Each spring, monarch butterflies migrate north during March and April. On Saturday, April 1st, Quinta Mazatlan will be hosting the 7th annual Monarch Fest presented by H-E-B from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in McAllen, with the Mayors Bug Parade at 11 a.m. in the park.
Fun family activities include live music, dance, vendors, arts & crafts, migration path, scout/youth projects and more. Participate in one of our community created art installations: add your own splash of color to the monarch mural painting and contribute to the butterfly migration installation. The main stage will feature local cultural dances and performers throughout the festival.
Children of all ages will enjoy the Mayors Bug Parade, dress as a pollinator, and walk in the parade. The street parade will be led by the famous McHi Drumline & Color Guard, Butterfly Stilt Walkers and many more entertainers. Quinta is calling all kids, scout, and youth groups to wear orange and/or dress as a pollinator to be part of the old-fashioned walking parade.
Read more: Quinta Mazatlan hosts Monarch Fest
By Herb Moering
Neither the early weather threat of rain nor cartel concerns seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of Winter Texans for the 47th Tourist Day 2023 in Nuevo Progreso on March 21. An estimated 8,000 people crossed the border for the annual local merchant’s appreciation day.
Darris and Judy Hable, from Aladdin Villas Subdivision in Mission, reigned as king and queen over Tourist Day. The couple, who spend part of their summers in Minnesota in addition to traveling, had breakfast in the Bridge Authority building before joining the American delegation on a walk to meet a delegation of Mexican officials at the center of the Progreso bridge.
Joining them were Mr. Tourist 2023 USA, Weslaco Mayor David Suarez, and Mr. Tourist 2023 Mexico, the musical group Nortenos De Rio Bravo. It was Rio Bravo, Mexico officials who chose those to be honored as they joined other Mexican officials on the main stage following the brief ceremony and stroll on the bridge.
Read more: Tourist Day in Nuevo Progreso huge success
Thank you for visiting
Us here at the Winter Texan Times would like to give you all a big, huge thank you for visiting the Rio Grande Valley. We thank you for making the Valley your home for the winter, whatever the length of time might be.
The season is ending, and we hate to see you go. We always enjoy your time with us, and our time with you, and we sure are going to miss it while you are gone.
We have been so thankful to get out and about this year. We attended as much as we could, but still wish we had attended more. There was just too much to do in the Valley – at the parks and around town. From the looks of Park Facebook pages, parks had plenty of activities for you while you were here…. And it looks like they were enjoyed by all. We loved seeing how much fun everyone had. We were thrilled to be able to enjoy some of it with you as well.
We also enjoyed seeing how much our Wintertainers™ were able to really get out there and enjoy themselves this year. I have never seen them gather and spend so much time together as they did this year. It was exciting seeing them entertain with each other and all of the camaraderie they have.
We are so very blessed to have great entertainment that visits the Valley each year. And it’s all because of you. The activity directors have a hard job trying to fill in their calendars. Make sure you tell them who you want to see at your park.
Read more: March 29, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings
I know many of our Winter Texans have already started home. Those who have not already left are probably thinking of packing up and closing down their winter homes. We are going to miss you and look forward to welcoming you back again in the fall. Have a wonderful summer wherever you may be.
But now as you think about the drive home, will you stop along the way? Yes, you are anxious to be home but why not stop and enjoy a little bit more of Texas as you head home? One of your first stops could easily be at Schulenburg - located some five hours straight up North Highway 77. Schulenburg is the home of the Painted Churches and well worth a stop as you head North.
Truly, Texas has been blessed to have so many different nationalities and cultures to settle in our state. Remnants of a European culture still exist in Schulenburg where the original settlers were from Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia.
It was in 1848, when the German speaking countries were in revolution that so many who were seeking a democratic form of government over a monarchy decided to leave their homeland. Even so, to leave everything behind and start life anew must have been very difficult. It is no wonder that these immigrants missed the architecture of their homeland and the beautiful churches they had left behind. Farmland abounded around Schulenburg but art and materials to copy the beautiful artwork and marble found in their homeland was sadly lacking.
Read more: Stop and smell the roses on your way
Change comes to the Rio Grande Valley every year at the Ides of March. Here in the Valley Winter Texans are preparing to leave soon after March 15. Leaving to go north, reconnecting with their northern families.
• On the Ides of March 44 BC, the Roman Senate assassinated Julius Caesar.
• In 1599 William Shakespeare brought those five words into English with a play.
• In the 21st century, March 15 has gained a reputation as a time of Change.
• Change takes place yearly around this date, in the Rio Grande Valley.
Read more: Beware the Ides of March
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