbull gave $100 to the past princess who could deliver the oldest cavOILcade charm.

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1992
"A Salute to 1492"
   Shirley Adams was chairperson for this cavOILcade 40th Anniversary celebration. Queen Maura Parker reigned this year.

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1993
"Cruise cavOILcade '93"
   Jim Darby was chairperson and Debbie Neef was the new cavOILcade director. Shandi Schrader was crowned queen and the princesses were given a commemorative tee shirt with the cavOILcade logo.

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1994
"Reflections '94"
   Sue Parsley was chairperson and Randi Balsamo was queen. Tod Clark was stage designer, creating a beautiful scenic display that included two young girls on swings.

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1995
"Steppin' Out to cavOILcade '95"
   Rita Davis was chairperson and Tod Clark again handled stage design with a New York- Style design showing a hotel. Kayla Lemaire was crowned queen. This cavOILcade event was dedicated to April Begnaud.

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1996
"Jewels of the East"
   Patty Oltremari was chosen as new director and David Daspit was chairperson. Cristina Carvajal was the first cavOILcade queen whose mother also held the crown, in 1964.

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1997
"History and Horizons"
   Ellen Clark was chairperson for this year and Ranoda McClain was crowned queen. The stage was designed to resemble a KCS Depot.

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1998
"Black Gold- Texas Tea; A Southeast Tradition"
   Claire Thomason was chairperson for this event and Amanda Joffrion was crowned queen.

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1999
"Let The Good Times Roll"
   Amidst a stage design of oil derricks, Natalie Beaugh reigned as queen for this year's cavOILcade celebration. Walter Breaux, Jr. was the event chairperson.

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2000
"Spindletop 2001"
   Vicki Dereses headed up this year's events as chairperson. Staci Barnett was crowned queen. Oil derricks again adorned a lovely cavOILcade stage.

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2001
"Memories Frozen in Time"
   Charles Gongre served as chairperson and Dominique Maroquin was queen upon a stage decorated in a gorgeous "Winter Wonderland" theme.

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2002
"cavOILcade's Golden Era: 'Let's Rock n' Roll"
   Charlie Rhodes is chairperson of this 50th Anniversary cavOILcade celebration. Mallory Romero was chosen Queen.

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2003
"Treasure from the sea"
Chairman was Ursula Lefkowitz. Queen was Heidi Todd. Returning this was Queen's tea and thieves market.

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2004

“cavOILcade: A World Tradition”

Chairman Larry Begnaud crowned Dana Falgout as the new queen.  Dana is the second queen in cavOILcade’s history to come from Nederland.  Oil derricks decorated the stage. 

 

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2005

“Fountains of Beauty”

A water wall decorated the stage where Chairman Carol Wommack crowned Erin Placette, from Nederland, as the 53rd Queen.  For the first time in history, the coronation was held in January, 2006, due to damage to the southeast Texas area from Hurricane Rita, which hit Port Arthur on September 23, 2005.  All other cavOILcade events were held as scheduled, with the exception of the Style Show, Coronation, Parade and fishing rodeo.  After several years, the golf tournament was brought back, only to be postponed because of Hurricane Katrina, which hit the New Orleans area on August 28, 2005.  Many of our industrial teams were sent to the Louisiana-Mississippi area for clean up

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