City of McAllen and the McAllen Convention Center Facilities announced its first major public event will be celebrated in a reimagined new normal. Fiesta de Palmas, presented by Reliant, will be celebrated this weekend, Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8, at Oval Park at the McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Boulevard. The event will feature social distanced, drive-through, curbside and virtual activities.
“At Reliant, we love the rich, cultural heritage that makes McAllen special, and we’re honored to be part of that by helping bring Fiesta de Palmas to the community,” said Elizabeth Killinger, president of Reliant, a sponsor of the event. “We want to thank the City of McAllen and everyone who helped reimagine the festival to offer a safe option to celebrate local Mexican and Tejano culture.”
Other sponsors of Fiesta de Palmas, which aims to promote an appreciation for international culture and especially, McAllen as an international city, include Budweiser, PepsiCo, T-Mobile, Metro McAllen and the City of McAllen.
“The City of McAllen prides itself on the quality of life it provides for its residents and visitors,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “Since the start of the pandemic, we had to put a pause on all our great community events, festivals, celebrations, concerts, presentations, shows and performances. With this new plan for getting together at a distance, we can safely celebrate the great cultures of McAllen in the newly reimagined Fiesta de Palmas, presented by Reliant.”
The fun starts at 12 p.m. each day with a drive-through food truck festival, ending at 9 p.m. There is no cost to drive-through – just the cost of food – but attendees must stay in their vehicles. Once food is selected and ordered, it will be delivered by a person wearing personal protective equipment.
The on-site festivities kick-off on Saturday at 2 p.m. and continuing through 9 p.m. that evening with Ride and Dine on Mexican Trajineras, or boats that will float in the Oval Park pond. Ticket prices are $100 per couple, $50 each additional person – no more than four people per boat. Ticket price includes authentic Mexican cuisine, paired with your choice of margarita or beer.
Another on-site event includes Fiesta Live, which starts at 5 p.m. and runs to 9 p.m., providing festival goers with the fun of the Fiesta de Palmas festival – socially-distanced. A limited number of pods, with each pod fitting up to eight people, are available for $40 and include an artisan cheese board. Vendors will be on site with additional food, drinks and art for sale.
For those wanting to sample the world, the Fiesta Beer Box and Scavenger Hunt gets underway at 6 p.m., ending by 9 p.m. For just $35 a person, beer aficionados will get to sample beer from around the world and play the Loteria Scavenger Hunt with gift voucher prizes from local businesses.
Sunday’s festivities begin at 12 p.m. with the drive-through food festival and virtual concerts and educational exhibits that will feature local bands, local dance performers, educational activities and even cooking classes.
For tickets, visit the McAllen Convention Center/McAllen Performing Arts Center Box Office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. or at www.ticketmaster.com. Artisan and food truck vendors who want to participate should contact Linda Gonzalez at (956) 681-3800 or via e-mail at email@example.com.