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20190213 WTF Rich Bellert 22Thousands of Winter Texans are looking forward to the great entertainment lineup set to perform at the annual Winter Texan Fiesta in Mission. The celebration of Winter Texans is three events rolled up into one big, two-day “Thank you Winter Texans” celebration.

Shary Municipal Golf Course hosts the “Fiesta on the Golf Course” golf tournament on Friday, Feb. 15, while the Mission Historical Museum hosts the Mexican Artesano Market Days on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15 and 16 and the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce hosts the Winter Texan Fiesta concert on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The concert on Saturday and the Artesano Market Days will both be held at a new location this year, the new Mission Event Center, located at 200 N. Shary Rd., Mission. The Artesano Market will be open Friday from 12-7 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

This year’s Winter Texan Fiesta concert features a packed lineup of powerhouse entertainers, including Bob Dolle & Friends, Kody Norris Bluegrass Band, William Florian with “Those Were the Days,” South Texas Whiskey Band, and the Mission Eagles High School Mariachi Aguilas.

Emcee and show producer is none other than popular cowboy poet Rich Bellert. This is Bellert’s 17th out of 18 years producing the Winter Texan Fiesta for the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce.

The Saturday celebration opens at 10 a.m. when attendees can visit the artisan and vendor booths set up both indoors and outdoors at the Mission Event Center. Those with lunch tickets will be served chicken sandwiches catered by Chick-fil-A before the concert Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. Attendees must get their free meal ticket voucher at the Mission Chamber of Commerce prior to the event – while they last. Call the chamber at 956-585-2727 to check availability of meal tickets. The entertainment begins at 12:30 p.m.

Be sure to bring your lawnchairs for comfortable seating during the free outdoor concert what begins at 12:30 p.m.
To check on availability for the Fiesta on the Greens golf tournament being held Friday, Feb. 15, call Shary Municipal Golf Course at (956) 580-8770.

Bob Dolle & Friends

20190213 WTF BobDolle2017Bob Dolle & Friends Band is a Hall of Fame Variety Band that will be performing at the Winter Texan Fiesta with a variety of music. All band members bring extensive careers to the stage; having played countless dances and shows over the years. They are well known in being able to move from western swing, rolling into 50s/60s rock& roll, and then classic country without missing a beat.

The musicians in this 5-piece band are Hall of Fame members of the Western Swing Music Society of the Southwest Hall of Fame. Bob Dolle is also a member of the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in Seattle, the Western Swing Music Society in Oklahoma City and the Western Swing Society Hall of Fame in Sacramento. Dollie is also known for his tribute shows to Bob Wills and has appeared many times at the annual Bob Wills Festival in Turkey, Texas.

Dolle is a keyboard artist; who also plays fiddle. Joining Bob is Fred King playing bass guitar, Don Salmond on the drums, Joe Walenta on the on rhythm guitar and Lefty Schrage on steel guitar.

Kody Norris Bluegrass Band

20190213 WTF Kody Norris Show EditedAlways maintaining a sharp professional appearance, complete with rhinestone suits and cowboy hats, The Kody Norris Show gives bluegrass fans a solid, entertaining and animated performance. The Kody Norris Show is reminiscent of traditional bluegrass artists, yet Kody brings his own special, distinct flair to the music. The band works regularly on the “Cumberland Highlanders Show” and the newly added “The Bluegrass Trail”, both weekly shows on the nationally acclaimed RFD-TV network.

Leading the band is Kody Norris, from the northeastern mountains of Tennessee. Growing up with mountain music, Kody began his musical journey around the age of nine singing in local churches. As his teen years approached his interest in bluegrass developed and at age 17 Kody was offered the opportunity to “fill in” as lead singer with the then well-known and famous Dr. Ralph Stanley and the “Clinch Mountain Boys”. Following this stint Kody decided to form his own band. At 18 years old and fueled with determination, hard work, and confidence, Norris took on the challenges to establish his own brand of traditional, hard driving, high, lonesome bluegrass. In 2007, he established a relationship with Dr. Campbell Mercer, who was the executive producer of the “Cumberland Highlanders” show, broadcast weekly on the RFD-TV network which brought national attention to the “Kody Norris Bluegrass Band”

Mary Rachel Nalley from Bowling Green, Ky. is a seasoned musician, with the fiddle being her primary instrument. She started playing fiddle at the age of 10 at local jams where her parents began a weekly bluegrass jam, becoming a seasoned artist. In 2014, she entered the professional music scene with the legendary “Larry Sparks and the Lonesome Ramblers” joining the “Kody Norris Show” in 2014.

