Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Alamo celebrates Christmas with Candy Land

20191226 DSC 0357 alamoThe transition with directors went just as planned as several hundred spectators enjoyed the City of Alamo’s Christmas celebration in “Candy Land” the evening of December 14.
With Parks and Recreation Department Director Arnold Robles retiring earlier this month, the task of organizing the 10th annual illuminated parade, tree lighting ceremony and on-stage entertainment fell to Steve Vela, the recently named interim agency director.

Read more: Alamo celebrates Christmas with Candy Land

TCF Float entry deadline January 21

20191226 TCF Citrus Fiesta Parade GU IMG 4690The Texas Citrus Fiesta in Mission is an event to look forward to every year. Each year the parade has a different theme and floats in the parade that are all decked out according to that theme using lively decorations and Valley products. This year’s theme is Space Odyssey Adventure to celebrate the anniversary of space exploration.

Read more: TCF Float entry deadline January 21

MHM accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

20191226 MHM QuiltThe Mission Historical Museum is accepting entries for its “Turning of the Quilts” program to be offered January 17. 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.

Read more: MHM accepting entries for ‘Turning of the Quilts’

Entries being sought for Annual Mission Quilt Show

20191204 entries quiltsThe Mission Historical Museum is now accepting entries for its Fourteenth Annual Quilt Show. Entries will be accepted in three categories: Hand-quilted bed quilts; Machine-quilted bed quilts; and Wall hangings. The show is open to all quilters, both Winter Texans and year-round residents.

Quilts will be exhibited in the Museum’s Shary building. Quilts and wall hangings exhibit must be ready to hang with a sleeve for display purposes. Every effort will be made to show the quilts full-length. Any that exceed gallery ceiling height will be shown half-length.

Entries are accepted on a first-in/first accepted basis. Because of limited space, the museum reserves the right to close entries before the deadline. This will allow for the best possible presentation for all entries. To allow for the broadest representation, participants may submit only one item per person.

Any quilt entered in this show within the past five years is not eligible for entry this year. The quilts will be judged by a panel of independent judges, with ribbons awarded for first, second and third places in each category. Best-of-show and Viewers’ Choice ribbons will also be awarded.

Quilts may be entered by submitting an entry form, which is available at the Museum.

Entry forms and quilts will be accepted at the museum through Thursday, January 2, 2020, during the hours of 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The museum will be closed December 24, 25, and 31; and on January 1.

Quilts may be pre-registered, and the quilts themselves may be delivered on any date during this time, through the deadline. If you would like to enter your quilt, you are urged to register early, because space is limited.

The show opens on Saturday, January 11, 2020, and runs through Saturday, February 8, 2020. An Awards Reception and Turning of the Quilts program will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, January 17, 2020.

The Mission Historical Museum is located at 900 Doherty in downtown Mission. Admission is free. For information, call the museum at (956) 580-8646.

Deadline draws near

The deadline to enter your quilt into the Mission Historical Museum’s Fourteenth Annual Quilt Show is fast approaching. The museum is accepting entries until Jan. 2. Entries will be accepted in three categories: Hand-quilted bed quilts; Machine-quilted bed quilts; and Wall hangings. The show is open to all quilters, both Winter Texans and year-round residents.

Quilts will be exhibited in the Museum’s Shary building. Quilts and wall hanging exhibits must be ready to hang with a sleeve for display purposes. Every effort will be made to show quilts full-length. Any that exceed gallery ceiling height will be shown half-length. Entries are accepted on a first-in/first accepted basis. Because of limited space, the museum reserves the right to close entries before the deadline. This will allow for the best possible presentation for all entries.

To allow for the broadest representation, participants may submit only one item per person. Any quilt entered in this show within the past five years is not eligible for entry this year. The quilts will be judged by a panel of independent judges, with ribbons awarded for first, second, and third places in each category. Best-of-show and Viewers’ Choice ribbons will also be awarded.

Quilts may be entered by submitting an entry form, which is available at the Museum.

The museum is open 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Museum will be closed Dec. 24, 25, and 31; and on Jan 1.

Quilts may be pre-registered, and the quilts themselves may be delivered on any date during this time, through the Jan. 2 deadline.

