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Wild by Nature - October 24, 2018

20181024 WILD Chachalaca LEG4439 003As a life-long Valley resident, and as a wildlife photographer for nearly as long, I have visited, and photographed wildlife in, nearly all the nature centers across the Rio Grande Valley. My familiarity with these sites, and my appreciation for what each one has to offer, is why I will be featuring some of the top nature centers in the Valley here in the weeks to come.

With more nature centers across the Valley than there are tail feathers on a Chachalaca, I will let the numbers speak for themselves by sharing some statistics about each of the Valley’s top birding hot spots.

Read more: Wild by Nature - October 24, 2018

Celebrations, Festivals and Voting

FromthepublisherThis week we will see a big lineup of community festivals and activities all throughout the Rio Grande Valley – from Mission to Brownsville – including fall festivals, Halloween parties, and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) celebrations.

Of course, we’re all familiar with Halloween dances and parties, fall festivals and haunted houses. But I’d venture to say that many of us aren’t too familiar with the Mexican traditions behind the Day of the Dead celebration. Except, of course, those who have attended some of the Dia de los Muertos events that can shed a little light on the subject for the unacquainted. As the Hispanics living in the Rio Grande Valley have taken a more active role in trying to preserve their Mexican heritage and pass it down to younger generations, we have seen these celebrations and altar displays become more popular. Some of the museums report that their Dia de los Muertos events are better attended than any other they host throughout the year.

Read more: Celebrations, Festivals and Voting

Day of the Dead festivals and events planned

20181024 CityofMission STA by Charlie IMG 0778Halloween is traditionally known as a night of mischief, horror and costumes.

Dia de los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead”, isn't a Mexican version of Halloween, even though it does deal with the dead, calacas (skeletons) and calaveras (skulls), and there are plenty of sweets to be shared – usually decorated as calacas and calaveras.
However, Dia de los Muertos is about celebrating life; specifically the lives of loved ones who have deceased.

Originated in Mexico thousands of years ago with the Aztecs and others, but now celebrated all over Latin America, Dia De Los Muertos is recognized Nov. 1-2 (another similarity to Halloween's Oct. 31 tradition and during the Catholic faith's All Saints Day on Nov. 1 and All Souls Day on Nov. 2). The traditions portray the belief that during this celebration those who have gone on to their eternal sleep awaken to celebrate with loved ones.

Read more: Day of the Dead festivals and events planned

Winter Texans feel ‘safe’ in Mexican border town

20181024 TOURIST DAY Progreso Moering IMG 6654Concern about border troubles don’t seem evident in at least one popular Mexican border town on the Rio Grande River. Nuevo Progreso, which is just a short walk or drive across the international bridge, has been a popular spot for tourists from the U.S. for decades.

While the perception of trouble on the border may make news headlines in some border locations, the Winter Texans who come to the McAllen metro area and many full-time Texas residents still find Mexico’s Progreso to be a charming place to go shopping, enjoy a meal, get a manicure/pedicure and buy cheaper prescription drugs and liquor.

Read more: Winter Texans feel ‘safe’ in Mexican border town

STC Theatre opens 2018-2019 season with Miss Holmes

South Texas College (STC) Theatre kicks off its 2018-2019 season this month with Christopher M. Walsh’s play, “Miss Holmes”, inspired by the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

The production will run from Oct. 18-20 at 8 p.m. and will include a matinee at 2 p.m. on Oct. 21. Performances will take place at STC’s Cooper Center for Communication Arts Black Box Studio Theatre located at 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., in McAllen.

Read more: STC Theatre opens 2018-2019 season with Miss Holmes

Wild by Nature

Welcome to Wild by Nature. My name is Luciano Guerra and this is my weekly nature and wildlife column. As a photographer and a life-long Valley resident, I have been observing and photographing the Rio Grande Valley’s amazing diversity of wildlife for as long as I can remember. From the tiniest and most delicate of the Valley’s butterflies to alligators large enough to kill a man, I have seen most and photographed many of the different species of wildlife that we here in deep south Texas are so fortunate to have all around us.

