Saturday, December 04, 2021
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Altar honors threatened, endangered animals and plant species

Altar dedicated to Endangered TX Species webIn Mexico, “Dia de los Muertos,” or “Day of the Dead” is a celebration and a reunion of the departed with their families. On this day, an altar with an ofrenda, a Spanish word for “offering,” is prepared to remember and celebrate departed loved ones. The belief is that during the Day of the Dead, the loved ones come to visit their living relatives. The ofrenda altar helps the dead observe, smell and taste. The most common ones have three levels, which represent heaven, earth, and the underworld. The six most common objects found on alters include: calaveras (skulls), cempaxuchil (marigold flowers), papel picado (perforated paper), pan de muerto (bread of the dead), salt to quench the thirst of souls, and photographs of the loved ones that have passed.

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Edinburg Chamber accepting parade entries

edinburg night of lights parade 2019 webThe Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and City of Edinburg proudly present their Annual Night of Lights Parade. The parade will take place on Friday, December 3, at 7 p.m. in the Edinburg Downtown District.

Organizations, schools, marching groups, businesses, and community groups are now welcomed to submit a parade entry by November 19. All entries are encouraged to participate in this year's theme “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree.” Participants of the parade must design their floats inspired by different genres of music and/or decades of music.

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November 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

It’s interesting to see the emails that come through my desktop each day. A lot of it is political, and we don’t tend to share that in our paper. We like our of-interest news items. Sometimes I really have to weed through things to find something of newsworthy to you, our readers, and some days I have just what I need.

This week I received another news report about a previously mentioned survey done by Storage Café. Storage Café had previously published an article about top destination for ‘Snowbirds,’ or Winter Texans. The last article they sent out listed McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville and Mission as making the list.

This new list has some other details, but still have Mission and McAllen in the top. Texas has 26 of the top 100 destinations on this new list. The previous survey had Brownsville in the top 10 as well. Because of the two cities being in the Rio Grande Valley, it also highlighted why the Rio Grande Valley, as a whole, is on the top of their list.

Read more: November 3, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

Wreaths Across America to add Ceremonial Wreath

wreaths across america webRecently, national nonprofit Wreaths Across America (WAA) announced the addition of the United States Space Force to the set of ceremonial wreaths that are provided to all participating locations nationwide to be used on National Wreaths Across America Day – this year scheduled for Saturday, December 18, 2021. This is the eighth ceremonial wreath with corresponding service flag to be provided by the organization to all registered, participating locations. The ceremonial wreaths represent each branch of the service, and POW/MIA, and are encouraged to be on display as part of each National Wreaths Across America Day ceremony held.

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EWBC announces fall hours

The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) has changed to their fall operating hours. Their fall operating hours are Mondays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The park is located at 714 Raul Longoria Rd. For more information, visit their website at or call at (956) 381-9922.

Toys for Tots 2021 campaign has begun

toys FirstRespondersChildrensFoundation scaled webOctober marked the official kick-off for the Toys for Tots 2021 holiday campaign running through Christmas. U.S. Marines and volunteers will be conducting 830 local toy collection and distribution campaigns in all 50 states, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

U.S. Marines and more than 35,000 volunteers, millions of local supporters, hundreds of corporate partners of Toys for Tots will be collecting toys through Christmas. Marines and volunteers will be engaging with local businesses, media and individuals within their communities collecting new, unwrapped toys and distributing those gifts to less fortunate children allowing them to experience the joy of Christmas.

Read more: Toys for Tots 2021 campaign has begun

PVAS hosts dog enrichment events

PVAS Yappy Hour webJoin Palm Valley Animal Society next week as they partner with Dogs Playing for Life and showcase many of their adoptable dogs during several special events at Palm Valley Animal Society.

Dogs Playing for Life, a national leader in teaching shelters how to provide stress-reducing animal enrichment, will be visiting PVAS, working to evaluate some of their animals and, more importantly, continue training their staff on how to effectively run playgroups for dogs. During the following times, they invite the public out to the shelter to see their pets in action in playgroups---and maybe find the perfect playmate to take home to adopt or foster.

