Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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Newspaper Holiday Schedule

We all enjoy the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. And with the holidays come early advertising and news deadlines, as well as special delivery times.

The Winter Texan Times will be delivered one day early – on Wednesday, Dec. 23 – to give our staff time off on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Read more: Newspaper Holiday Schedule

Hidalgo Festival of Lights continues

Even though there are just a few more days to enjoy the entertainment at this year’s Hidalgo Festival of Lights, the 3 million Christmas lights on 550 fixtures will remain lit up until Dec. 31 for all to enjoy.

From the lighted rocket ship seen at the entrance of Hidalgo City Hall where most festivities are centered, to old favorites that have been around for years, it is worth the time to drive the streets of Hidalgo. Better yet, park the car and take a stroll through this wonderland of Christmas adventure. Take in the beauty and creativity of the many lighted scenes on the grounds of city hall and along many of the small town’s streets. Hidalgo is a little town with a strong Christmas spirit it is not afraid to express.

Read more: Hidalgo Festival of Lights continues

Brownsville Holiday Village adds new cottages

New cottages have been added to the ever-growing Brownsville Holiday Village located in Dean Porter Park. There are now 29 cottages on display to see this year. From the traditional replica of the Immaculate Conception Church and the historic Stillman House, each cottage is uniquely decorated with a variety of themes.

The new yellow school bus of “Elfamentary” is sure to be a hit with the younger crowd just as Golden Rule Elementary still reminds children of school. The town library where Mrs. Santa reads books to the children is a winner.

Read more: Brownsville Holiday Village adds new cottages

Port Isabel offers something for everyone

Whether you enjoy fishing, dining (preferably with a seafood appetite), shopping, exploring historical artifacts and sunken treasures, or simply taking a walk while enjoying the fresh sea breeze, Port Isabel is one place Valley visitors must see.

Because of its mainland location near South Padre Island, Port Isabel has long been an important site in Texas. The site has been strategic since the days of the Karakawas, fierce Indians known for cannibalism, who used the narrow channel waterway between the island and the mainland to trap their enemies.

Read more: Port Isabel offers something for everyone

FUMC hosts live nativity Dec. 19-20

LA FERIA – First United Methodist Church of La Feria will host its annual Live Nativity on Saturday, Dec. 19 and Sunday, Dec. 20 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. At the Live Nativity, the church street and parking lot transform into the town of Bethlehem. Visitors can drive or walk through the village and see the story of Joseph and Mary and the arrival of Jesus Christ.

Read more: FUMC hosts live nativity Dec. 19-20

Winter Texan competition begins

The Mission area Winter Texan Activities Association is once again planning a series of competitions for Winter Texans in several sports beginning Dec. 14. Competitions include shuffleboard, billiards, golf and bowling. In addition, the Arts & Crafts Show is planned Feb. 28.

Shuffleboard competition will be held at Bentsen Grove Resort beginning Dec.14.   Categories of competition are mixed doubles, men’s and ladies’ doubles, and men’s and ladies’ singles. Registration for all categories st arts at 8:30 a.m. Look for mixed doubles tournaments on Dec. 14 and 18; men and ladies doubles, Jan. 4 and Jan. 8; men’s and ladies’ singles on Jan. 11 and Jan. 15. Any questions about the categories or events should be directed to chairmen Howard Adams at (217) 895-2240, or Hugh Ross (810) 656-7338.

Read more: Winter Texan competition begins

Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade deadline nears

Several Winter Texan RV parks participate in the Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade of Oranges each year, and the Fiesta invites other parks to have a parade entry this year.

The 79th annual Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade of Oranges will kick off Saturday, Jan. 30, at 3 p.m. This year’s TCF theme is “Citrus, Cartoons & Comic Book Characters.” The deadline to turn in applications for new parade participants (those who did not have a parade entry last January) is Jan. 14, or until the maximum number of entries is reached. The $40 entry fee must be turned in with the application.

Popular categories for Winter Texan RV park parade entries include floats, bicycles and decorated golf carts.

The most prestigious float category is Valley Product. To be competitive in this category, the float must adhere to the parade theme and be decorated with at least two-thirds citrus or other products grown in the Rio Grande Valley. First place Sweepstakes Award receives $1000, second place receives $500, and third place $350. Some Winter Texan RV parks, such as Bentsen Grove Resort and Split Rail RV Park have competed exceptionally well in this category in the past.

