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GPZ giraffe stars in her second book

Gladys Porter Zoo Giraffe BB2A4539edit webRocket the Space Giraffe is embarking on a wild adventure in her brand-new book, Wish Upon a Star, written by Suzanne Shepard and illustrated by Tilia Rand-Bell. Rocket’s Wish Upon a Star is available for purchase on Amazon and at the Gladys Porter Zoo’s gift shop. Proceeds from the book go directly to the GPZ for the care and feeding of Rocket and her animal friends.

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Festive cheer found in Port Isabel

20231202 Port Isabel Tree Lighting 0005 webPort Isabel held their 15th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Hometown Holiday Street Parade this past Saturday on December 2. The Parade started at the Laguna Madre Youth Center and went down to the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center. Afterwards, the Tree Lighting took place at Beulah Lee Park. There was holiday décor throughout the park, including photo op areas as well as one with Santa. Present were food vendors and other booths selling various items. Performances put on by local schoolchildren from elementary through high school took place as well, creating an environment where Christmas cheer was celebrated.

Lights on the water

20231202 SPI Lighted Boat Parade 0003 webBy Anastasia Brunson

The weather was comfortable, and the festivities were plentiful at the Lighted Boat Parade that took place at South Padre Island on Saturday, December 2.

Thankfully the drizzly rain and lower temperatures had abated just in time for this outdoor event, allowing families and couples of all ages to enjoy viewing and partaking in the celebration.

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Come join the fun

20190320 Senior Softball All Stars IMG 4106 HMiller webPractice has begun for the senior slow pitch softball teams. This is a senior group, so you must be 55 years young and over. Practices take place at the baseball fields on Ware Rd., across from the Convention Center, just before the highway.

All games are in the morning. Depending on what team you are one, your practices could be Tuesdays and Thursdays or Mondays and Wednesdays.

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Annual International Festival to be held

The annual St. George International Festival will be held Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is an annual festival hosted by St. George Orthodox Church, in Pharr, 704 W. Sam Houston Blvd. The festival has been held annually each December since the 1980’s

Members of St. George are multicultural and offer the local community a vibrant celebration of cultures from around the world. It’s a day filled with delicious food, lively music, colorful performances, and local vendors selling holiday items for yourself or gifts.

This is the largest fundraiser for the church each year, and funds ongoing parish needs, improvements projects and ministries. The event is free for all to attend. Food and drinks are available to purchase, but the church tours, vendor booths, and entertainment are all free for the community to enjoy.

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Angels of Love seeking donations

After having a successful Thanksgiving event, Angels of Love is reaching out to local businesses and organizations to help them with their 14th Annual Christmas Toy Drive and Christmas Party. They are inviting community members to partner with them.

Angels of Love is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide victims of violence and their families with individualized services in a safe and loving environment. They provide these things in hopes of providing them with the tools necessary to heal and move forward from their trauma. The organization also provides clients with empowerment classes, victim advocacy services, referral services, parenting classes, financial literacy, dating violence workshops, counseling and more.

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Deadline approaching for Texas Master Naturalist annual training

Texas Master Naturalists sell native plants at RGV Home and Garden Show webWinter Texans and residents over the age of 18 in Cameron, Hidalgo, and Starr counties are welcome to register to join the 2024 South Texas Border Chapter Texas Master Naturalist training class. The deadline to register for the 2024 class is December 15.

Texas Master Naturalist is a unique educational volunteer program sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Sea Grant Program, and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Read more: Deadline approaching for Texas Master Naturalist annual training

Swing by MOSTH for holiday fun

Capture the holiday fun at the Museum of South Texas History Sunday, December 10, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Come on by to take a photo with Cowboy Santa. Each four inch by six inch photograph is $5 and will include a blank photo frame that can be decorated with supplies provided by the museum. These frames can be added to your Christmas tree at home or gifted to someone special, making it a fun holiday keepsake or gift.

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Cartoonist shares new prose, comic collection at MOSTH

MOSTH Jose Alaniz webAuthor and cartoonist José Alaniz will present a new prose and comics collection published by FlowerSong Press at 2 p.m. December 10 at the Museum of South Texas History (MOSTH).

The hybrid book features short stories and comics, mostly set in the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border. The stories reflect the author’s upbringing in this region as a second-generation Mexican-American, at times fusing folk beliefs with Bradbury-style science fiction. For example, “Tamales” sets the immigration narrative on Mars in 2063, when a migrant family makes the crossing in search of work via (malfunctioning) rocket.

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Food Bank has service opportunities

mission popup webDuring the holidays, many organizations seek out the community’s help to fill extra needs that the community has during this time of year. Some organizations help with clothes, blankets, school supplies, food, and Christmas gifts during the fall months more than they do other times of the year.

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Veterans Day ceremonies cancelled, rescheduled, or location changes

Mission Veterans IMG 5812 webCities throughout the Rio Grande Valley have had to make some adjustments to their Veterans ceremonies due to inclement weather. Some of these ceremonies are being rescheduled, locations are changing for a couple, and some are being cancelled. There are still one or two that will still occur as scheduled.

The City of Mission is making changes with almost every event they had scheduled.

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Edinburg honors Veterans with parade

DSC 0921 webThe Veterans Day observance got off to an early start with Edinburg holding a parade Saturday morning honoring those locally who have served in the U.S. military.

Nearly 90 entries from the community were part of the event, which featured the commander and crew of the Navy ship USS Gonzalez as the grand marshals. Other units included local high school, middle school and elementary school marchers, American Legion, scout troops, city, and school officials.

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Valley cities remember Veterans

DSC 0016 webCities throughout the Rio Grande Valley are holding activities to remember and honor Veterans that have served. We have several stand-alone stories that highlight some major celebrations, so make sure you look through the entire issue so you don’t miss anything that might be in your area.

The City of Mission is having activities starting on Thursday and running through Sunday. Some of the activities include a Land of the Free Jeep Show at 5x5 Brewing Co., 801 Bryan Rd. The event is sponsored by the Boys and Girls Club and will start at 6 p.m.

Read more: Valley cities remember Veterans

GPZ holds groundbreaking

The Gladys Porter Zoo recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for the future site of the Soaring Eagle zipline, which is set to be completed by late summer 2024.

This new attraction will take guests up to 120 feet in the air . . . well above the treetops. After reaching the highest point, riders are treated to breathtaking views as far as the Rio Grande River and Mexico, then return to the starting point at speeds reaching an exhilarating 35 mph. This is the first of many projects detailed in Phase I of the Zoo’s new master plan, which was accepted by the Brownsville City Commission in late 2022.

Read more: GPZ holds groundbreaking

RGV Humane Society seeks help

From the RGV Humane Society

Earlier this week, we had an outpouring of support from the community about the brush fire that was dangerously close to our Mission shelter. Thanks to the City of Mission and the Mission Fire Department, our animals are safe from harm.

You do not have to be a first responder to save a life today. Right now, every dog under our care in our Mission shelter remains at risk once again. The Rio Grande Valley Humane Society (RGVHS) dog kennels are over capacity at the Mission location. Dogs will be at risk of euthanasia if we cannot make space through adoption or foster.

Read more: RGV Humane Society seeks help