It’s been a great season here in the Rio Grande Valley. We’ve been there to capture the moments as Winter Texans have enjoyed a host of fun and exciting events and activities. To share some of the good times with our readers, we have created several photo features of special events held in the Rio Grande Valley. These features spotlight Winter Texan events as well as Winter Texans participating in some of the most popular Valley festivals and events.
We hope you enjoyed your stay in the Rio Grande Valley as much as we did. And we hope you’ll invite your friends up north to come down and join in the good life in the Valley next fall – getting away from the snow and bitter cold up north. Share a copy of the Winter Texan Times or show them these photos online so they can see what a great time we had together this winter season.
Winter Texans flock to the Valley to play. Anything to do with music – listening or dancing –seems to be one of their favorite pastimes and one thing the Valley is never short of is music, in all genres and forms. One can find professional performers here from Branson, instrumental type bands and dance bands, symphony orchestras, choirs, and local talent who love sharing their gifts of music around the parks.
On a recent night a magical concert drew 1500 Winter Texans to the Trinity Worship Center. During rehearsal I was able to talk to a few of the groups and found being retired did not mean leaving their music behind. The night featured a combined concert with the Men of A-Chord, Magic Valley Chorus, a Sweet Adeline chorus, Senior Ambassadors, and the Rio Grande Valley Concert Band. The concert was an outstanding success. However, only two of the groups were the focus of my attention for this story.
“Sweet Adelines is an international organization with approximately 25,000 women around the world who sing four-part harmony barbershop style. Everyone has to sing in English since Barbershop is a uniquely American art form,” Ann Wright, director of the Sweet Adelines, spoke about the organization she loves.
Winners of the 34th annual Golden Olympics sponsored by the City of McAllen Parks and Recreations were announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, March. 12. The staff honored overall individual winners with a custom crystal award and overall park winners with a custom fused glass plaque to display in their park.
From January through March each year, seniors ages 50 and over from across the Rio Grande Valley compete in over 30 various activities including card games, billiards, swimming, bowling and a baking contest. Participants are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals in each event as well as points to determine the overall male and female Olympian. As participants are awarded medals, their corresponding RV Park or community center is awarded points and a trophy for the park with the most points is awarded at the conclusion of all the events.
Overall Olympian Male first place went to Stuart Kunselman, Tip O Texas; second place, James Crowe, Casa Del Sol; and third place Bob Mion, McAllen.
The seventh annual Jackson Street Classic Car Show will be held on Saturday, April 12 in historic Downtown Harlingen. The car show is being organized by the Rio Grande Valley Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America. Cars will be displayed along Jackson between 4th and Commerce.
The show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Registration for the car show will open at 8 a.m. on April 12. The first 100 entrants will receive an event T-shirt. In lieu of a monetary entry fee, participants are asked to bring non-perishable food products for the Harlingen Neighborhood Food Pantry. Hot rods and classic cars that are 25 years old or older are welcome. Nearly 200 cars participated in the show last April.
There will be an awards presentation at 2 p.m. on April 12. This year, there will be ten different award categories, including Best Muscle Car, Antique, Classic, Import, Street Rod, etc. Entrants must be present at 2 p.m. to win awards.
There is nothing quite so fun as to have a party for Winter Texans. They show up in droves and always seem to have a great time, no matter what you are doing. This day was the party for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce to bid their Winter Texans adieu.
“Hasta La Vista Pachanga is an event we have held every year for the past 26 years in March to bid farewell to our Winter Texans in order to show appreciation to them for coming to Edinburg and being in our city,” a delighted Letty Gonzalez, president, Edinburg Chamber, explained. “We are so happy to have them stay with us, shop with us and pass the word along encouraging others to come to Edinburg. We have a welcoming party at the beginning of the season and this pachanga at the end.”
Joining the festivities at the Edinburg Activity Center, these Winter Texans were a happy group. First they were fed a meal and then turned loose on the dance floor to the sounds of Sipe and the Country Playboys. There were dancers galore in the jolly crowd, some there for just one thing – dancing! But don’t think for a second that’s the only draw. For many – it’s the people; they simply have friends they want to be with until heading north again.
The annual Texas Independence Day celebration, held in San Benito, has been growing in size each year. This year it was held at the Cameron County Youth Fairgrounds, which was large enough to allow horses as part of the re-enactment shows and for a cook-off.
The moment visitors arrive, they are greeted by the delicious scents of cooking meat wafting through the air. Rudy and Sharon Sandau and Arthur Stokes, all or Ontario, were taking in the sights. Having tasted some of the fair’s foods, Arthur pronounced the barbecued chicken to be “delicious,” and Sharon had been drafted into judging the tastiest beans.
“It was interesting to see how beans are cooked in the Valley. At home we make our beans thicker with sauce more like a gravy. Here the sauce was watery, more like soup,” Sharon explained.
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