The City of Pharr has seen a lot of growth and revitalization in recent years. As seen in other downtown areas I have been in this season, Pharr’s downtown is welcoming and features its history. Its historic buildings add to the character while newer buildings are revitalizing the area and making room for more commerce and entertainment. If you travel the Valley along Business 83, you will likely see the epicenter of each of the Valley’s cities.
If you drive around the City of Mission you might notice something a little special. Every once in a while, you might just see a beautiful butterfly sculpture. Being home to the National Butterfly Center, it just seemed fitting for there to be butterflies of giant size around town to celebrate. These butterflies represent some of the 200 or more species that can be found in the area.
While McAllen has seen a growth in business in the last 20 years, it has also seen a growth in what it offers for outdoor activities.
The entire Rio Grande Valley is a huge birding hub. McAllen has not been left out in the birding area. McAllen features one of the World Birding Center’s at its historic Quinta Mazatlán.
January 5 celebrated National Bird Day. The International Museum of Arts and Sciences had presented a lesson on creating your own backyard bird log on their website. Just because the day has past, does not mean you still cannot make one. The information is still on their website and available any time.
In 2002, Born Free USA, a non-profit focused on wildlife conservation, activism, and education, in collaboration with the Avian Welfare Coalition, launched the first annual National Bird Day to promote awareness of birds every January 5th. Many nature and bird lovers observe National Bird Day.
He goes by “Pineapple Joe,” or “Big Joe.”
At Canyon Lake RV Resort, on the marker board outside the dining hall, it simply reads: 4 p.m. - Veggie Man.
All of those monikers represent Jose Ybarra and for 21 years he has driven his portable market stand filled with produce and more to Winter Texan parks across the Rio Grande Valley. He brings good deals, fresh vegetables, fruits and more and when his truck appears in a park/resort, the lines start growing.
While the coronavirus pandemic has restructured the way people live, they still need to eat, and Ybarra provides. While the lines may not be as long as in the past, they still know when Ybarra is about to show up and they have their internal clocks ready.
McAllen has a long history even before it was officially incorporated on February 20, 1911. Some records have the development of the city going as far back as 1767 when some land grants were granted to Juan Antonio Villarreal and Antonio Gutierrez by the Spanish crown. The City of McAllen was developed from parts of these grants.
It is a NEW YEAR! And let us hope that 2021 will bring an end to the pandemic and the problems we all encountered in 2020. Hopefully by mid-year, we all will have been vaccinated and we will be on the road to our... ‘new normal’ or whatever is in store for us in our future.