Monday, December 04, 2023
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South Pole Illuminated Festival starts next week

319896994 665334451799742 716729217893923651 n webThe holiday season is right around the corner, and McAllen is once again ready to shine as it unveiled details of the highly anticipated South Pole Illuminated Festival 2023. In a grand announcement held at the McAllen Convention Center earlier this month, an array of dignitaries, sponsors, and community partners gathered to reveal the festive magic that will soon take over the McAllen Convention Center grounds, starting on November 29, and running through December 30.

Read more: South Pole Illuminated Festival starts next week

Reserve your booth for Mission Health Fair

health fair webThe Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is inviting local businesses to the Annual Mission Health and Wellness Fair that will be held on Friday, December 8.

This year the event will be held at the Mission Event Center from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. In partnership with Mission Regional Medical Center, they’re providing free services that include blood exams, bone density tests, blood circulation checks, and more to the community.

Read more: Reserve your booth for Mission Health Fair

Veterans honored at Sunshine RV

Joiel Quick Veterans webAs a US Army Veteran, Joiel Quick said, it was my honor and privilege to Emcee the Sunshine RV Veterans Day Program. On hand was our Guest Speaker Master Gunnery Sergeant Ricardo Gonzales Jr., and the US Marine Military Academy Color Guard for Presentation and Posting of the Colors. Also pictured here are my husband, US Army 1SG Robert Quick (Ret) and Program Chair Vickie Heggen.

Palm Gardens RV Park recognizes its Veterans

20231011 Palm Gardens Veterans Ceremony webBy Ruth Filz

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day is an annual observance to honor and remember the sacrifices of military personnel who have served in times of war and peacekeeping missions. Originally known as Armistice Day, it commemorates the end of World War I and celebrates the service of both living and deceased veterans. Major hostilities of World War I were formerly ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. While events and traditions may slightly vary, the central theme of the observance remains the same: to express gratitude to brave men and women for their dedication and valor. Two minutes of silence is observed at 11 a.m. on the 11th of November marking the end of World War I in remembrance of the fallen. This tradition serves as a poignant reminder of the courage, strength, and selflessness displayed by those who have served and those who continue to serve.

Read more: Palm Gardens RV Park recognizes its Veterans

Blasing puts on show at Llano Grande

IMG 1378 webLeslie Blasing put on a great show with great music at Llano Grande last week for a winter season kick off event last week. There was a lot of fun had by all in attendance. The dance floor was packed most of the afternoon as well. The event included food trucks and vendors outside. Food trucks ran out of food before the event was over.

Pharr South treats park Veterans

401832835 654705910170852 951172964552789069 n webOn Veterans Day, over 60 Veterans from the Pharr South senior community were treated to lunch, entertainment, and great company by City of Pharr leaders and special guests.



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The pecan tale of plenty

Firefly pecan pie 70112 webU.S. Senator John Cornyn

As the days grow shorter and cooler, pecan trees in Texas prepare for their annual debut. Leaves take on hues of amber and crimson, painting a breathtaking landscape that attracts visitors from near and far. Amidst this natural transformation, pecans reach peak maturity and are ready to break through their sturdy shells.

In 1919, the pecan tree was named the state tree of Texas, thanks in large part to former Texas Governor James Stephen Hogg. On March 2, 1906, Hogg expressed his wish for a soft-shell Texas pecan tree to be planted at his grave with its nuts distributed to Texas farmers for planting. Years later, journalist Katie Daffan suggested the pecan tree become the state tree of Texas in Hogg’s honor. This idea quickly gained widespread support, leading the state legislature to unanimously pass a resolution formalizing the designation in 1919, which was reaffirmed eight years later during the 40th Texas Legislative Session.

Read more: The pecan tale of plenty

Veterans Day ceremonies cancelled, rescheduled, or location changes

Mission Veterans IMG 5812 webCities throughout the Rio Grande Valley have had to make some adjustments to their Veterans ceremonies due to inclement weather. Some of these ceremonies are being rescheduled, locations are changing for a couple, and some are being cancelled. There are still one or two that will still occur as scheduled.

The City of Mission is making changes with almost every event they had scheduled.

Read more: Veterans Day ceremonies cancelled, rescheduled, or location changes

November 8, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Even though our little cold snap didn’t last very long, we still had some pretty good weather. It’s been just right for the most part. And with all this great weather, more people are out and about, enjoying the golf courses and the many nature parks we have in the Valley.

We continue to say that there is so many things to do in the Valley. Our events calendar and Parks calendar are proof of that. But it isn’t just the parks and entertainment events that are happening. All of our nature parks have regular activities too.

If you look at the World Birding Center parks, their calendars are quite full most of the year too. They have nature walks, guided tours, presentations, craft times, and more. You can look at those calendars on their website at There you can find the links to all nine parks. Make it a goal to try to visit each one this year. Each one has something unique that isn’t like the other, so they are all worth visiting.

Don’t forget we have a few wildlife refuges, the eco-tourism center, and other nature parks to visit too.

We also have a variety of museums and theaters in the Valley. We try to share what is happening at these locations, but there is so much more going on that we don’t always get to talk about. Make sure you look at our RGV Visitor’s Guide online in our digital editions at

Our Visitor’s Guide includes map inlays and is organized by location. You can find information about state parks, nature centers, museums, and so many other areas of interest in the Valley.

Let us know if you decide to use our guide to plan some outings. We would love to hear about where you go and see some photos of your excursion.

As always, if you have some interesting news to share, some charity events coming up for the holidays, or a person people should know in your park, send the information our way to

The water and rich soil of the Valley

20181215 Riverside Dreamer Tour JMB 0025 webThanks to the Winter Texans, I now understand more about the game of Cricket … at least on paper. Now all I need to do is make time to go to one of their games. In fact, one way to keep up with all the happening in the Rio Grande Valley is to read the Winter Texan Times.

And there is a lot going on. Just take your pick – there is something for everyone – music, art, dances, garages sales, cruises on the Rio Grande River or on the Laguna Madre for fishing. The Rio Grande Valley has just about all you could ever want. Sure, we are not really a Valley, and we don’t have any mountains. In fact, we are virtually at sea level.

I live in Harlingen, where just a few miles up the road is a small town named Combes. Now old timers would call that town Combes Mountain. But why?
When I look up the elevation of Harlingen, my computer tells me that the average elevation of Harlingen is 46 feet. The elevation of Combes is just 39 feet. Could it be because Combes is somewhat north of Harlingen, people identified north with going up? Now I am really beginning to wonder why or how we look at things.

Residents of Harlingen have always said that downtown Harlingen is 33 feet. Since the Rio Grande River is actually higher than downtown Harlingen, it stands to reason that when the river floods, Harlingen, as well as most Rio Grande Valley cities, are going to be flooded. The natural flow of the flood waters will be from the river toward the Gulf of Mexico. Anyone living in the Rio Grande Valley in 1967 when we experienced Hurricane Beulah will remember how most of our Valley towns experienced major flooding. With excessive rain and slow drainage how can we not flood?

Read more: The water and rich soil of the Valley

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