University researchers who study the positive impact Winter Texans have on the Rio Grande Valley economy need your input. Every two years the Winter Texan Times helps the local university collect information about the Winter Texans that visit the Rio Grande Valley. So, it’s that time again – We need your help.
This week, the Winter Texan Times includes the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) Winter Texan Survey as an insert in the newspapers. We invite our readers to complete the survey, and in so doing, be entered in a drawing for $150 cash prize.
The easiest way to complete the survey is online. UTRGV has created an easy-to-use web form and there is a link to it on the home page of our website at www.wintertexantimes.com. You can also find the survey form online at http://utrgv.edu/wintertexan.
Read more: It’s that time again
Boy, has it been a busy month – with the last two weeks seeming to go non-stop here at the Winter Texan Times office. Our readers have been visiting the office quite a bit this month – bringing their news in, dropping off reunion and meeting notices, picking up papers, placing classified ads and picking up prizes they have won by subscribing to our email edition.
In all of this, my husband, Dan, and I have been trying to get out more and visit the parks, getting to know the people that we serve. We have been invited to a few events, have had booths at others, and some we have just decided to drop in on and see what was going on. Our writers are out there quite often getting the newest story or learning more about a sport – check out our new column From the Cheap Seats where one of our writers has been able to get out and learn about sports in the parks.
Read more: It’s been a busy month
Earlier in January, there were several Travel Expos up and down the Valley from McAllen to Port Isabel. Even though the shows were geared toward attracting Winter Texans, there were many permanent residents that attended. Great entertainment and music were offered at every show. Plus, lots of information and freebies were given out. There were exhibitors from cities and states in the U.S., as well as exhibitors from Mexico.
Those shows did not pertain just to travel but to a wide variety of subjects including how to cook and eat healthy, what bank to use for the best interest rates and best service, who to call in an emergency and on and on. The most popular booth at the Harlingen show was the one giving out a free scoop of soft ice cream. Unfortunately, they ran out of chocolate and then out of vanilla before I got my scoop! And how I do love ice cream. Think I’ll go have some right now!
Read more: Now, that's Texas Talk
I almost had a Harper.
The news kinda surprised me when I first heard it.
What’s a Harper? And how did I not get it?
I was at the indoor shooting range at Alamo Rec Veh Park in Alamo checking to see how good – or bad – my shooting skills were.
“He got a 10,” Jim Davis said, almost surprisingly. “He almost got a Harper.”
A Harper is named after a shooter at the 10-meter air rifle range (with the same guns and distance used for the Olympics) who could shoot out the middle of the tiny target and leave nothing but the white ring around the shot out target. My third shot caught just a piece of the white line or else I would’ve had my first Harper.
Read more: I almost had a Harper
We can’t believe it has been three years since our last “Creative Quilting Showcase” at Alamo Palms RV and MH Park, in Alamo. This year’s event will be held on Wednesday, January 29, from 12 – 3 p.m.
Not only will you be able to view the beautiful quilts and quilted items made by the talented Alamo Palms quilters, but you can also enjoy the refreshments in the Tea Room. (Men, you will enjoy the treats, too.)
Do your scissors or knives need sharpening? Ray’s Scissor Sharpening can help you. Bring them along and have them sharpened for $3 a pair or just $1 per knife and of course, shop at the many vendors. Vendors include: “Angelics” from right here in the Valley, “Quilters This & Thant” from Mercedes, “Uniquely Yours Quilt Shop” from Orangeville, IL, Seabrook Farm Fabric from Edinburg and R&A Creations.
Read more: Alamo Palms holds quilt showcase
Leisure Valley Ranch will host a fundraiser on Thursday, January 30, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will be an evening of music and entertainment provided by Barry & Linda Burton (High Country Band), Bob and Lea Price (Big River Band), Son’s of Calvary, and Regan James (from Hired Hands).