Read more: Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade deadline nears

Looking for a special place to visit during the Christmas season?

There’s more than Santa coming to town in Alamo this Christmas season. As many are reminded at this time of the year, an angelic host worshipped on that eve when Jesus was born in Bethlehem. On Thursday, Dec. 17, a host of angels will be appearing as a new angel galleria will be born in the Alamo Museum building, 130 South Eighth Street in Alamo.

More than 1,500 angel figures will be on display, which were donated by Shirl Pfeiffer, of Alamo, who has been collecting them for more than 30 years. The exhibit opens Dec. 17, at 1 p.m. with a grand opening ceremony set for 5:30 p.m., which will include a ribbon cutting arranged by the Alamo Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center. Mrs. Pfeiffer will do the snipping of the ribbon, followed by a reception and the opportunity to view the unique exhibit. The occasion also includes a Chamber of Commerce network night for members.

Read more: Looking for a special place to visit during the Christmas season?

Brownsville Heritage Museum tells history of Brownsville

The Brownsville Heritage Museum, located at 1325 Washington Street, just a couple of streets over from the river, tells the story of the early days of Brownsville. The museum is adjacent to the home of Brownsville founder, Charles Stillman, who was an American merchant in Matamoros before the Mexican-American War started. Stillman moved to the north side of the river and kept trading, founding Brownsville in the process.

Brownsville was a true Wild West town and many of the sketches of early Brownsville on display tell that story.

Read more: Brownsville Heritage Museum tells history of Brownsville

Pantry makes Christmas stockings for needy children

Santa Claus does not always arrive in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. There may or may not be a jolly old elf wearing a red and white suit working in Penitas on Christmas day when Christmas stockings are passed out in nearby colonias. But the true meaning of Christmas, the call to minister to the needy, abounds when the Penitas Food Pantry Christmas Caravan hits the road on Christmas morning.

While there are a number of food pantries in the area that have weekly food distributions for needy families, the Penitas Food Pantry goes far beyond to serve the needs of the people in their area. Sponsored by the Penitas Baptist Church, the food pantry started about 15 years ago. Sharon Child, who is coordinator for the Penitas Food Pantry says there is so much need in the area that additional programs for distribution of shoes and clothing and baby items have been developed.

Read more: Pantry makes Christmas stockings for needy children

McAllen Holiday Parade rolls in Saturday

The Valley’s biggest Christmas parade will be held in McAllen on Saturday, Dec. 5, complete with over 36 helium balloons (look for Big Bird, the Ogre and Mrs. Santa Claus to name a few), over 50 floats and many marching bands.

The 2015 theme is “Movies on Parade.” It will be the largest holiday illuminated parade in Texas. The fun begins at 6 p.m. at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium. Over 200,000 people turned out to see the inaugural Christmas parade in 2014.

Planning a new route this year, the parade will begin at the high school football stadium and move north on Bicentennial Blvd., ending at Houston Street. There will be a concert by Enrique Iglesias at the stadium before the parade begins.

Actor Esai Morales who appeared in the movies, “La Bamba,” “Bad Boys” and “Spare Parts” as well as having roles on “NYPD BLUE,” “Criminal Minds” and “Miami Vice,” will serve as Grand Marshal of the parade.

Disney star Laura Marano, who has the lead role as Ally in “Austin & Ally” will be in the parade. David Zepeda, best known for roles in several telenovelas and films such as “Acorralada,” will also take part in the parade.

Read more: McAllen Holiday Parade rolls in Saturday

Dean Canty Big Band Brings Christmas to Quinta Mazatlan

Dean Canty grew up in radio’s heyday where all means of entertainment came out of that little box with a speaker screen.

“My mother always had the radio on, listening to music because we didn’t have TV,” chuckled Dean Canty, a tall, vital man with sparkling eyes. “Every Saturday my older sister and I had to clean the house, so we did it listening to the Texaco Opera Broadcasts. We’d both sing parts.”

Though his father was only an appreciative bystander to all the musical goings on in the home, his mom and sisters took their musical talents to the church choir and lifted up their voices around the house.

