The christening of the new Ivar’s Mermaid Patio took place Thursday, marking the beginning of many Mermaid moments to come. Above, Angela Zumwalt — known as Maya the Mermaid — holds a Mermaid Capital of Texas sign on Thurday. Daily Record photo by Lance Winter
SWIMMINGLY SUCCESSFUL: Mermaid moments begin with Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest — Pep Rally
It was a celebration — the christening of the new Ivar’s Mermaid Patio — marking the beginning of many Mermaid moments to come. On Thursday, members of the community turned out for the first ever Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest — Pep Rally at Ivar’s River Pub. Attendees celebrated the upcoming festival and San Marcos's designation as the Mermaid Capital of Texas.
“It’s been a long time coming,” July Moreno, Mermaid Society SMTX founder said of the designation. “We started this process in 2017 — officially.”
The Mermaid Patio features a mural and a giant vinyl poster by artist Kyle Range, who used to work at Ivar’s.
“We’ve set the stage for many people to come and visit San Marcos, stay in our hotels, float our beautiful river, and have an understanding of who we are as a people in San Marcos,” Moreno added. “We create opportunities through this event. Businesses can produce products they can sell — restaurants and bars and our outlet malls … everybody can prosper from this, should they choose to take part.”
Ivar’s son Curtis Gunnarson and his wife Denele said the idea of a downstairs bar came to fruition from a staff meeting.
“We were just talking, and it just came out,” they said. “What do we want to be? What makes sense? It was collective thinking — it was organic and happened naturally.”
Moreno said she is thankful for all of her sponsors, especially title sponsor, H-E-B.
“I am so excited about all the possibilities this designation will help to inspire in my hometown,” Moreno said. “My wish is that it will bring attention to the San Marcos River's beauty and significance, highlight the arts and culture in our community, and preserve and celebrate the history of the San Marcos Mermaid. Lucky me — I get to say I live in The Mermaid Capital of Texas — my Home Sweet Home.”
The Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest dates are Sept. 11- 25. Events are as follows:
•Sept. 11 — Inaugural Aquamade Runway & Brunch
•Sept. 12 — Inaugural Siren Run & Splash
•Sept. 18 — The Mertini Shakedown
•Sept. 18 — Inaugural Aquamaid Scavenger Hunt
•Sept. 25 — The Mermaid Promenade & Downtown Street Faire
The Mermaid Capital of Texas Fest is an annual citywide, multi-event festival, celebrating San Marcos’s arts, culture, heritage and the San Marcos River.
Lance Winter contributed to this story.