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Valley Star Wards offers great lineup of entertainment

20200129 VSA desert polynesiaEvery year, the Valley Star Awards offers a great lineup of entertainment – and this year is no different. The lineup includes some of the best Wintertainers™ performing in the Winter Texan parks and resorts during the Winter months. This year’s lineup includes Rick McEwen, Dave and Daphne, Tom Wurth, Desert Polynesia, Maggie Mae and Dan Smith, and Absolutely Country, Definitely Gospel.

Rick McEwen performs classic rock, classic country, rhythm and blues and soul music. He is a member of the Traditional Country Hall of Fame. He has performed with greats such as Earl Suggs, Webb Pierce and The Dillards. He has opened for Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dottie West and other county legends.

Dave Salyer has toured the world with Barbara Mandrell, performed for presidents at the White House and has appeared on countless TV shows. Daphne Anderson has toured with some of the greatest Southern Gospel Groups and has been described as a cross between Shania Twain and Patsy Cline. Together, they perform country music and Daphne yodels.

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Second showcase did not disappoint

20200122 Showcase IMG 3810While there were a lot of familiar names at the first Showcase, I was not familiar with more than half of the Wintertainers™ on the list to perform at the second Showcase. The activity director’s association and Robert and Billie Ferguson put on two showcase events every year to help activity directors book entertainment for next year. The Showcase allows the activity directors to get a sampling of what the Wintertainers™ can offer.

Even though I was not able to stay for this Showcase, I enjoyed every minute I was there. Only recognizing about six of the performers on the list, I was eager to see what the others had to offer.

The room was full of laughter and clapping – as just about every Wintertainers™ had a joke to tell.

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It’s time to vote for your favorite entertainers

2020122 Dave Daphne promo picShows and dances hosted by mobile home and RV parks and resorts are attended in numbers by the Winter Texans that spend their winters here in the Rio Grande Valley. The parks and resorts spend a lot of effort getting popular wintertainers to perform at their venues. Each year, the Valley Star Awards, hosted by Robert Ferguson and the Winter Texan Times, presents awards to the Rio Grande Valley’s top Winter Texan entertainers – are as we call them, “Wintertainers™.”

This year’s Valley Star Awards will be held on Wednesday, February 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Mission Bell Resort. Lunch will be available from 12 to 1 p.m.
So now it’s time to vote for your favorite Wintertainers™ - and the Entertainer of the Year for 2020.

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NPBR present the Hottest Eight Seconds of 2020

20200115 npbr brandon parrishIt’s that time of year so get ready bull riding fans as the “Hottest 8 Seconds of 2020” will be returning to Mercedes again. You’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat as the NPBR will bring some of the nations top bull riders for a two-day event to be held at the Payne Auto Group Arena in the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show Complex in Mercedes, on January 25 and 26.

Thirty-five of the top cowboys will compete for an average of $14,000 in money and prizes. This includes a chance to win one of three $550 Champion Monsoon Silver Trophy Buckles to be given away at this event. This is your chance to be up close and personal with the bulls and the bull riders. You will experience the thrills and spills of each one.

The race is tight for the top spot this year and less than one hundred dollars separates the top three in the standings. Leading the pack from Fort Worth, is one of our young guns, Kyle McDaniel. He was a CPRA Rookie of the Year in 2018 and has consistently won money in the NPBR. As one of our young bull riders, Kyle has left his mark across the state and is on his way to making a name for himself not only in the NPBR but also at many other professional bull ridings.

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Leslie Blasing sings with heart

20200115 Leslie BlasingLeslie Blasing has been singing for over 30 years and has grown into a sensation of her own – and very rightfully earned. She sings with a heart of gold, putting her voice and talent in everything she sings.

You can always find Leslie swaying and dancing as she sings, walking through the crowd and trying to get audience members to sing with her. She stays active in feeding off the audience, performing requests, and loving the oldies – but goodies.

Originally starting her singing career in San Antonio, Leslie transferred to South Padre Island in 1994, first singing at hotels. During her career in the Valley, she was a regular at Schlitterbahn’s Shrimp Haus Restaurant for 10 years. Now she can be found singing at the Island’s main hotspots year-round at places like Louie’s Backyard, Boomerang Billy’s Beach Bar & Grill, the Whiskey Room (in Daddy’s Cajun Seafood Restaurant), The Coral Reef and Isla Grand Beach Resort.

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Bob Hupp is ready to entertain you

20200115 Bob Hupp Image 005It was 51 years ago – 1969 to be precise – that Bob Hupp and his band, The Smoke Ring, performed on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand
Hupp, self-proclaimed as “Nebraska’s most dangerous one-man band” is back in South Texas for a fourth season, still rockin’ and rollin’ like no other.

Hupp, who mainly plays keyboard, but will also program his electronic drums, is a musical encyclopedia, performing songs from the heyday of rock including top songs from artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Ricky Nelson and, just, oh so more.

“I’ll also do some country like Hank Sr. or Hank Jr.,” Hupp said. “I really like the old rock and country and really like to do parties – I’ll really get after it at parties and shows. I’ll throw in some music history and throw out a gazillion little one liners, a little comedy.”

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Harlingen Community Theatre parodies Shakespeare

Harlingen Community Theatre will be performing Shakespeare this weekend, January 17-19. The theatre will be performing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. on Sunday.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged is by Adam Long, Daniel Singer and Jess Winfield. It parodies 37 plays of The Bard, with all being performed in comically shortened, or merged form, by only three actors.

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