Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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20190123 PC S Mission GU 2545Costumes for the 2019 “Texas Citrus Fiesta Celebrates Hollywood Movies” Product Costume Show seemed better than ever, perhaps because the theme allowed designers to be more creative, picking the movie characters they wanted to represent. Characters ranged from Disney favorites like Mickey Mouse and Peter Pan to classical movies like the “Wizard of Oz” and Ben Hur.

The Texas Citrus Fiesta Product Costume Show is not your ordinary style show. The costumes designed for this uniquely American folk art competition must be decorated using only agricultural products grown in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Over the years, the costume designers have become more and more creative about how to prepare a variety of local ag products – including citrus, of course – to create a palette of colors for their creative whims.

20190123 PC S Mission GU 2334Burnt citrus peel, purple onion skins, white onion skin, mesquite sawdust and dehydrated citrus leaves are just a few of the materials these creative designers use to achieve their almost magical transformation of raw materials into elaborate costumes for their models to showcase during the competition.

The designers are judged on use of Valley products, variety of products, creativity, use of citrus and adherence to the theme, among other criteria.

Ximena Lopez won first place in the Elementary Division with her costume representing Princess Tiana wearing two-piece ensemble. The top was fashioned of dehydrated lime leaves while the skirt was covered in lemon. Ruffles were made of orange and grapefruit peel. Bougainvillea petals, orange seeds, acorns, and other products were used to decorate the costume. Her two-tone shoes are made of lime leaves and orange peel. Princess Tiana carried her Frog Prince that was covered in bougainvillea leaves, white onions and black papaya seeds.

20190123 PC S Mission GU 2336First place in the Teen Division was Briana Garza as Medusa. Her head was covered with poisonous snakes made of burnt orange and grapefruit peel missed with citrus sawdust. The snakes continue to her necklace and are covered with white, purple or brown onion skin, to represent scales.

She carries a giant snake made of lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit and tangerine slices. Sunflowers form the pupils of the eyes while the rest is done in green citrus. The tongue is palm bark.

Medusa wears a jade green dress made from dehydrated citrus leaves. The front is adorned with tree branches while each dress has a side panel of seed designed to resemble snake scales. She wears several rings adorned with snakes as well.

Costumes decorated with citrus originated in the 1930s as a marketing tool to draw national attention to the citrus industry of the Rio Grande Valley, and the tradition continues today.

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