Saturday, March 23, 2019
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Great talent performs at Entertainers Showcase No. 1.

20190116 Showcase IMG 7635Kody Norris was fascinated – he used the word “mesmerized” – with the performers he saw on the Grand Ole Opry when he was a child. Not only was he drawn in by the music, but also by the bright, bold colors that the performers wore; and the bling – the shiny rhinestones that peppered so many of the outfits, from Glen Campbell to Dolly Parton.
The influence was quite clear as the Kody Norris Band was one of about 35 bands, groups and individuals to perform at the Entertainers Showcase last week at Park Place Estates in Harlingen, organized and run by Robert and Billie Ferguson.

While bull riders are given just seven seconds to impress the judges, showcase entertainers are given nine minutes – with similar pressure attached – to show park activity directors what they can do in hopes of getting booked for shows the following year.

Read more: Great talent performs at Entertainers Showcase No. 1.

Fearless Matador Undaunted by Close Call

20190116 Bullfight IMG 8014Just about the same time that the movie “Field of Dreams” coined the phrase “Build it and they will come,” Fred Renk was putting that theory to the test. After 19 years of unofficial study one would tend to think Renk agrees with the sentiment.

Nineteen years ago, Renk opened the Santa Maria Bullring on Farm-to-Market Road 1017 in La Gloria, Texas. Today, there is nothing for miles on the desolate road, just a lot of ranch land, high and low fences and the bullring, the “only bullring used for bullfighting in the United States,” said the former matador.

Read more: Fearless Matador Undaunted by Close Call

Product Costume Show will be held at Mission Community Center on Jan. 12

20190109 TCF Product Costume Show jmb 0070This weekend the Texas Citrus Fiesta is hosting three competitions all rolled into one big event where the winners will be announced. The Product Costume Show is the main event, and those attending the show will see all of this year’s costumes as they are presented to the judges.

The Shoebox Float Competition winners will also be announced and all of the miniature floats will be on display.

And, finally, the entries in the Ultimate Grapefruit Pie Baking Showdown will also be judged and the winners announced at the event.

The big day is Saturday, Jan. 12, beginning at 2 p.m., at the Mission Community Center.

Read more: Product Costume Show will be held at Mission Community Center on Jan. 12

Mission Historical tour date changed

20190109 Our Lady of Guadalupe Church 2014 jmb 0005Mission Historical Museum is scheduling a limited number of tours of local historical sites in and around Mission. The tours are being led by local historian, artist and architect Manuel Hinojosa. Due to a scheduling conflict, the date of the next tour has been changed to Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Those joining the tour will have the opportunity to learn about some of Mission’s landmarks and historically significant buildings such as the Border Theater, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and La Lomita Mission, the city’s namesake. Meet local historian and the Tom Landry mural artist, Manuel Hinojosa. The tour fee is $10 and includes breakfast and a Mission T-shirt. To sign up for this tour call the museum office at 956-580-8646. Space is limited.

Mission Community joins forces for free health fair

Mission, TX – The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the City of Mission and Mission Regional Medical Center to host the 24th Annual Mission Community Health & Wellness Fair. The event will be held at the Mission Event Center on Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and will provide free screenings, awareness, and education.

Mission Regional Medical Center’s laboratory team will provide a free master blood test to the first 500 people, for which a 12-hour fast is required before the test. Free health screenings will be provided as well and will include some of the following services: flu vaccines, complete blood count, total cholesterol, comprehensive metabolic panel, pulmonary function, and bone density.

Read more: Mission Community joins forces for free health fair

RGV Woodcarving Show is Jan. 11-12

The 2019 Rio Grande Valley Woodcarving Show will be held from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12, at the Nomad Shrine Club, located at 1044 W. Nolana, Pharr.

If you can imagine it, they can probably carve it. Hundreds of exhibits in approximately 27 show categories will be on display during this popular two-day event.

Categories include carvings of animals, mythical creatures, jewelry, carousel animals, knife carvings, wooden toys, spoons, gourds, bowls and wood burning. Most categories also include sub categories.

Read more: RGV Woodcarving Show is Jan. 11-12

Williamson Branch making musical achievement

2019 Williamson Branch 1As the Williamson Branch, the bluegrass family band with the rich sound, soaring vocals and prolific harmonies, departed the Rio Grande Valley following a great beginning to 2018, they couldn’t have mapped out a much better, or busier, remainder the year.

And that hustle and bustle continues into 2019 as the group returns for a full slate of shows over the next two months in the Rio Grande Valley.

“We are always excited to come back to the Valley,” said Kevin Williamson. “We meet new people every year, get to see others that we have made friends with and just have a lot of fun.”

