Thursday, June 21, 2018
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20180215 Charro Days 61453921Born to lift community spirits during difficult times, the Charro Days Fiesta arrives in 2018 celebrating its 81st anniversary with a goal dedicated to bi-national friendship and respect for traditions that first captivated Brownsville more than eight decades ago.

Charro Days this year will be held Feb. 18-25 in Brownsville.

In 1937, during the Great Depression, local business leaders searched for an antidote to the gloom that engulfed Brownsville and the rest of the country. One year later, the community came together for the very first Charro Days to celebrate what made Brownsville unique: Its location on the border with Mexico and the rich cultural heritage enjoyed by Brownsville’s residents.

20180215 Charro Days 6906329From the very first celebration, Brownsville residents and visitors dressed in the traditional costumes of Mexico and honored the Mexican cowboys – the Charros – who were heroes of the borderlands.

Horse-drawn, hand-made floats processed through downtown Brownsville in those early years, with marching bands from Mexico, soldiers from old Fort Brown and children from area schools dressed as charros and chinas.

Elegant costume balls, popular street parties and fireworks – all launched with a joyful yell, the traditional “Grito” – were popular back then and contribute to lively Charro Days celebrations today.

Charro Days kicks off with the official street dance on Sunday, Feb. 18 beginning at noon starting at 455 E. Elizabeth St. in Brownsville. The day will include a children's costume contest at 2 p.m., the official Grito at the bandstand at 3 p.m. and a flour tortilla eating contest at 4:15.

Four parades are scattered throughout the festive week with the Brownsville Independent Children's Charro Days Parade on Thursday, Feb. 22 at 2:30 p.m., the Illuminated Night Parade on Friday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. and the Grand International Parade on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 1 p.m. All parades go down Elizabeth St. through historic downtown Brownsville.

20180215 Charro Days 37342329Of course, there will be a large World's Fair carnival with rides, games, food and entertainment throughout the entire event.

There are also two dances including the Noche Mexicana featuring Noe Pro and the Band, Folkloric Dancers, Mariachi 7 Lenguas and food. The event is held from 6-11 p.m. at the Jacob Brown Auditorium, 600 International Boulevard, Brownsville. The Charro Days Fiesta Costume Ball featuring two-time Granny Winner Michael Salgado will take place from 8 p.m. to midnight, also at the Jacob Brow Auditorium, on Saturday, Feb. 24. Tickets for either dance are $30.

Tickets are required at the door and can be purchased at Charro Days headquarters, located at 455 E. Elizabeth St., Brownsville. Call (956) 542-4245 for more information and visit https://brownsville.org/events/festivals/charro-days/ for a complete schedule.

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