The City of South Padre Island and Sandcastle Days founders Walter McDonald and Lucinda Wierenga are hosting 32nd annual Sandcastle Days October 2 through October 6. Admission is free and boasts live music, art booths, great food, and exciting evenings.
Lucinda says they are very excited for this year’s event that includes 12 master sculptors. These sculptors come from as far away as Netherlands and Canada.
“There will be music, tasty treats from Island restaurants, a silent auction for some wonderful items, and you can get a closeup look at the sculptures while mingling with the artists who created them,” added Lucinda.
Today’s festivities start with an event where visitors can watch the Masters of Sand carve as a group.
On Wednesday, October 3, the official Master of Sands competition will begin with individuals working their magic on their own sculptures. Friday, October 4, sand sculpting will continue and registration for an amateur competition will open at 9 a.m. Children, family, groups and singles are invited to participate in the competition from 1 to 5 p.m.
Saturday, October 5, SandCamp, a free sandcastle lesson, will begin at 8 a.m. Another amateur competition will open for registration at 8 a.m. with the sandcastle building beginning at 9 a.m. The Unlitter Campaign’s 10th Annual Trashion Show, themed Star Wars, will begin at 4 p.m. Judging of the amateur and master sand builders will take place with awards given at 4:30 p.m.
SandCamp will be held again on Sunday, October 6, at 10 a.m. People’s Choice awards will be awarded at 3 p.m.
The Sandcastle Days Mercado is open each day from 10 a.m. to closing. The event will also feature live music at Clayton’s, waters slides, bull riding, vendors, things for kids to play, and more for all ages.
Master Sand sculptors McDonald (aka Amazin Walter) and Wierenga (aka Sandy Feet) are South Padre Island residents and 32 years ago started Sandcastle Days to demonstrate the magical sculpting qualities of South Padre Island sand and the critical importance of protecting our beautiful coastal shores. Over the years this free family-fun event has grown from a local celebration to a qualifying event for the World Championships of Sand Sculpting where over 30,000 fans come to watch the sand come alive.
The event will be held at Clayton’s Beach Bar and Grill at 6900 Padre Blvd. on South Padre Island. For more information and the full calendar, visit, http://sandcastledays.com/.
Editor’s Note: Virginia was a valued member of the Winter Texan Times for 13 years. We express our condolences to Virginia’s family. She will be missed by us and the Winter Texan community.
Virginia Sunderman, 95, of Lake Katrine, died Wednesday, August 21, 2019, at her home. A native of Huntington, Indiana, she was a daughter of the late Forrest and Effie Couch Lamb.
She was employed at Indiana Bell Telephone Company, Huntington, Indiana, for 25 years, retiring in 1976 as service representative. After retirement, she and her late husband, Glenn, spent winters in Texas where she was editor and feature writer for the Winter Texan Times, Mission, Texas, for 13 seasons. She also tutored at Mission Junior High School.
Virginia was president of Oleander Acres Club in Oleander Acres Park during the couple’s stay in Texas, and she served as emcee for many jam sessions in the Mission area. She was a Winter Texan member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Mission.
Virginia is survived by her daughter, Bonnie Langston and her husband Sid Leavitt of Lake Katrine; two grandchildren, Brett Langston and partner Janani Ramprasad of Ravena and Todd Langston and partner Donna Brunig of Clifton Park; two sisters, Patricia Maddox of Wilmore, Kentucky, and Dorothea Lineback of Cypress, California.
Virginia is also survived by a former foreign exchange student who came to live for a year with her and Glenn 50 years ago, Hans Werner Jany, a native of Germany.
In addition to her parents, Virginia was predeceased by her son, Roger Lee Sunderman who died in 1970, as well as brothers-in-law Ed Lineback and Dr. Paul Maddox.
Visitation will be at Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home in Kingston, NY on Sunday, August 25, 2019. Online condolences may be left at www.SimpsonGaus.com.
Mission makes history by earning its first ever All-America City title
Mission, TX- It was a mission accomplished. For the first time ever, the City of Mission was named an All-America City on June 23, 2019 at the 70th annual All-America City awards in Denver.
