Valley cities welcome Winter Texans
For as long as I can remember, the City of Mission has been home to the most Winter Texan parks in the Rio Grande Valley. Although many cities have had new parks pop up, I think Mission is still number one in that category. There are several streets you can drive down and pass by more than one park, sometimes three or more along the way.
With the incoming of Winter Texans to the Valley, the cities saw what Winter Texans brought with them. Winter Texans have had a huge impact on the communities they live in, and those they visit while residing in the Valley. You not only make an economic impact, but you also help those in need, bring culture, share your talents and more. Because of this, many cities have recognized its Winter Texan community with events throughout the year.
Some cities have a welcome party and an appreciation party at the end of the season. Some cities just have a big celebration once during the season and bring entertainment, food, and wares close at hand.
We have certainly been thankful for you and everything you have brought to our communities these past 35 years, and more.
In our first issue on November 13, 1987, Mission announced their first annual Tourist Fest that was going to be held that December.
“It was an event they could call their own,” said the chamber about the event.
It was a three-day event filled with fun, entertainment, food, and other festivities. The event featured a horse show, a poinsettia show, continual musical numbers, arts and crafts, square dance, a fashion show, art expositions, motorhome/RV exhibits and a food fair. This event was held at the Plaza La Lomita in downtown Mission.
This was the site for years for the Winter Texan Fiesta before it moved to the Mission Event Center and in recent years, to the Mission Chamber.
Announced in our next issue that season, was Monterrey opening their doors to Winter Texans.
John Young wrote an article where he said if you went to Monterrey and asked what the shoppers thought of Winter Texans, they would say “We love them and we want more of them.”
At the time, Monterrey was a must visit for any tourist or Winter Texan. There were precautions to take, said Young, when visiting – like being in a group until you are familiar with the area, or cautions with how the road conditions were at the time. There were also warnings about what areas not to visit.
The big take was – Follow simple rules and enjoy Monterrey.
Other cities mentioned with tourist clubs, or the need for Winter Texan help in our first couple of issues, was Edinburg and La Joya.
Today, you will find Welcome Winter Texan, Winter Texan Fiestas, and Winter Texan Appreciation events held throughout the Valley. While most of these events take place in December when we have an influx of arrivals and March just before you depart, there are some held during other months too. Watch our calendars for such events.
Mission Winter Texan Fiesta will take place the first weekend of March next year. You will also find that Nuevo Progresso holds a Tourist Appreciation Day every March just for Winter Texans.
Other cities that throw some good parties for you are Edinburg, Pharr, Harlingen, Port Isabel, and South Padre Island. I know there also might be some in between, so check your local city calendar to see what they might have for you.
Also look at UTRGV events, and Gladys Porter Zoo, golf courses, and even the museums. Some of these have special Winter Texan Days/Nights with discounted prices and prizes.
The Great Rio Grande Valley loves that you have chosen the Valley to take shelter in for the winter months, we all appreciate you and everything you do for the community.