Over the years I have developed a passion for observing and photographing the unique, and all too often elusive, wildlife that inhabits the Rio Grande Valley. In the weeks and months to come, I will be using this column to share this passion with those interested in learning more about the birds, insects, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians that inhabit the South Texas thorn scrub as well as nature centers, backyards, parks, and other places in the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Wild by Nature

Fall exhibits feature Kaffe Fassett, “Lights,” and Millefiori!

20180921 Texas Quilt Show FASSETTSeptember 17, 2018—La Grange, TX—The Texas Quilt Museum presents three exciting exhibits for this fall, including one by a legendary artist and innovator. They will run October 4 through December 23, 2018. Museum curator Dr. Sandra Sider describes the trio as “a magnificent array of quilted art bursting with originality, color, and luminosity.”

Kaffe Fassett’s love of color imbues his designs in knitwear, needlepoint, and patchwork, as can be seen in the exhibit Bold By Design: Kaffe Fassett Quilts. It will feature 23 of his works from his prolific library of patchwork and quilting publications.

Read more: Fall exhibits feature Kaffe Fassett, “Lights,” and Millefiori!

VSO 2018-19 Season Subscriptions On Sale Now through September 29

The Valley Symphony Orchestra and Peter Debrowski, Music Director/Conductor, presents the 2018-2019 “SYMPHONY...That’s Entertainment,” five-concert series package which opens on September 28 with Concert I - A Night In Paris; October 26 with Concert II - A Harry Potter Halloween; December 7 with Concert III - A Touch of Frost; March 1, 2019 with Concert IV - Hooray For Hollywood and wrapping the season with Concert V - The 3B’s: Beatles, Brahms And Beethoven on April 5, 2019. All five concerts will be held at the McAllen Performing Arts Center located at 801 Convention Center Blvd on Friday evenings from 8:00 – 10:00 PM.

Read more: VSO 2018-19 Season Subscriptions On Sale Now through September 29

Until we meet again

FromthepublisherAs we come to the close of another wonderful winter season in the Rio Grande Valley we look back on all the great times we have enjoyed with you, our Winter Texan friends. We so much enjoy seeing you come down to deep South Texas each year to get away from the cold weather, but also to be with friends and neighbors.

After 31 years as publisher of the Winter Texan Times, I am still amazed at your zeal for life, your love of country and your caring nature. You make me proud to be the publisher of a newspaper that serves people who have earned my deep respect and appreciation for who you are and the values you bring to our local communities all across the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Until we meet again

Share the fun!

Wow has time flown by this Winter Texan season!

Now that it is coming to a close, we here at the Winter Texans Times would love for you to share with us – and all our readers – what this season was like for you in the Rio Grande Valley.

What was your favorite event? Did you work with any charities? Did you compete in sports or any type of competition (like the chili cook-off in Llano Grande Resort and Country Club?).

Read more: Share the fun!

Thanks for coming!

FromthepublisherAs we near the end of another winter season, it’s time to say farewell to many of you who will be leaving the Rio Grande Valley and heading north in the next week or two.

We want to take a moment to just say, “Thank you” for choosing the Rio Grande Valley as your winter home and invite you to take a few extra copies of the Winter Texan Times Take Home Edition (published on March 15) to share with your friends and neighbors back home. If you need extra copies, call or come by the Winter Texan Times office at 1217 N. Conway Ave., Mission. We printed extras just, so you can share.

Read more: Thanks for coming!

Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

FromthepublisherThis edition of the Winter Texan Times is our “Take Home Edition.” We invite all our Winter Texan readers to take extra copies of this edition with you when you head north so you can share them with your friends and family.

Getting out and doing all the fun and interesting things you do in the “winter” in the Rio Grande Valley is always more fun when you do it with friends. So, we invite you to become a Winter Texan Ambassador and help us invite more people to come down and enjoy our South Texas Hospitality. Tell them about all the good times you had this winter in the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

Rio Valley Estates celebrates Roaring 20s

20180301 Rio Valley Estates Roaring 20s 001Senior citizens wintering in South Texas along with some now living in the Rio Grande Valley year-round, staged an event on Feb. 22 to celebrate “The Roaring 20s.” Held at Rio Valley Estates in Weslaco, over 200 fun-loving residents came to the party.

Some folks remembered hearing about stills and speak easy bars, so party chairs Kathy and David Cochran and their crazy committee tried to recreate that adventurous time.