The show opens on Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, and runs through Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. An Awards Reception and Turning of the Quilts program will take place at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 17, 2020.

The Mission Historical Museum is located at 900 Doherty in downtown Mission. Admission is free. For information, call the Museum at (956) 580-8646.

Enjoy some sand at SPI Holiday Sandcastle Village

20191218 img 5568 spi castleGravity Park, near Louie’s Backyard, on South Padre Island is playing host to Christmas themed sandcastles through January 13, 2020. The event is free.

The village will feature holiday sand sculptures built by incredibly talented sand artists. From a sand snowman to Sand-ta, and much more, this exhibit will include a lighted musical performance.

Some of the artists that build these sandcastles are the same ones that participate in the Sandcastle Days competitions held in October. The artists travel the world learning new techniques and competing with other sandcastle artists.

You can also take a try building your own sandcastle on SandCamp Saturdays. SandCamp Saturdays are held every Saturday, from 5 to 6 p.m. at City Beach Access #16 on South Padre Island, weather permitting.

SandCamp is an educational project of Sand Castle Island Inc. Participants learn the fundamentals of sand castle construction using kid’s toys and ordinary objects that anyone might have on a trip to the beach, as well as the concept of Unlittering, awareness of sea life, and the life of the coast and shoreline.

SandCamp is free for everyone.

How a murder gave Edinburg its name

20191211 ed murderHave you ever visited a little town named Chapin, Texas? If you have ever visited the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg, then you have stepped into the former townsite of Chapin.

Joseph Fox, the associate education officer for MOSTHistory, will present “The Trial of Dennis Chapin: How a Murder Gave Edinburg Its Name,” a Sunday Speaker Series presentation, Dec. 15, at 2 p.m.

The city of Edinburg, founded in 1908, was originally called Chapin after the city’s founder, Dennis Bangs Chapin. He was also a former Hidalgo County Judge and a land developer within the townsite of Chapin. However, the town changed forever after Chapin shot a man named Oscar J. Rountree in a gunfight in a San Antonio saloon. Immediately following the gunfight, he was arrested and accused of murder—news that reached the citizens of Chapin. Hear more about the incident and the trial that followed during the Sunday Speaker Series presentation.

Fox earned a master’s degree in history from Texas State University in San Marcos where he completed a thesis on Lone Star beer and the 1970s Austin music scene. He has written articles for the Handbook of Tejano History, book reviews for Texas Books in Review, a historical marker for the Texas Historical Commission, and is currently conducting further research on Lone Star beer to expand his master’s thesis into a book.

Sunday Speaker Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship and must present their FRIENDship card at the Admissions Desk.

This program is made possible with generous support from the Carmen C. Guerra Endowment. Mrs. Guerra was deeply committed to supporting educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley. This named endowment was created at the museum by her family to honor her memory and to continue her commitment to providing opportunities for education to the community.

The Museum is located downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are Sunday 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook and Instagram, follow on Twitter, find on YouTube or call +1-956-383-6911.

RGVLS holds citrus and vegetable show

20191211 rgvls 01The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Showgrounds will host a free event this weekend, December 13 and 14. They will be hosting the Citrus and Vegetable Show that will be showcasing fruits and vegetables from growers throughout the Rio Grande Valley.

Children involved in 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) have worked with local growers in the Valley and are given an opportunity to learn about the agricultural product, grow and harvest their own product. Here, they will be showcasing some of those vegetables and citrus.

The children will clean, prepare and display their picks from the fields for judging. Categories range from best grapefruit to largest head of cabbage.

Kids will also participate in a poster contest where contestants will create their own tri-fold posters promoting local agriculture. There is also a basket contest where the fruits and vegetables harvested are displayed and judged for overall presentation.

Probably the most intense competition, is the Agriculture Product Identification. The event will test the kids on their knowledge of different varieties of fruit and vegetables.

Last, but not least, is the food challenge. The best way to describe this is “Chopped” for kids. The reams, or individuals, are given an ingredient – fruit or vegetable – and the item must be transformed into an entrée or dessert. This is by far the most fun part of the event to watch.