The event being held is to raise funds for a food drive meal packing event that will be held in late February benefiting Kids Against Hunger. Sign up sheets to help with the packing events will be at the event. The meal packages to be packed will benefit numerous food pantries and churches from Penitas to McAllen areas.
The event itself is free – But they are taking any type of financial donations to help purchase the food. Any checks should be made out to Kid’s Against Hunger, St. Mark’s Lutheran.
A separate event will be held on February 6 at John Knox Village Dining Room, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This event is a freewill offering and will include entertainment by Juan de Leon, dancing, hors d’oeuvres, and refreshments. John Knox Village residents can sign up at the front desk. Nonresidents attending, call (956) 968-4575 to reserve a seat.
The packing event will be held on February 29 at John Knox Village Rec Hall, starting at 9 a.m. They will need 75 to 100 volunteers to help package the meals. Volunteers can volunteer for one-hour blocks or more.
What is it like to be retired? There is a difference in being retired and in slowing down. Most of the people who come to the Rio Grande Valley for the winter are not really retired, they have just slowed down. They are sometimes even more active here than they are back home. They keep busy helping their neighbor, giving back to the community, doing volunteer work at their church or pitching in as they help to prepare meals at the RV parks where they stay. And they do this until it warms up back home. Their minds are just as eager to learn as they always were.
Since it is said that our Rio Grande Valley is a world unto itself, most of the Winter Texans want to learn more about “our world”. But as soon as it warms up, the itchy foot wants to put the petal to the metal and head for home. Some even leave too early and are caught in a snowstorm in route. Just because the farmers are planting in the Rio Grande Valley doesn’t mean it is planting time back home. Stay a little longer, folks, we enjoy having you here!
Read more: King Ranch tours teach history and farming
As I peered through my camera lens, I saw the angle that the attack came from. A pickleball player at the net wanted to go cross court with a smash. She went cross court and she smashed it.
Unfortunately for her and her teammate, I was standing out of play as the ball crashed into me, serious injury just a moment's notice away...ok, so I'm being a bit dramatic.
They lost the point.
“Yes, I was aiming for you,” said my plotting attacker. “You were targeted.”
Everyone laughed as the eight players taking up residence on the two air-conditioned pickleball courts at Bentsen Grove RV Park continued on with their games. Another 10 or so people waited their turns at what Larry Vermeersch said is the only indoor air-conditioned pickleball court in the Valley.
Read more: Bam … Kapow … Whack
The Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade of Oranges has grown to become one of the largest parades in South Texas, an annual tradition that attracts about 100,000 people. In addition to its signature floats made of citrus fruit, the parade features spirited marching bands, exciting dance performances, stunning citrus-themed pageant gowns, and a royal court.
The spectacular event is scheduled for Saturday Jan. 25, 2020 at 3 p.m. The Texas A&M Parsons Cavalry, a horse combat unit consisting of cavalry, artillery and quartermaster elements will highlight this year’s parade. Texas State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa (D-McAllen) will serve as parade marshal.
The parade begins at Griffin Parkway and runs south on Conway Avenue and ends at 1st Street. Mission Police will close all streets along the parade route in phases, beginning at 9 a.m. until the conclusion of the parade. Spectators are advised to exercise caution along Conway Ave., and to stay clear of any marked and coned-off areas.
Read more: TCF Parade this weekend
January 23rd has been named Cook Your Catch Day by the avid anglers and cuisine fans of South Padre Island. The Island is celebrating their first-ever Cook Your Catch Day with a VIP fishing trip and Chef’s table dinner for local and regional influencers, tips from fishing guides on techniques for catching different species, ideas from SPI chefs on how to make the most of every catch, and a call for the best fish stories on social media.
Enjoying freshly caught fish is a tradition on this tropical Texas island. With Island restaurants renowned for their fish recipes and great Redfish and Drum in the bay, SPI is the perfect Gulf-to-Table experience.
Read more: SPI CVB names January 23rd Cook Your Catch Day