Gospel or ‘good news’ music is sung throughout the RGV including the two jams that I attended at Lamplighter Park in Palmview on February 26th and at Valley View Estates in Mission on March 12th. Other gospel jams take place at Bluebonnet RV Park in Mission, Leisure World in Weslaco, and Paradise Park RV Resort in Harlingen.
Gospel music is a traditional genre of Christian music with its definition varying according to culture and social context. It’s a style of ‘church’ music which emerged from hymns with songs easier to grasp and more singable than traditional church hymns.
Gospel music can be traced to the early 1600’s with the first published use of the term ‘gospel song’ appearing in 1874. Black and Southern gospel music are largely responsible for gospel’s presence in today’s contemporary Christian music.
The hosts for the Lamplighter jam were Carole and Leon Hampton. The stage band featured Sandra Arvold on fiddle, Dave Evans on lead guitar, Lernie Fulk on bass guitar, Leon Hampton on rhythm/lead guitar, and Frank Rinchiuso on rhythm guitar.
Read more: Inspirational ‘Good News’ music abounds in the RGV
Winter Texan earns unique honors
By Barb Zanetti
Photos by Dennis Zanetti
Alamo Palms’ 98-year-old Louise Unkrich didn’t have white hair when she did the work that would bring her national recognition. Actually, she was a dark-haired teenager.
Typical of other young women whose lives changed course in the early 1940’s, Louise left her Swedesburg, Iowa hometown at 19 to find meaningful work about 250 miles away. Her job would be to assemble parts for B-26’s and B-29’s at the Glenn L. Martin bomber plant south of Omaha, near Bellevue, Nebraska.
“The war was on,” she said. “My boyfriend was in the Navy, and I wanted to help.”
Read more: A Lifetime Becoming a Rosie
Programs at Bentsen-RGV State Park continue through the spring. Feeding is ending for some migratory birds, but there is still more hawk migration. The park is starting their spring and summer programs such as kayaking and Dutch oven cooking. As always, the park offers a variety of family activities and programs.
The park holds a Hawk Watch daily from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hawk Tower. On April 2, at 10 a.m., they will hold their Useful and Edible Plants class.
Read more: April programs at Bentsen-RGV State Park
The Museum of South Texas History presents ¡Cascarón!, an Easter celebration, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 8.
The museum’s annual event features the regional tradition of decorating “cascarones,” or empty eggshells, filled with confetti. Blank and ready-to-hide cascarones will be available for purchase, while supplies last. Guests can choose to decorate a dozen empty eggshells for $2 or purchase a dozen pre-decorated eggs for $4.
Read more: Enjoy regional Easter traditions at MOSTH
South Padre Island has a new art gallery, The Art Lounge, and it will be hosting an exhibition called Bloom. The exhibit will take place on April 8, from 3 to 5:30 p.m.
The high-end art gallery is turning one-year-old and they are giving the community flowers to celebrate. They are turning the gallery into a garden party for the art opening. Just in time to be held the Saturday before Easter.
Read more: Art Lounge on SPI to host exhibit
The Gladys Porter Zoo has implemented a new dynamic pricing model. Zoo admission prices will now vary through July, depending upon the day of the week. This dynamic model is currently used nationwide at various attractions and is intended to encourage visitorship from Monday through Thursday when the attraction is generally less crowded. At the same time, the slightly higher cost to attend the Zoo provides an inflation-based increase in income at the front gate. Since 90 percent of the Zoo’s operating income is derived from admission sales, this adjustment is needed to maintain a world-class facility, purchase nutritious food for the Zoo’s 1,600 inhabitants, and retain top-notch experts by paying competitive wages.
Read more: Gladys Porter Zoo implements new pricing
Edinburg Music Fest is seeking vendors and artists to participate at the fourth annual festival on April 15th. This year’s festival will take place at the Edinburg Promenade Park Amphitheater located at 201 W. McIntyre and promises to be a fantastic day filled with music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family.
The Edinburg Music Festival will feature various local bands, carnival rides, folkloric and dance performances, food trucks, crafts, children’s activities, an animal petting zoo/exhibits, and more. This year, Texas Folklife and the Museum of South Texas History will host the annual Big Squeeze, partnering with the City of Edinburg for the annual accordion semifinals competition, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the Edinburg Music Festival concert from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public but VIP tables are available for purchase at edinburgarts.com/viptables.
Read more: Edinburg Music Fest seeking vendors, artists
Sometimes those of us who live in the Rio Grande Valley just take for granted all the wonders that surround us. Regardless of our age, we have so many opportunities to enjoy our life.
For the young or more active, how about canoeing down the Rio Grande River or perhaps kayaking in the Arroyo Colorado or in the Bay at nearby South Padre Island. Hiking trails and nature parks are scattered all over our semi-tropical area. Spring and Fall migrations attract many residents and visitors who want to add to their Birding Life List. For those of us who are more sedentary, river boats can take us up and down the river. Simply said, the Rio Grande Valley is virtually a natural paradise.
There are so many opportunities for travel and exploring. How about a Sunday afternoon drive down what is now referred to as the Memorial Highway. At one time bandits on horseback rode in this area often intercepting and robbing the mail wagons that not only carried the mail but often more valuable payrolls. Later this same road became the thoroughfare for the Oblate Fathers who were the ministers of the Christian faith to the ranches scattered along the river road. Those ministers were named the Cavalry for Christ.
Read more: Beauty and opportunity surrounds us in the RGV