To get in through the Speak Easy door riddled with bullet holes, you had to know a secret password. There was a guard of sorts at the door who checked for firearms and we heard he might even be into frisking some of the shady ladies who tried to enter. The guard did say the sign that read “Watch out for pickpockets and loose women” had to have the words “loose women” X’d out.

Ever popular Fred Goldsbery played for listening and dancing. Thanks to a great kitchen committee, a meal of salad, ham, potatoes and dessert was served before the fun began. The stage backdrop portrayed a brick background with some jazz musicians featured. Residents brought along their own favorite beverages, such as giggle water, moonshine, the bee’s knees, soda pop or beer.

There were contests for best decorated table. Men and women at Rio Valley Estates always seem to go along with whatever the theme is for any party. This one being no exception, there were well-dressed men who could have been gangsters in those days, and beautifully attired ladies “Puttin’ on the Ritz” in their flapper of Gatsby dresses. Pick pockets roamed throughout. A cigarette-cigar gal walked through the crowd selling her wares – candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars!

20180301 Rio Valley Estates Roaring 20s 002Though none were actually old enough to have lived in the 1920s, many had parents who told of adventures from that era. One lady remembered her mother telling her that her own father was a bootlegger who said, “You had to have a bootlegger ID card in my small town, or you’d try to sell to another bootlegger, there were so many around.”

Some of the party’s events may not have really been from the 20s, but they were loads of fun. As Kathy said, “If it was illegal, we did it!” A Rodent Run for the Roses: drew the most attention. The committee had constructed a lighted mouse race track so six live mice could race at a time. Mouse dollars (some claimed they were counterfeit) were used, but that didn’t discourage the gamblers from really getting into the swing of things. They held six races with mice having names such as Mickey, (of course!) Cat Food, Zippy, Squeaky, Oh Here We Go and Leg Cramps. The winner of each race was then placed on a roulette wheel to determine a winner.

It's a challenge each season to come up with something new to entertain and surprise the residents at Rio Valley Estates, but you can bet this nutty committee is already working on an event for 2019!

Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

If you love coming down to the Rio Grande Valley each winter, you’re invited to become a Winter Texan ambassador. The job is simple: share with your friends all the good times you have in the Valley each winter – away from the snow and ice. In a place where you can play golf almost any winter day. In a place where your MH & RV resort is a community of its own with lots of friends to share in a whole array of fun activities.

Read more: Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

La Joya High School's mariachi and folklorico to perform

La Joya High School’s Mariachi Los Coyotes y Grupo Folklórico Tabasco will present their Spring 2018 concert “Orgullo y Tradición” at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 3, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 4. Performances will be held at the Alejandro “Alex” H. Saenz Performing Arts Center, located at 604 Coyote Dr. in La Joya.

“Orgullo y Tradición” translates to “Pride & Tradition,” and Mariachi Los Coyotes y Grupo Folklorico Tabasco have much earned that mantra. As the longest running mariachi and folklórico high school groups in the nation, they have an extensive resumé that dates back to 1982. The program was first born as a means to increase student attendance and lower dropout rates, but now, the program is a big part of La Joya’s traditions.

Read more: La Joya High School's mariachi and folklorico to perform

‘Music for All Ages’ concert is March 2

Ken Morrison has been in some type of choir since he was a child, growing up in Crooked Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada. He moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 2009 and it didn't take him long to find something to keep his vocal chords loose and ready to go, joining the Senior Ambassadors chorale group.

He along with the other 37 Senior Ambassadors members will join Men of A-Chord, the Magic Valley Chorus and the RGV Band for “Music for All Ages” concert at 7 p.m. Friday, March 2 at Center Church, located at 4801 N. Cage in Pharr.

Read more: ‘Music for All Ages’ concert is March 2

Win a Kindle Fire and $150 cash

The deadline is fast approaching for a chance to win a Kindle Fire and $150 cash. Here is how to enter. Complete this year’s Winter Texan Survey before the Feb. 26 deadline and send it in.

The bi-annual Winter Texan Survey, conducted by the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV), studies the economic impact of Winter Texans in the Rio Grande Valley.

Read more: Win a Kindle Fire and $150 cash

Treasure Hills Country Club: 2nd Place Tie for Mid-Valley Golf Courses

20170208 GOLF PHOTOS TREASURE HILLSLike that baseball player in the minor leagues where the scouting report is something along the lines of “should be an impact player in the pros, maybe as soon as next year,” for Treasure Hills, next year has arrived.

