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.
The city-block complex of the Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH) was once housed in the 1910 Jail, an artifact that has captured the attention and curiosity of the community. The jail, which was closed between 2012 and 2020, is the oldest standing historic structure in the city of Edinburg. It will open sometime in 2021 with all-new permanent and temporary exhibits. Hear more about the renovation of the building and installation of the exhibits during the Sunday Speaker Series Online presentation, “The 1910 Jail: Behind the Scenes,” at 2 p.m. on January 24 on Facebook Live.
Mission Historical Museum will host their 15th Annual Mission Quilt Show online this year. The exhibit opened on Monday, January 18 and is available for viewing until January 29th.
UTRGV Patron of the Arts has several performances planned this season. The performances are held virtually. They also have a YouTube channel to view previous shows.
Their first performance available online is a tribute by the UTRGV Mariachi Program to one of the most popular Mexican actors and ranchera singers of all time, Pedro Infante.
Pedro Infante, a star during the golden age of Mexican cinema, is an icon of Latin America who appeared in about 60 films and recorded over 350 songs.
The City of McAllen has once again partnered with the Juneteenth community leaders, this time, to participate in a month-long list of activities in celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. They started celebration on Monday, January 18, and are continuing through Black History Month.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly an inspirational man,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “In light of recent events, the celebration of MLK’s non-violent methods of protest are more important than ever, as is this quote by him: ‘We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.’”
This year’s observation will feature events throughout the Rio Grande Valley, celebrating the theme “Building a Stronger CommUNITY Through Service.”
According to Dr. Ray Howard, one of the organizing members of the celebration, the activities will focus on the historical roots of the African-American community in the Rio Grande Valley, the cultural contributions throughout the country, as well as examining the political impact of MLK and its relevance today.
The Texas Master Gardener Volunteer Training application deadline is today. The classes will be presented by the Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and will be a combination of online and in person training.
This class series is for those who want to volunteer for the Texas AgriLIFE County Extension Service. Master Gardeners provide educational programs for community groups and schools regarding horticulture. They are also involved in plant research and provide educational booths at festivals & events. Classes are typically held annually.
Oh boy, it has gotten busy around here.
Last week I was able to attend the first Entertainers Showcase and was impressed with the new talent that is ready to entertain. Jamie Layton, Todd and the Two-Tars, Larry’s Little Brothers, Lasting Impressions, and Johnny Moroko were some of the new ones for me to see and hear. Some of the regulars that we all love performed as well – Rick McEwen, Helen Russell & Co., Diego & Edith, The Piano Man, Festus, Kai, Redneck Revival and Mario.
I am looking forward to this week’s showcase to see some more great entertainment. I tell ya, there are some great Wintertainers™ that just love to come down here and play for you all. It makes me kind of jealous that I do not get to enjoy these privileges. Hopefully next year we can get out more and enjoy more shows together.
It has been fun to work on these Valley city history stories for the paper this year. I hope to continue next season with some of the smaller, less visited cities. It has been rewarding to drive through the cities and see things I have not seen before, or haven’t paid attention to on a previous visit.
Take Pharr… I think the last time I had been in that downtown area was in 1992 – And a LOT has changed since then. I remember going to the El Centro Mall with my parents back in the mid 80’s when Montgomery Wards was there and hanging out with friends there nearly 15 or so years ago to go dancing or see a movie.
Pharr has revitalized that mall/shopping area to something people want to go now. There is something there for everyone.
There were buildings downtown that I wish I knew more about – like the Texan Hotel and a building that looks like it may have been an old theater.
I still have a few more cities planned before the season is over and look forward to finding more treasures that we might not always see.
The Lone Star Jubilee is making their stop in the Valley this coming week. With just three concerts to catch them at, you will want to plan to be at one. From Branson, the group focuses on bringing great music, comedy, and fun for the whole family.
The Texans, who have performed for 48 years in the Rio Grande Valley as both The Texans and Lone Star Jubilee, are looking forward to entertaining the crowd.
Sam Ray and the Texans are not only entertainers, but they are also missionaries who strive to spread the word of God through their deeds throughout the world.
The year 2021 started off as no other in our memories. Still reeling from the effects of the Corona pandemic, astonished and saddened by the breach at our Nation’s Capitol, we were left wondering what possibly could happen next. Almost overnight the world's attention was focused on the Rio Grande Valley when our nation's president announced he would visit Alamo to dedicate a section of "The Wall" that had been completed or repaired during his term.
This would be his second visit to the Valley during his four-year term. Many were overjoyed and some were fearful that there could possibly be another confrontation between opposing factions. That certainly was not the case.