On Saturday, the event will feature a speaker from the USDA talking about healthy living and featuring the RGVLS General Manager, Mando Correa, as the guest chef.

The public events will be on Saturday, December 14, starting at 8 a.m. A schedule of events can be found online at www.rgvls.com. The RGVLS is located at 100 N. Texas Ave., in Mercedes.

La Feria Methodist to host live Nativity

20191211 la feria nativity 01First United Methodist Church of La Feria will host its Live Nativity on Saturday, December 21 and Sunday, December 22 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. At the Live Nativity, the church parking lot transforms into the town of Bethlehem. Visitors can either drive or walk through the village and see the original Christmas story of the birth of Jesus Christ.

The Live Nativity will feature Joseph and Mary as well as a full cast of townspeople, angels, wise men, kings, soldiers, shepherds and live animals. The event will also include live and recorded music. The Live Nativity is free and open to the public.

FUMC-La Feria is located at 331 S. Main St. in La Feria, next to Tiny Town Park. For more information on the Live Nativity or to volunteer, call (956) 245-5742.

Grapefruit pie showdown, costumes, and shoeboxes

20191211 pie costumes 01Do you bake the best grapefruit pie? Well here is your chance to show that talent. The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is sponsoring a Texas Citrus Fiesta Grapefruit Pie and Citrus Baking Showdown this weekend, Saturday, December 14 from 9 to 11 a.m.

The pie contest is open to anyone who would like to participate. Two pies must be submitted, one for judging and one for display. The pies will be judged on overall appearance, overall flavor and use of grapefruit. The decision of the judges is final. First place will receive a trophy and medal; second and third places will receive medals.

Bring your pie or dessert entries to Krysta’s Event Center at 1706 E. Griffin Parkway in Mission. You can contact Nydia Alonzo at nydalonzo14@sbcglobal.net for an entry form and guidelines. Entry fee is $10. Registration can also be found on Tcta Mission Cta Facebook page.

Winners will be announced at the Texas Citrus Fiesta Product Costume Show that follows at 1 p.m. Contestants are allowed to attend the show free but other guests must pay to get in the show. Admission is $5 per person.

The Product Costume Show will feature participants dressed in outfits that are made from agricultural products grown in the Rio Grande Valley. Costumes are usually tailored to fit the theme of the parade, which this year is Space Odyssey Adventure.

All costumes must have at least 10 percent citrus, but also a variety of other products that are native to the Valley can be used. Products such as onion skin, which is often used for lace, bougainvillea leaves, for pink colors, banana leaves, palm leaves and a host of other products are used.

It takes many hours to make these costumes. The products that have been dehydrated, ground and otherwise prepared are glued to base costumes made of a material with a knap. Each year the designers get more creative and some of the costumes are simply fantastic.

The event will also feature the Shoebox Float Contest. The Shoeboxes are miniature floats created by fourth and fifth graders from local schools. They have been decorated in some of the same manners as the costumes have been using local agricultural products or items found in their own backyards.

The events start at 9 a.m. with the Grapefruit contest with the other events following. They will be held at Krysta’s Events Center.

MHM hosts December lecture series

20191211 mhm 02Join Mission Historical Museum for their lecture series on December 14 at 11 a.m. The lecture will be presented by Dr. Jamie M. Starling on “French Texas? La Salle’s Colony and its Legacy.” Sweets and light refreshments will be served.

Texas is famous for its “six flags,” those of Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the Confederate States, and the United States. Of the six, the impact of France is perhaps the least apparent in Texas today.

At first glance, the initial French colonial effort led by Sieur de la Salle was decidedly unsuccessful. Of the two hundred French settlers who arrived on the Gulf Coast in 1684, only about fifteen survived by 1690. However, La Salle’s colony was a decisive turning point in Texas history. French claims and interests in Texas had a strong impact on the Rio Grande Valley through the nineteenth century, and impacted the founding of Mission itself, as French priests maintained an interest in this region for centuries after the brief existence of La Salle’s colony.

Dr. Jamie Starling is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. He has published five scholarly articles on the history of the Texas borderlands during the Spanish colonial and early independence periods and offers classes on Texas and Borderlands history. He is currently preparing a book on the history of Padre Island.