“I have always known Mission is a city with endless possibilities,” Mayor Dr. Armando O’Caña said. “Being named a 2019 All-America City just emphasizes our place among the great cities of our nation. This is one of the goals I wanted to achieve for our community, and thanks to our civic engagement, our devoted delegation and our great projects we did it!”
The National Civic League recognizes ten communities each year for exceptional civic accomplishments. To win, each community must demonstrate civic engagement, innovation, inclusiveness and collaboration by describing effective efforts to address pressing local challenges. The finalist cities traveled to Denver to make presentations before a jury panel to demonstrate why their community deserved the All-America City designation. The presentations from each city included skits, music, impassioned speeches and testimonials from community members.
This is the first year the City of Mission applied for the award, and they were named a top 20 finalist. Their theme was: Mission Possible, a play off the American action spy films starring Tom Cruise. Part of Mission’s skit included Cristina Garza, the Director of Social Impact at the Mission Economic Development Corporation. Garza dressed up as “Ruby the Grapefruit,” the Mission Chamber of Commerce’s celebrated mascot.
“As soon as I saw the costume, I knew I wanted that to be my role,” Garza said. “I got the job by simply telling people individually that I was going to be the grapefruit, that it was decided. No one contested it or even questioned my assertion. Success is about creating opportunities for oneself.”
For this year’s award, the National Civic League placed an emphasis on creating healthy communities through inclusive civic engagement. Mission’s presentation highlighted the city’s pet adoption program — Mission Pawsible, the expansion of the local food pantry and the addition of outdoor food blessing boxes for families in need after closing hours, along with their tennis program for the visually impaired. The honor came at a time of deep sadness for the city following the death of a Mission police officer.
“A lot of people in the delegation didn't lose a city employee, they lost their personal friend. For many, it was hard to stay focused when their hearts were back in Mission, but their commitment to the competition mirrored their commitment to the city,” Garza said. “More than ever, the delegation wanted to show a united front and to share with everyone the closeness of our community in the face of adversity and pain. The delegation made sure to publicly uphold and celebrate the worth of the community Corporal Espericueta lived to protect and serve.”
Cpl. Jose Luis “Speedy” Espericueta was killed responding to a call of an armed man. The ensuing exchange of gunfire between the suspect and the responding officers resulted in the deaths of both Espericueta and the suspect.
“Our Mission delegation worked tremendously hard for this award. We arrived in Denver only to deal with the devastating news of the loss of our Mission police officer,” City Manager Randy Perez said. “I boarded a plane early the next morning and left even though I was part of the presentation. It was heartbreaking for our community. Our delegation rallied and they represented the best Mission has to offer and proved what a wonderful place Mission is to live, in memory of Speedy.”
The All-America City Award shines a spotlight on the incredible work taking place in communities across the country. The city dedicated its award to Espericueta.
“We did this for Speedy. Our community came together and honored his memory with this historic win,” Mayor O’Caña said. “We lost our friend and hero in the line of duty as he was protecting our community. The way our city responded with heart and soul shows why we are an All-America City.”
It was an anxious awards presentation for the Mission delegation of 27. Mission was the last city announced as a winner. Garza said the nationwide recognition was well earned.
“Mission won because our values can be measured in the quantity and quality of programs that engage our residents. We had a very strong application that highlighted our inclusive community programs, a great presentation coordinated by Roxanne Lerma and Aida Lerma, and an unmatched delegation of committed Mission residents that passionately represented our city.”
The City of Mission – where anything and everything is possible!
All proceeds will benefit Trooper Moises Sanchez; Eight bands lined up
Mission, TX- The City of Mission has teamed up with the South Texas Sheepdogs and several other local sponsors to host a music festival benefiting Texas DPS Trooper Moises Sanchez who was shot in the line of duty.
The event, dubbed STXSD Music Festival, will be held at 5x5 Brewing Company at 801 Bryan Road in Mission. Festivities will start at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, and run until 11 p.m.
There will be a stellar lineup of bands, food trucks, adult beverages, charity auctions and even a WWII airplane flyover. The event is free and open to the community, but there will be a suggested $10 donation box at the door. Proceeds from the concessions, food trucks, drinks and auctions will go directly to Trooper Sanchez and his family.
The outpouring for the law enforcement officer has been overwhelming in the Rio Grande Valley. Thousands are expected to show up to continue that support.