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Casper is showing at the Lighthouse

The Port Isabel Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring a special event at the Lighthouse Establishment Cinema. They will be showing the movie Casper at the Lighthouse on Saturday, October 30 at 8 p.m. Go celebrate Halloween with a movie and free candy. Admission is free. Attendees are invited to wear their costumes. Call (956) 943-2682 for more information. The Lighthouse is located at 421 E. Queen Isabella Blvd.

Exhibit opens at McAllen International Airport

20211027 dia de los muertos altar webMcAllen International Airport (MFE) announces its partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in McAllen to host, in celebration of Dia de los Muertos, a new Ofrenda Exhibit to honor loved ones who have passed. The exhibit will be on display in the McAllen International Airport Lobby beginning Wednesday, October 27 through November 10, 2021.

There will be a special ceremony streamed live on Wednesday, October 27 at 10 a.m. It will be livestreamed at @McAllenAirport.

Read more: Exhibit opens at McAllen International Airport

Texas State Parks Offer Up a Frightfully Good Time for Halloween

texas parks christopher le hSThAXPXEBM unsplasht webGhouls and goblins of all ages are invited to a variety of family-friendly Halloween-themed events at state parks across Texas that are guaranteed to provide a witchy good time. Activities range from educational conversations on creepy crawlies and nocturnal animals to pumpkin scavenger hunts along park trails. Anyone interested in finding an event in their area can visit the TPWD state park calendar at for a list of spooky events and updates.

For those still traveling through the state of Texas on their way to the Rio Grande Valley, here is a list of some events at state parks you might want to take part in.

Read more: Texas State Parks Offer Up a Frightfully Good Time for Halloween

Master Gardener Plant Sale this weekend

20211020 MasterGardenerPlantSale Courtesy webWelcome back Winter Texans. The Deep South Texas Master Gardeners will be holding its fall plants sale on October 23 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The event will take place at the educational garden located at 509 E. Earling Rd. in San Juan.

There will be a large variety of landscaping and house plants, cactus, succulents, Texas superstars, and native plants for sale. There will also be fruit trees such as fig, pink and white guava, and of course, banana as well as some native trees. There will be decorative trees including Jacaranda, Flamboyant, Kapok and Moringa available.

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Empty Bowls event is October 26

The 15th Annual Empty Bowls Luncheon and Silent Auction will take place from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on October 26, at Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg.

This year’s Empty Bowls Luncheon and Silent Auction will benefit the Food Bank RGV’s 1,000,000-holiday meal campaign, which will ensure that RGV families have healthy and complete meals on the table this season. Food Bank RGV’s signature fundraising event features food from over 30 local restaurants, music, silent auctions, and raffles. Restaurants wishing to participate in and support Empty Bowls may still sign-up.

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Native Plant Night at Quinta Mazatlán

20211020 John Brush webQuinta Mazatlán will celebrate Texas Native Plant Week on Thursday, October 21st, from 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Join us for an opportunity to learn, appreciate, and cultivate native plants with a Presentation by John Brush and Plant Sale by Mike Heep. 

In 2009 Texas Legislature officially designated the third week of October as Texas Native Plant Week in efforts to conserve and recognize the importance of native plants and their role in the environment. A native plant is one that has “developed over a period of time (hundreds or thousands of years) in a particular region or ecosystem.” Native plants have adapted to survive their environment and developed mutually beneficial symbiotic relationships with the local wildlife. Native plants have the potential to offer ecological services that benefit humans, animals, and even the landscape itself. Native plants attract a diversity of wildlife, support a healthy and more sustainable ecosystem, require less water, reduce strain on local water supply, add aesthetic beauty, and give character and a sense of place to a region. The more we know and understand our native plants the better we can help our environment.

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October 20, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe it’s that time of year again. It doesn’t seem that long ago that we were telling you, our winter visitors, to travel safely and see ya next year.

I hope everyone had a safe and enjoyable summer. And it was a great summer as far as weather goes. We had a very mild one in the Valley with a few thunderstorms here and there, some flooding streets. But, overall, it was a good summer to get out and enjoy nature and visit the sites.

Read more: October 20, 2021 - Rina's Ramblings