The Mission Historical Museum is located at 900 Doherty Avenue and are open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information on this program or any upcoming events contact the museum office at 956-580-8646, visit us at www.missionmuseum.org, or follow us on Facebook.

Madonna exhibit at Alamo Museum

20191211 madonna alamoBy Herb Moering

During the Christmas season the City of Alamo Museum is presenting an exhibit of Madonna and Child and Madonnas, which includes a new foreign figurine.

The collection is on permanent loan from Audry Stewart, a Winter Texan from Woodland, Oklahoma. This year she is adding a Madonna and Child figure that she acquired while visiting the Netherlands. Many of the figurines in the collection came from a visit to China. Others come from Japan, Italy, Germany, Poland and Mexico.

“The opening of the exhibit fits well in this time of the year as many celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus,” according to museum Curator Alejandro Oyoque. “This is a season where love reigns as is the example of the love shown between the Virgin Mary and Jesus.”

The part-time Alamo resident acquired the figurines over more than 45 years.

Stewart said she finds the Madonnas “a significant spiritual experience.” To her “they represent so much more than just an object.”

The exhibit will be on display until April 15 next year, which will include the Easter season. The collection compliments the Angel Galleria with its 1,800 angel figures at the museum, which is on permanent display.

Museum hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until noon and 1 to 5 p.m. and from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturday. The museum is located at 130 South Eighth Street in Alamo. For more information call 956-961-4398.

For more information you may contact Curator Alejandro Oyoque at (956) 961-4398.

You may also contact Herb Moering, Friends of the Museum secretary, at (815) 382-1154 for additional information or at his email happyherbie35@gmail.com.

International Festival – a seasonal tradition in the Valley

20191211 international fest 02Every Saturday since September, parishioners and friends of St. George Orthodox Church in Pharr have been cooking up vast quantities of handmade baklava and other international food delicacies, preparing for this year’s International Festival.

Held on the second Saturday of December each year, the International Festival is a much-anticipated holiday event for the local community, families with children and Winter Texans alike. This year’s Festival will be on Saturday, December 14, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at St. George Orthodox Church, 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr. It features the sale of a variety of homestyle foods and beverages from around the world, including Greece and Eastern Europe, as well as vendors selling fine handcrafted gifts, handmade soap, local honey, preserves, pickles and more.

With free entry, parking, activities and a wide variety of music and dance performances, there’s always something for everyone to see and do. The festival is a fun, educational event for the entire family. Activities and information will be shared by the Museum of South Texas History, the McAllen Public Library, South Texas Border Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists, Deep South Texas Master Gardeners, UTRGV CHAPS, Milkweed and Monarchs and more. While you shop, purchase some native host and nectar plants to attract butterflies to your yard.

Our favorite RGV Bluegrass music returns to this year’s festival. The day’s entertainment includes holiday favorites from the wonderful UTRGV Tuba and Euphonium Quartet as well as the much-beloved Edinburg Folklorica dancers and the Mariachi Nueva Tradicion. Returning to the festival stage will be the talented colibrí children’s choir. The last performance of the day will be the South Texas Indian Dancers, led by Robert Soto. The entire, exciting entertainment and activity schedule can be found at stgeorgetxfestival.com/entertainment.html20191211 international fest 01

The Festival is a great place for holiday shopping. Pick up some unique items created by local artisans, handicraft and farmers market vendors. Everything from local honey and preserves, bags of specialty coffee from Mexico, to handmade soap, beeswax candles, Eastern European folkart and handcrafted wood items will be available.

Visitors can take a free guided tour of St. George Orthodox Church and learn about the lovely icons, an ancient liturgical artform. Children can decorate homemade gingerbread cookies, create holiday crafts, go “fishing” and also learn about local history and culture.

Whether you like fire-grilled skewers of Greek souvlaki, delectable pastitcio, savory spanakopita or stuffed grape leaves, or if you prefer Eastern European piroghies, blini or cabbage rolls, there is sure to be something you’ll love to eat. A limited supply of vegan and vegetarian options are available for many of these foods. A large tent-covered area with tables and chairs provide a comfortable area for dining. Frozen versions of many international specialties are also available – for you to take home and enjoy later. Bring a cooler along in the car.

