Excitement buzzed throughout the bleachers, in the dugouts and on the field as the U.S. loaded the bases with one out and were down by one run in the bottom of the eighth inning.
It was the first of two games in the annual U.S. versus Canada Senior All-Star Softball Game at Westside Park in McAllen. The U.S. had taken a commanding lead during the first half of the game, but Canada worked its way back. Doug Scoville put the Canadians in the lead in the top half of the eighth with a double and now the Americans were trying to win a thriller of the game.
Read more: 2020 Canada/USA softball game brings largest crowd yet
By Herb Moering
About 90 local Winter Texans were treated to an evening of food, information and entertainment, with many winning prizes in a series of drawings at the Monaco Event Center in Alamo on Thursday, March 27.
The occasion was the Alamo Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center’s Winter Texan Appreciation Night, which is a popular event for Jim and Jean Zion to attend. This was about the fifth or sixth time the Zions had come to the event. This is their fifth year at Alamo Rec-Veh Park, but they have been coming to the Valley for 15 years from their home in Missouri.
Read more: Alamo shows appreciation to local Winter Texans
A big draw to Deep South Texas is the nature sites and its many birds and butterflies. South Texas is home to numerous species of birds and butterflies that aren’t found anywhere else. South Texas also exists on a huge migratory corridor that attracts visitors from all over the world. Because of this, there are nature parks throughout the Rio Grande Valley and there are different types of festivals held throughout the year to celebrate the nature, birds and butterflies that call the RGV home, even if temporarily.
Read more: Nature, birds and butterflies
By Herb Moering
An easy way to view attractions at Estero Llano Grande State Park is to climb aboard a tram and enjoy a two-hour trip narrated by a park interpreter.
For the March 4 tram trip, eight Winter Texans from Siesta Retirement Village, just down the road from the state park, learned a lot from volunteer guides Tom and Connie Unsicker. They noted that the 280-acre Estero Llano Grande on Weslaco’s south side, is among the youngest and smallest by state park standards. But the park features some of the most diverse habitat in the Valley with its different vegetation areas, animal and bird life.
Read more: Guided tram tour explores urban oasis
Hollywood has nothing on red carpet events compared to what Winter Texans receive as they return to the Valley with open arms awaiting them.
Special dances, potlucks and Winter Texan welcome back parties are just some of the things that await the part-time residents, who mean so much to the Valley, it's economy and everything from tourism to volunteering. While they are here for just a portion of the year, they have built relationships inside and outside of their parks and all throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
Read more: Winter Texans receive red carpet treatment in the RGV
The Senior Texan Softball League is hosting the 21st annual Canada versus USA senior softball games on the fields at McAllen Westside Park next week on Thursday, March 12. The park is located at 1000 Ware Road (on the West side of Ware Road, ¼ mile North of Expressway 83).
Opening ceremonies start at 9:20 a.m. The “A” Division Game will start at 9:30 with a “B” Division Game starting at approx. 10:30 a.m.
Read more: Canada vs USA Softball Game next week
Cajun food lovers can feast on all-you-can-eat crawfish and craft beers at the 2020 Ales and Tails Fest on Saturday, March 7 from 3 to 8 p.m. at Victor Park in Harlingen. In addition to the spicy tails and ice-old ales, guests can move to the live sounds of local bands Hot Rodz, Rock Star and Southern Ashes.
The Harlingen Chamber of Commerce began the crawfish boil in 2017 as a way to bring the taste of the Louisiana bayou to the Rio Grande Valley. According to Executive Director Chris Gonzales, the festival grows more popular each year.
"Most Valley restaurants don't serve crawfish or Cajun food, so the food is definitely a big reason people come out," Gonzales said, "but there is also so much great music and dancing. It's a great time for everyone."
Tickets for the 2020 Ales and Tails Fest cost $30 in advance and $40 at the park. A reserved table for eight people costs $500. To purchase tickets, call the Harlingen Chamber at (956) 423-5440 or stop by at 311 E. Tyler Ave. A portion of the proceeds raised will benefit Harlingen Bark Park.
Read more: Ragin’ for Cajun in Harlingen
By Herb Moering
Those staying at Trophy Gardens RV Resort celebrated Texas independence by sweeping all the trophies in the Winter Texan Division at the Alamo parade on Saturday, Feb. 29.
In addition to garnering the top trophy overall in the 2020 Texas Independence Day parade by offering entries for the theme “Decades” from the 1920s to the 1990s, the Alamo resort’s “Happy Days Are Here to Stay” entry featuring costumed Ken and Linda Svenby and Glyn and Lynn Massingill took a 1st place. They were followed by “We All Live in a Yellow Submarine” with shipmates Beverly, Nathalie and Walter the dog for 2nd place. The Trophy Gardens’ award-winning line dancers claimed the 3rd place trophy.
Read more: Trophy Gardens winners at Alamo Parade
South Texas’ largest music, culture and heritage festival, kicks off this weekend at the Hidalgo Borderfest Fairgrounds, located next to the Payne Arena in Hidalgo. Borderfest, the three-day festival, held March 6-8, is packed with entertainment, food, vendors, and parades. Each year, Borderfest picks a theme, a country, a culture to embellish on. This year, the country of choice is Japan.
The festival includes entertainment by Becky G, Kalimba, Ramon Ayala, Solido, Carolina Ross, Lupillo Rivera, Lunay, El Coyote, Dalex and Sech. There will also be a magic show, a mentalist/comedy hypnosis show, sea lion show and The Pirates of the Sky show. There will be parades, a carnival, petting zoo and much more.
Since the theme for this year is Japan, there will be a Japanese cultural area for visitors to learn more about Japan. Anime Boom will be celebrating Nippen Fest.
The Budweiser Grand Parade will take place Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m., and an illuminated parade will take place on both Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
Read more: Borderfest features music, food and fun
The fashionistas of Winter Texans gathered in one place last week to enjoy fashion, food and camaraderie.
A full house saw that bell bottoms never went out of style, that western wear can be casual, formal and anything in between and that bright colors and leopard print clothing are just as in style today as they ever were at the 23rd annual Summer Time Fun Style Show at Victoria Palms.
Four local stores – Boot's 'n Jeans, Jewels by Jazz, Lionel's Western Wear and Wells of Weslaco each paraded their fashions, worn by other Winter Texans, up and down the runway in the banquet room at Victoria Palms. There were bellbottoms, fancy shawls, cowboy hats and belt, and plenty of boots with bling during the two-hour event that was catered by Victoria Palms Catering.
Each of the four fashion stores described each piece that their five or six runway models were wearing, from sophisticated to creative and everything in between.
Leah Wells, of Wells of Weslaco, said that the show provided an opportunity for family-owned enterprises to not only show what they have available but also what they offer for each Winter Texan and other customers.
Read more: Winter Texans share fashion at style show