Read more: Williamson Branch making musical achievement

Famous matadors to perform at Santa Maria Saturday

20190109 Bull Michelito Lagravere 1567Bullfight dedicated to David Renk

As Santa Maria Bullring, the only bullring in the United States, marks its 19th year, this weekend’s bullfight is being dedicated to the passing of American icon David Renk, “El Texano,” who left an impressive mark on the bullfighting world, performing triumphantly at the biggest bullrings in the world in Mexico and Spain before being injured, forcing his retirement.

Co-star of this weekend’s bloodless bullfight at the Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria, Texas is Michelito Lagravere. He will perform along with the famous matador Manolo Martinez and Leal Montalvo, who won the Golden Bull Award last year at Santa Maria, and was also awarded symbolic ears and tail on two occasions in 2018.

Read more: Famous matadors to perform at Santa Maria Saturday

Winter Texans celebrate New Year’s Eve

20190109 WTsCelebrate David Howard and wifeDavid Howard politely excused himself from the conversation. Time was of the essence.

“I have to go give my wife our New Year’s kiss,” he said.

The time was early still for South Texas standards on this day - 9:30 p.m. - but the happy couple rang in the New Year before anyone else. It’s something they are used to doing because of where they live the rest of the year, in the extreme eastern province of Labrador and New Foundland – more than 4,200 miles from the Rio Grande Valley. “We’re closer to England than we are here,” Howard said.

Read more: Winter Texans celebrate New Year’s Eve

Top musicians have fun at Rock 'n Roll/Big Band All-Star Jam

20190109 McAllenMobile IMG 6279This was no normal jam...if anything, it was the Rock 'n Roll/Big Band All-Star Jam. About 15 musicians set up on the stage at McAllen Mobile Park and, well, they jammed like they were on a red carpet.

Among those who arrived at the invitational event include Jay and Tammy, Jean-Louis Lavoie, Howard O. Bedient, Pat Arguello, Deanna Nelson, Wild Bill and Susie Q, Del Puschert – all musicians with great experience, immense talent and a deep passion for music.

Read more: Top musicians have fun at Rock 'n Roll/Big Band All-Star Jam

Ranchero Village Woodcarvers Show Jan. 7

Ranchero Village in Weslaco is hosting their 19th annual Woodcarvers Show on Monday, Jan. 7 from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. The show will feature a wide array of woodcarvings by 30-35 area woodcarver artists. Many items will be available for purchase at the show, such as Santas, cowboys, birds and other figures. Guests will have the opportunity to visit with the woodcarvers present at the show and visit the woodcarving room at Ranchero. Admission is free.

The show will be held in the large rec hall located next to the office at Ranchero Village, 1900 S. Bridge, Weslaco. For more information, contact George at 432-553-5996.

Tavie Spivey Rock-n-Roll Show opens Jan. 25

TavieCORRECTION: This article was published in the Dec. 27 edition of the Winter Texan Times with the wrong show schedule. We apologize to Tavie Spivey and to our readers for the error. The show schedule published with this article is the correct one.

When Tavie Spivey entered the U.S. Army, it was during a time when women had two choices – go for administration or go for medical.
“I chose administration,” Spivey said. “Then I went to a position in recruiting. That seemed to be my niche for 12 years.”

Spivey spent 27 years in the Army, partly during the Gulf War. She said recruiting during a war is difficult. “Nobody wants to sign up during a war.”

Read more: Tavie Spivey Rock-n-Roll Show opens Jan. 25

Valley Star Award winner Helen Russell returns

20190102 Helen Russell promo12The 2018 winner of the Valley Star Awards “Best Small Band Variety Show,” Helen Russell and Company, is in demand with a very full schedule of shows at the RV resorts in the Rio Grande Valley this season.

From country to bluegrass to classic rock to gospel, Helen Russell said she strives to make sure the audience enjoys their show. She said they pride themselves in “giving 100 percent, whether there are 50 people in the audience or 300.”

Regarding being voted “Best Small Band Variety Show” last season, Russell said, “That was only our second year and we didn't think we had a following big enough to win that award. We felt really honored, especially since we had only been here one season prior. It has been awesome. It's more and more like coming home every year.”

Read more: Valley Star Award winner Helen Russell returns

Redhead Express is back

20190102 Redhead Express2We’ve watched the Redhead Express grow and mature professionally as this talented group of young ladies has won our hearts during their visits to the Rio Grande Valley in their nationwide tours for the past 10 years. Their vocal harmonies are amazing, and their fans have been delighted to see them blossom from a sweet and talented “family band” that went to Nashville to highly polished performers who light up the stage with their music.

Now, the Redhead Express is taking their music to a whole new level. While in the past they have been a cover band, today they are recording and performing more of their own original music – much to the delight of their growing fan base.

