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Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count dates are set

Christmas Count Hooded Oriole Photo by Anita Westervelt webValley residents, Winter Texans, visitors, birders, and those just getting interested in birding are invited to join a team in the count areas for the annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count.

The CBC is a one-day event per area within established count circles. This year’s count will be held from December 14 through January 5, 2024. Local counts are listed below with contact information for those interested in joining a team.

Read more: Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count dates are set

A Tejano Christmas Carol returns to PCT

ATCC pic2 web“Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Rio Grande River lost all of its water, in the RGV?”, asked Pharr Community Theater’s longtime director/producer, Pedro Garcia.

“Most of us take the Rio Grande River for granted, unless it’s to think about the undocumented trying to cross it to the USA. Nevertheless, the river drying up concept is a predominant issue in our upcoming, fun Christmas play, A Tejano Christmas Carol.”

Read more: A Tejano Christmas Carol returns to PCT

Whataburger holds fundraiser benefiting Food Bank

Whataburger is having a huge fundraiser benefiting the Food Bank of the Rio Grande Valley called “Tis The Season To Give.” Guests can make a minimum donation of $1 and receive a free Whataburger with the purchase of a medium fry and 32-ounce drink on their next purchase. More details online and at participating locations. All 45 restaurants in the RGV will be participating in this fundraiser from Roma to Brownsville.

A $1 donation can help the Food Bank RGV provide up to five healthy meals for families in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Willacy counties. Learn more about our work at www.foodbankrgv.com.

The fundraiser will run through December 24.

GPZ giraffe stars in her second book

Gladys Porter Zoo Giraffe BB2A4539edit webRocket the Space Giraffe is embarking on a wild adventure in her brand-new book, Wish Upon a Star, written by Suzanne Shepard and illustrated by Tilia Rand-Bell. Rocket’s Wish Upon a Star is available for purchase on Amazon and at the Gladys Porter Zoo’s gift shop. Proceeds from the book go directly to the GPZ for the care and feeding of Rocket and her animal friends.

Read more: GPZ giraffe stars in her second book

Holiday Village returns for 14th season

20231202 Brownsville Holiday Village 0011 webThe cottages of Holiday Village Brownsville have moved back to Dean Porter Park and have been prepared for the 14th annual yuletide event. With five new and updated displays, this year there will be a total of 34 fully decorated cottages lining the sidewalks.

For those who may not know, the Holiday Village at Dean Porter Park in Brownsville is a collection of miniature cottages, each one measuring about 10’ wide x 8’ deep and over 11’ tall, which are adorned inside and out with the most whimsical and adorable holiday trimmings. The Village is set up in the park every November, free and open to the public, and runs from the Monday before Thanksgiving through the first of the year.

Read more: Holiday Village returns for 14th season

Celebrate the holidays in Weslaco

Weslaco 52565954825 47c48cd143 k webThe Holidays are here, and the City of Weslaco and Weslaco Chamber of Commerce invite you to celebrate with them. The 2023 Weslaco Lighted Christmas Parade will be held on Saturday, December 9th at 6 p.m., the event will be kicked off with the annual Santa Dash 5k Fun Run at 5 p.m.

This year’s parade theme is Your Favorite Christmas Movies. Join in on the holiday cheer with an evening of music, lights, and community spirit. The parade and 5k fun run will take place down Texas Blvd. in Weslaco. There will be plenty of seating down the parade route, so bring your lawn chairs. Additionally, organizers would like to inform the community that road closures will take place for staging down Panther Dr., Border Ave., and Pike Blvd. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and start on the corner of Pike Blvd. and Texas Blvd.

Read more: Celebrate the holidays in Weslaco

Celebrate Annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony

Come celebrate the Festival of Lights with Chabad RGV at the RGV Annual Chanakuh and Menorah Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy hot latkes; a kosher hot dog stand; carnival rides and games for the kids and more. Open to all and free for the entire family. It will be held Sunday, December 10 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Archer Park, 101 N. Main St.

Chanakuh, or Hanukkah, is an eight-day Jewish holiday celebrating the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem in the Second Century B.C. Hanukkah is the Hebrew word for “dedication.”

Read more: Celebrate Annual Menorah Lighting Ceremony

San Benito’s Christmas Parade set for Saturday

San Benito Ray Stewart release webThe holidays are in full sing in San Benito, and the 81st Annual Christmas Parade set for 6 p.m. Saturday, December 9, is the highlight of the season.

The theme of this year’s parade is “Christmas at The Movies,” and the procession will run along Sam Houston Blvd. southward from Hicks St. to Swanson St.
Keeping with the Hollywood theme, this year’s grand marshal is actor and San Benito native Ray Stewart, who may be best remembered for portraying recurring character Darryl Driscoll on the TV comedy series “Barney Miller.”

Read more: San Benito’s Christmas Parade set for Saturday

Seven Oaks Workcampers perform at Holiday Market

DSC 0964 webThe evening was pleasant, there was shopping to be done and for the kids, a chance to have their picture taken with Santa during the Holiday Market held Friday in Mission’s Leo Pena La Placita Park.

The sixth market event hosted by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce was also an opportunity for Doug and Dawn Mundt to showcase their musical talent. The work campers, living this season for the first time at Seven Oaks Resort in Mission, were invited to perform during a visit by Chamber of Commerce representatives, who came to the resort to promote both a health fair and the market. The couple hope to get their name out in the public so they can do more park happy hours or other special events in the Valley.

Read more: Seven Oaks Workcampers perform at Holiday Market

December 6, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Our writers have enjoyed going out and about this past week and will again this weekend. They have been attending Christmas festivities throughout the Valley. And they notice you out there enjoying them as well.

We hope you are enjoying these activities the Valley cities are doing for the holidays.

What we would like to know though, is what your park is doing for the holidays. We know many of the parks have gift exchanges, Christmas parties, dinners, and other events for you during the holidays. We also know that some parks hold fundraisers, collect toys for charities, have food drives for local food banks, prepare clothing donations or quilts for local children.

These are also events that we would like to share.

Whether you have a story, or some photos, we would love to hear and see what you are doing. You can send an email to news@wintertexantimes.com.


This is our last issue of the golf series. So look for that ballot and cast your votes. You can also cast your vote online.

Remember this is our fun contest. It’s all about the amenities, favorite holes, food, and other special features the golf courses have.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the Valley’s hidden gems if you’re a golfer. If you haven’t been to some of these great courses, take some time to visit them and tell them you saw them in the Winter Texan Times. The golf courses are very appreciative of you and always want to hear how you learned about them.

We make sure the golf courses know what our readers like about them. We deliver certificates to the winners, and they are always appreciative of your patronage. Let them know how much you appreciate them as well.

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