Josiah Tyree from Carthage, Tenn. has been playing bluegrass banjo since mid-2016, with roots deeply rooted in old-time music, Josiah quickly picked up the traditional 3 finger style banjo picking well. In 2015 Tyree won his first contest for claw hammer banjo at the “Hillbilly Days” in LaFayette, Tenn. From there he entered every contest and won, including Uncle Dave Macon Days, Smithville Jamboree, and bluegrass events at the Harpeth and Wilson County Fairs”, just to name a few.

Tyler Wiseman, of Valley Forge, Tenn., is a newcomer to professional bluegrass music, but is making a big impression. Tyler began playing piano at age 7, went on to learn guitar and bass, and soon developed an ear for hearing harmonies. By the age of 14 he was a huge fan of Flatt & Scruggs and became involved with bluegrass festivals.

William Florian

20190213 WTF William Florian IMG 7060William Florian, former singer of the famous 60s group, The New Christy Minstrels, will perform featuring songs, stories, and humor excerpts from his two shows, “Those Were the Days” and “The John Denver Story” that he performs internationally and in the Valley.

Florian will take the audience on an upbeat musical journey of America’s greatest folk and pop songs of the 60s, with a smattering of Peter, Paul and Mary, Pete Seeger, The Mammas & the Papas, John Denver and including hit songs he performed with the New Christy Minstrels. William weaves stories, songs, and humor as we honor these legendary minstrels. Florian performs Denver’s most celebrated songs such as “Take Me Home Country Roads”, “Sunshine on My Shoulders”, “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane”. Songs you will also remember are “Puff, The Magic Dragon”, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, and “This Land Is Your Land”.

In the mid-70’s, while in Los Angeles, Florian and his sister Nanette were invited to join and tour with the famous 60’s group, The New Christy Minstrels. William became the lead singer for the group singing their biggest hit song “Today.”
Joining Florian will be Jack Guidrey playing drums and Dick Moebakken on bass guitar.

South Texas Whiskey Band

20190213 WTF STex Whiskey Band Eldo HardekoffThe South Texas Whisky Band has been appearing in the Rio Grande Valley approaching 10 years and is growing in popularity each year as a dance and show band. Eldon Hardekopf, from Dennison, Iowa, has won numerous vocal harmony and instrumental awards, and has more than 35 years’ experience as a musician and band leader in Iowa where his band is known as the Whiskey River Band since 1983. Hardekopf is a member of the National Traditional Country Music Association (NTCMA) and plays the steel guitar.

Dale Eichor, from Casey, Iowa, is a well-known radio personality having been with KWMT Radio in Ft. Dodge and is now semi-retired as a DJ. His first job as a DJ began with KDSN in Dennison, IA in 1960. After serving in the National Guard he was affiliated with KMA in Shenandoah, IA, then with KUBC in San Antonio, moving to WXCL in Peoria before he began his career in Ft. Dodge in 1972. Dale plays rhythm and bass guitar, is a member of the NTCMA since 1998 and the Country DJ Hall of Fame in Nashville in 2001.

Jay Kelly, from Atkinson, Neb., is a member of the National Traditional Country Music Hall of Fame and has won numerous awards playing the fiddle. He has backed many country music artists; among them being Leona & Ron Williams, Cindy Cash, George Hamilton IV, Terry Smith and others. Other band members are Larry Meeks who plays rhythm guitar and Raymond “O” on drums. Joining the band as a guest artist will be George Epley playing lead guitar. Epley is well known in the Valley having played with Billy Droze, an up and coming Nashville artist.

Mission High School Mariachi Aguilas

20190213 WTF MisEaglesMariachi AguilasOrlando Salinas, director of the Mission Eagles, High School Mariachi is proud to announce that the Mariachi Aguilas (Mariachi Eagles) have made history by attending their very first University Interscholastic League (U.I.L.) competition, advancing to state competition in the 2017-2018 school year. The group now consists of Marie DeLeon as violinist, Haniel Moreno on trumpet, Kevin Martinez on guitar, Angela Garza playing the vihuela, Danny Barrera playing both accordion and guitar and Jorge Rivera as guitarist. The Mariachi Aguilas will close the afternoon’s entertainment.

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