Read more: Redhead Express is back

Tip O Texas loves their country band: Steven May and the Southern Knights

20190102 Tip o Texas IMG 5837While the hustling and bustling of pre-Christmas preparations were over, activity at Tip ‘O Texas RV Resort in Pharr was going full swing the day after Christmas.

Card games were at near capacity in most of the rooms reserved for those competitions, the pool had a small group of people milling about and the billiards room was at full speed with eight-ball, stipes and solid or other games being played on every table. Even the streets in the RV park had people out enjoying the warm weather walking their dogs or driving around in golf carts.

And in the main ballroom, Steven May and the Southern Knights kept an audience of close to 200 on their feet, dancing the night away to country, waltzes, polkas and little rock-n-roll.

Read more: Tip O Texas loves their country band: Steven May and the Southern Knights

Gearing up for the Golden Age Olympics

20190102 GAO Bicycle Tour Herb DSC 0273Celebrating its 39th annual Golden Age Olympics, the city of McAllen invites anyone aged 50 and up to compete in a series of events that offer everything from bowling to bake-offs. The GAO started in 1983 with just three events. Today they offer approximately 30 different competitions.

The games, which run from Jan. 7 to Feb. 28, reflect the interests of the Rio Grande Valley’s growing Winter Texan community. “We have events all across the board, anything from card games, Poker, Cribbage, Hearts, to swimming,” explains Stephanie Valdez, who has been in charge of the Golden Age Olympics for the past two years.

With 1,729 individual participants registered in last year’s events and 4,406 people involved in its competitions, attendance for these winter games is impressive and, according to Valdez, always growing.

Read more: Gearing up for the Golden Age Olympics

Christmas Caring & Sharing

20190102 Loaves and Fishes KOLoaves and fishes provides food and shelter for homeless

Loaves and Fishes in Harlingen is a homeless shelter that provides daily meals and temporary shelter for up to 30 days and some educational assistance to the homeless of Harlingen. The shelter, which first opened its doors in 1991, is located at 514 E. “E” Street in Harlingen. It is an “open arms” shelter where everyone who is hungry or in need of a place to stay is welcome – no questions asked.

Bill Reagan, who has served as executive director for the past nine years, told the Winter Texan Times, there are five main functions of Loaves and Fishes. Reagan is a pastor, who until recently served as pastor of Our Redeemer Church, in addition to his duties at the shelter. The shelter has grown over the years since it moved to its present location in 2008, and now has 15 employees, 11 full-time and four part-time.

Read more: Christmas Caring & Sharing

Ranchero residents brighten Christmas for kids

20190102 RancheroVillage IMG 5674Jan Murphy fought at the idea; she battled with God over idea.

“I felt God was asking me to do this,” she said. “I wasn't interested in doing it, but he told me I was going to do it and he was going to work on me until I did.”

Now in its sixth year Jan's Christmas for Kids has blessed nearly 50 families who may have gone without during the Christmas holidays.
The “event” is a collaboration between residents at Ranchero Village in Weslaco and Margo Elementary School, which sits just down the road. The two already work together with other functions; residents will go read to school children and, in turn, the students will come and perform their Christmas program for the residents.

Read more: Ranchero residents brighten Christmas for kids

Red Hat Queens celebrate Christmas

20190102 Red Hat Queens Meet KO 1The Rio Grande Valley Red Hat Society Queen’s Council held its December meeting at Red Lobster in McAllen and celebrated Christmas with a gift exchange. Mission’s Red Hat Society Queen Barbara Gerlach acted as hostess for the event.

Exalted Queen Mother of the Rio Grande Valley Jan Bergman reminded the ladies of the upcoming Festival of Tables to be held Feb. 6 at Casa del Sol in Donna. Different Red Hat groups from the Valley choose a theme and decorate a table using that theme. Themes may be holidays, countries, sports teams or a variety of other themes the groups may choose. The doors open for those decorating tables at 9 a.m. For all others who attend door open at 11 a.m. so groups may parade by the tables and see what decorations were chosen for each theme.

Read more: Red Hat Queens celebrate Christmas

Mission Historical Museum accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

Mission Historical Museum is accepting entries for its “Turning of the Quilts” program to be offered Jan. 18. The museum is looking for antique, vintage, or just plain interesting quilts for this program. The quilts are presented stacked on a bed. As each quilt is shown, it is turned down to reveal the next quilt, until all have been presented. A knowledgeable presenter will talk about each quilt as it is shown.

The museum will be accepting vintage quilts through Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019. Quilts can be brought in Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Please provide as much information as you can about your quilt, such as who made it, how old is it, how you got it, etc. Viewers would also be interested in any stories associated with the quilt. All quilts will be handled by trained and knowledgeable individuals. You may bring more than one.

Read more: Mission Historical Museum accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

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  • Museum exhibit features Mexican dresses

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