Read more: Dean Canty Big Band Brings Christmas to Quinta Mazatlan

Hidalgo’s Christmas tradition lights up the night sky

HIDALGO – It’s now a long-standing Valley tradition. This little Valley city’s residents believed they could—and they did.        

One of the largest arrays of holiday decorating to be found, the switch is turned on and the show begins at sunset every night in December for Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights. A wide range of events keep the party going all month long.

The displays, music and programs are centered at the city grounds at 704 E. Texano Dr., but extend to other areas of the city. Trolley and horse and carriage tours allow visitors to take in the multiple sites of Christmas displays around the city or personal vehicles can be used.

Read more: Hidalgo’s Christmas tradition lights up the night sky

2015 Holiday Calendar

All month – Brownsville’s Holiday Village in Dean Porter Park, featuring 29 cottages of Santa’s helpers getting ready for the big holiday will be open daily. It will be lit from 6 to 10 p.m. weekdays and 6 to 11 p.m. weekends.

All month -- Hidalgo’s Festival of Lights continues with dinners, entertainment, and 3 million lights in displays. Nightly entertainment, except Dec. 16, which is Posada.

All month -- Brownville Historical Museum will host its annual Nacimientos exhibit featuring nativity scenes from Latin America.

Dec. 10 -- “Dean Canty Big Band Christmas Concert” will be held at Quinta Mazatlan WBC, 500 Sunset Drive, McAllen, 6 p.m. Admission is $5; tickets sold at the door. Arrive early for good seats.

Dec. 10 -- Mission Historical Museum will host its annual Poinsettia Christmas luncheon in the annex building at 200 E. Tom Landry. Ticket are $12. Call (956) 580-8646 for reservations.

Read more: 2015 Holiday Calendar

Christmas House celebrates 30th season

The Christmas House is now in its 30th year of being open for public tours. Visiting the house, which is just north of Falfurrias, has become a holiday tradition for many Valley residents. It is owned and operated by three sisters, Janie, Esther and Dorothy Minten, who are quite possibly Santa’s best elves, because they love Christmas so much!

Yes, they actually live in The Christmas House!

Read more: Christmas House celebrates 30th season

Performances added to Brownsville Holiday Village

Since its beginning in 2010, Brownsville’s annual Holiday Village has grown each year thanks to the efforts of many volunteers who make this Christmas tradition happen. According to Laurie Ray, the idea for a Holiday Village came to Brownsville residents after reading about a similar village in a small town 1000 miles away.

Read more: Performances added to Brownsville Holiday Village

Edinburg welcomes Winter Texans

Edinburg Chamber of Commerce hosted a “Welcome Back” Winter Texan fiesta last Thursday, Nov. 19, with residents of Edinburg parks filing all the tables.  Keys and Strings played a variety of music including country western and some lively polka music for visitors to dance.  The chamber served barbecue sandwiches and drinks, then brought two large cakes with the words “Welcome Back” to serve to the crowd.

Read more: Edinburg welcomes Winter Texans

Historical Museum brings history to life

Mission Historical Museum is one of the best small town museums in the Rio Grande Valley. With Director Luis Contreras at the helm and his talented staff, the museum has a range of exhibits, events and displays planned for the winter season.

The museum has a historical exhibit depicting life in the early days of the city and on the ranches nearby, along with the Shary Room honoring John Shary, known as the Father of the Texas Citrus Industry.

Read more: Historical Museum brings history to life

Mission: The place to stay and play

When Winter Texans first started coming to the RGV many years ago, Mission was a small community known for its agricultural (especially citrus) production. But a lot has changed over the years. In a poll earlier this year Mission was named the fastest growing small city in the nation. In spite of the growth Mission still retains a lot of its small town flavor.

Read more: Mission: The place to stay and play

Shriners Nomad Hall in Pharr helps burn victims

Shriners Hospitals all over the United States have long been known for providing free medical treatment to children who are burn victims or who have orthopedic disorders. But people may not realize they also take children from foreign countries as well. Because of the Valley’s close proximity to Mexico, Shriners have been very active in the here helping children have access to Shriners Hospitals. The transportation unit that runs between the border and Shriners Hospitals in Texas is the largest transportation unit in the United States.

Read more: Shriners Nomad Hall in Pharr helps burn victims

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