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
Programs at Bentsen-RGV State Park continue through the spring. Feeding is ending for some migratory birds, but there is still more hawk migration. The park is starting their spring and summer programs such as kayaking and Dutch oven cooking. As always, the park offers a variety of family activities and programs.
The park holds a Hawk Watch daily from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hawk Tower. On April 2, at 10 a.m., they will hold their Useful and Edible Plants class.
Read more: April programs at Bentsen-RGV State Park
The Museum of South Texas History presents ¡Cascarón!, an Easter celebration, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 8.
The museum’s annual event features the regional tradition of decorating “cascarones,” or empty eggshells, filled with confetti. Blank and ready-to-hide cascarones will be available for purchase, while supplies last. Guests can choose to decorate a dozen empty eggshells for $2 or purchase a dozen pre-decorated eggs for $4.
Read more: Enjoy regional Easter traditions at MOSTH
The Gladys Porter Zoo has implemented a new dynamic pricing model. Zoo admission prices will now vary through July, depending upon the day of the week. This dynamic model is currently used nationwide at various attractions and is intended to encourage visitorship from Monday through Thursday when the attraction is generally less crowded. At the same time, the slightly higher cost to attend the Zoo provides an inflation-based increase in income at the front gate. Since 90 percent of the Zoo’s operating income is derived from admission sales, this adjustment is needed to maintain a world-class facility, purchase nutritious food for the Zoo’s 1,600 inhabitants, and retain top-notch experts by paying competitive wages.
Read more: Gladys Porter Zoo implements new pricing
Edinburg Music Fest is seeking vendors and artists to participate at the fourth annual festival on April 15th. This year’s festival will take place at the Edinburg Promenade Park Amphitheater located at 201 W. McIntyre and promises to be a fantastic day filled with music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family.
The Edinburg Music Festival will feature various local bands, carnival rides, folkloric and dance performances, food trucks, crafts, children’s activities, an animal petting zoo/exhibits, and more. This year, Texas Folklife and the Museum of South Texas History will host the annual Big Squeeze, partnering with the City of Edinburg for the annual accordion semifinals competition, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the Edinburg Music Festival concert from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public but VIP tables are available for purchase at edinburgarts.com/viptables.
Read more: Edinburg Music Fest seeking vendors, artists