After being pretty much left in no man's land for several years – up for sale but with no buyers, the course finally was sold and the new owners immediately got to work on all aspects of the course.

Read more: Treasure Hills Country Club: 2nd Place Tie for Mid-Valley Golf Courses

Tony Butler Golf Course Namesake Remembered

20170208 GOLF PHOTOS Tony Butler pic 1If there is one course in the Rio Grande Valley that epitomizes golf, it's Tony Butler Golf Course. The Harlingen public golf course bears the name of the man who helped bring some of the sport’s greatest athletes to the Rio Grande Valley for professional tournaments during the Great Depression. His style of play, a consistent short game and accurate putts, came to reflect the character of skills required for success to those pursuing challenges on the Tony Butler Municipal Golf Course.

Read more: Tony Butler Golf Course Namesake Remembered

Howling Trails sees transformation under new ownership

20170208 GOLF PHOTOS Howling TrailsRaul Gutierrez, complex administrator at Howling Trails Golf Course, located at 1910 Hole In One Dr. in Mission, is excited about what the future is bringing to the course. He has already watched a complete transformation of a golf course into a learning and recreational center.

He’s even happier about the fact that La Joya ISD is investing back into the course, formerly known as Martin Valley Ranch.

Read more: Howling Trails sees transformation under new ownership

Local News
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Top News

  • McAllen Performing Arts Center announces entertainment for Broadway in McAllen series

    The McAllen Performing Arts Center and the McAllen Society for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce the 2019-2020 Broadway in McAllen season. This exciting season will feature Cats, Blue Man Group, Finding Neverland, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, and Rent.

    The McAllen Live! Series will bring musical classics, family shows, and star attractions of all types, including We Will Rock You,… Read More +

  • Benefit concert held in Mission for DPS Trooper

    STXSD ConcertAll proceeds will benefit Trooper Moises Sanchez; Eight bands lined up

    Mission, TX- The City of Mission has teamed up with the South Texas Sheepdogs and several other local sponsors to host a music festival benefiting Texas DPS Trooper Moises Sanchez who was shot in the line of duty.

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  • Mission Lions Club Market Days planned April 13

    20190327 Mission Lions Market Days members vestsThe Mission Lions Club is planning their next Market Days event for Saturday, April 13.

    Mission Lions Market Days is held on the second Saturday of the month, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the newly renovated Leo Pena Placita Park in downtown Mission. The park… Read More +

  • Red Hat Queen’s Council visits Iwo Jima Memorial

    20190327 Red Hats Iwo jima Tour Lilly 2The Rio Grande Valley Red Hat Queen’s Council enjoyed its final outing of the year visiting the Iwo Jima Memorial in Harlingen. The ladies met at 10 a.m. to tour the museum and see the artifacts of the battle on display including weapons used in the battle, Japanese flags brought home by… Read More +

  • Carrying on the Loretta Pfeifer tradition

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  • Tracy Lawrence to perform at Pharr HubPhestival

    20190327 Hub Phest Car Show 1The City of Pharr is set to host the annual Pharr HubPhestival this Saturday, March 30, beginning at 2 p.m. The festival will be held on the grounds of Pharr city hall, located in downtown Pharr at 118 S. Cage. Admission is free before 5 p.m., and only $5 per person after 5 p.m.… Read More +

  • VSO announces their season finale featuring music from The Beatles on April 5

    20190327 VSO Beatles Brahms and Beethoven artThe Valley Symphony Orchestra presents its season finale concert, “The 3 Bs: Beatles, Brahms, and Beethoven” on Friday, April 5. Under the direction of Maestro Peter Dabrowski, the orchestra and chorale will perform Johannes Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” Henry Mancini’s “Portrait of the Beatles,” and the fourth movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony… Read More +

  • See You In The Fall

    FromthepublisherIt’s hard to believe it’s that time of year already. We have had so much fun covering many of the activities and events for Winter Texans. Whether it’s Bean Bag Baseball at Country Sunshine, Donut Day at Bentsen Grove or the Rock ‘n Roll Jam at Green Gate Grove – and so many other activities held in the resorts… Read More +

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