Besides baklava, baked goods from around the world will make your mouth water. These make great holiday and party gifts. International soups – both vegan and with meat – are one of the festival favorites. Some people even take soups home to enjoy another day. Try soup with a warm German-style bierock on the side.

Want to just sit a while and watch the performances? Pick up some Russian tea, Greek coffee and some straddle, baklava or other special baked goods from the Russian Tea Shoppe and you’ll be ready to visit with friends, relax and enjoy. Freshly baked scones and muffins start out the morning, so come early – spend the day!

Another reason for the festival is a food and fundraiser for the very active St. George Food Pantry, which serves over 115 families. Bring monetary donations, canned goods, non-perishables, new or lightly used blankets, coats or children’s clothing and receive a homemade cookie as a “thank you” at this annual “Give a Can; Get a Cookie” campaign.

Not able to come on festival day, or just want to pre-purchase frozen items so you can just enjoy festival day without having to keep food frozen? Call (956) 358-8875 to make arrangements to come “shop” before the event at a time when people are working at the church.

To learn more about the festival, see their website at: stgeorgetxfestival.com/index.html or on Facebook at facebook.com/St.GeorgeInternationalFestival/

Quinta Mazatlan brings talent to Illumina Fest

20191211 ilumina fest buddy 01Quinta Mazatlan is preparing for their First Annual Illumina Fest that will be held on December 13 and 14, from 7 to 10 p.m. Thousands of luminaries will line the forest path. The two-night event is an interactive global celebration of light, recognizing a world of holidays. Folks will enjoy performers, live music throughout the trails, seven continent art installations, as well as festive drinks and eats.

In addition to visits with Santa Claus, attendees will travel the trails and get a glimpse of how the world celebrates with light across the seven continents. From Africa’s Kwanzaa candelabra to Asia’s lanterns in the water.

The interactive festival will feature the amazing Media Artist Joel Laviolette of Austin, Flowbotic-LED & Fire Dancers of San Antonio, as well as many local community choirs and instrumentalists.

Flowbotics of San Antonio will light up the night at Quinta Mazatlan’s premier celebration - Illumina Fest.

“We are thrilled to light up the night with McAllen, Texas!” stated Flowbotics Founder Whitney Watts.

Flowbotics Hoop Troupe is a Flow Arts Performance group that specializes in Daytime, LED, and Fire hula hooping, as well as other flow props. Flowbotics is dedicated to promoting and advancing the performing, visual, and creative art of flow arts through ongoing series of local and special events, workshops, and other community outreach programs by inspiring health, wellness, and creativity. While the simple love and joy of a hula hoop originally drew the team together, today, the team consists of five talented flow artists including Founder Whitney Watts, Co-Founder Tori Villarreal, Cassandra Flores, Amber Guitron, and Michael Morejon.

Buddy V’s Ristorante will be shining a light full of flavor at Illumina Fest this year. As premier vendor, Buddy V’s Ristorante will be offering festive spirits and holiday treats. Buddy Valastro is one of the most successful and renowned cake artists in the United States. His talent and passion for the family business, Carlo’s Bakery, has earned the straight-talking cake expert the moniker, and TLC TV show, Cake Boss. Buddy brings his family’s classic Italian recipes to tables at his restaurant “Buddy V's Ristorante” in Las Vegas, Nevada, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and McAllen, Texas.

Illumina Fest is proud to offer guests other food and drink vendors as well; offering tacos, tamales, churros, kettle corn, hot cocoa, and other traditional sweet treats.

There are two ways for guests to share their light at Illumina Fest - dress illuminated for chances to win prizes and bring a decorated paper lunch bag (luminaria) to place on the luminaria trail. Compost will be provided to weigh down the paper luminaria bag, along with an LED tea-light. Children who bring a paper luminaria bag for the trail, will receive a glow band as a gift for sharing their light.

Advanced tickets sales will be available. Both presale and onsite ticket purchases will be available at $5 per person. For more information about the fest visit www.quintamazatlan.com.

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