Thursday, November 23, 2017
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Lone Star Jubilee brings new talent to RGV

Get ready to enjoy another entertaining Branson show as the Lone Star Jubilee makes its annual swing through Rio Grande Valley, adding popular musician, singer and award-winning songwriter Jaydee Miller and well-known bass singer David Little to this year’s cast of performers.

Of course, The Texans, who produce the show, will be back with Sam and Brenda Ray and their son Curtis. The Texans were twice voted Branson’s Entertainers of the Year and four times they were selected as Branson’s Group of the Year.

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Matador Cesar Castaneda opens bullfight season

Star matador Cesar Castaneda, who is now ranked fourth in Mexico, will head the card when Santa Maria Bullring in La Gloria presents its winter season bloodless bullfight opener Sunday, Jan. 25 at 4 p.m.

Casteneda will be facing the largest Spanish fighting bulls ever to be presented in the United States. The bulls are of Iberian descent and weigh in at 500 plus kilos (over 1100 pounds).

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Winter Texan Night

32nd Golden Age Olympics underway in McAllen

The 30th annual Golden Olympics has begun under the guidance of the McAllen Parks and Recreation Department. The event started in 1983 with competition in three events and has grown to include over 30 events. Competition is limited to men and women over the age of 50.

Golden Age Olympics includes a wide range of competitive events for seniors, including shuffleboard, petanque, swimming events, race walk, tennis, bowling, darts, washers, mini-golf, poker, cribbage, bridge, euchre, billiards 8-ball, 9-ball, disc golf, fishing derby and more. Different events are offered each week now through mid-March.

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Square dancing going strong

“Swing your partner, Do-si-do!”

The words of square dance callers can be heard throughout the Rio Grande Valley as the peak of the winter season gets underway. With the full line-up of square dance opportunities available it is no wonder McAllen is considered “The Square Dance Capital of the World.” While the square dance jamboree that was once a custom in the Rio Grande Valley is no longer, there is still plenty of square dancing taking place at resorts all across the Rio Grande Valley.

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Ninth Annual Mission Quilt Show opens Jan. 10

Mission Historical Museum will be opening the Ninth Annual Mission Quilt Show, sponsored by the Winter Texan Times, on Saturday, Jan. 10. The quilts will be displayed in the museum annex at 200 E. Tom Landry, located next door to the museum’s main building.

Entries to be displayed represent six categories: Hand-quilted bed quilts; Machine-quilted bed quilts; Mixed media (quilted items which incorporate non-traditional materials); Wall Hangings; Wearable Art; and Miscellaneous (decorative or utilitarian items).

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Elvis Festival is Jan. 10 in Los Fresnos

Elvis fans get ready. The annual Elvis Festival at Little Graceland, 701 Ocean Blvd., in Los Fresnos will be held Jan. 10. Elvis was born Jan. 8, 1935 and the festival is held each year on the Saturday closest to his birthday.

The event is sponsored by Simon Vega, who served in the Army with Elvis Presley, the King of Rock n Roll. They served together at Fort Hood and again in Friedburg, Germany. It was while they were serving together in Germany they became friends, says Vega.

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Winter Texans have $710 million impact on Valley economy

According to the bi-annual survey conducted by the University of Texas-Pan American, Winter Texans who spent the winter season in the RGV in 2013-2014 contributed $710 million to the economy of the Rio Grande Valley during their stay. There were an estimated 99,500 Winter Texans in the Valley during the season.

The survey was conducted with the assistance of the Winter Texan Times and its publisher, Jim Brunson, who published and promoted the survey, and Dr. Teofilo Ozuna, Dean of the College of Business Administration. Dr. Penny M. Simpson D.B.A. compiled the data.

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Gladys Porter Zoo has two new attractions

The Gladys Porter Zoo has two new attractions that will be on interest to visitors. The first is the new Russell Aquatics Center with 28 exhibits of marine life found in the resacas, Rio Grande River and Gulf of Mexico.

According to Public Relations Assistant Arianna Barrera, the biggest attraction to this building is the interactive Stingray Touch Tank where children (of all ages) can actually reach into the tanks and feel the stingrays. The tank is large and it is fun to watch these funny looking sea creatures that seem to have a smile on their backs zipping back and forth in the tank to the delight of all.

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Swing Street plays Big Band style

Founded in the mid-1990’s, the RGV Swing Street Big Band as it is now known, was called The Society for the Preservation of Big Band Music. Players from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois joined together and pooled music they brought from home for the band. Some members created crafted music stands from plywood and painted them white with the band name in blue on the front. Because their target was the Winter Texan audience, the season ran from mid-December to mid-March.

When Bob Comeau took over the band 2013, he made some major changes. The old music was donated to a service club so that the band selections could be upgraded. Music is now ordered from a gentleman in Grand Rapids, Mich. who owns a library of music with over 14,000 arrangements that can be emailed to the band.

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McAllen International Travel Show is Jan. 7-8

The annual McAllen International Travel Show will be held Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 7-8, at the McAllen Convention Center on Ware Road. The show is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free.

The show will offer a variety of vendors displaying opportunities for travel adventures for Winter Texans both in the Rio Grande Valley and while they are in route back north to their homes. There will also be opportunities for foreign adventures through travel companies attending the show.

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Mexican Artisan Expo coming to McAllen

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, will present a Mexican arts and crafts celebration Jan. 7 through Jan. 11. The event will host the 6th Annual “Vibrant Heritage” Mexican Artisan Expo with 80 artisans from various States in Mexico.

This year, the event will take place in two locations starting with the McAllen International Travel Show on Jan. 7-8 at the McAllen Convention Center. The McAllen Travel Show usually draws thousands of visitors throughout the two-day event where exhibitors from all over the country promote their cities or locations as tourism destinations.

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Grace Heritage Ranch: A taste of days gone by

The Schalk family, including parents Brian and Mary and their three younger sons, Caleb, Matthew and Joseph have adopted a simpler lifestyle.

Four years ago, they decided to downsize their home and upsize their land. Moving to Santa Monica, about 30 miles north of Harlingen, they purchased a 100-acre homestead – Grace Heritage Ranch. Here they raise animals and provide most of their organically grown food supply. They live off the land for most of their needs.

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UTPA surveys Winter Texans on border security

Researchers at the Business and Tourism Research Center at The University of Texas-Pan American are looking for community input on the recent events in the Rio Grande Valley. This past summer, hundreds of security forces, including up to 1,000 National Guard troops and hundreds of additional state troopers, were sent to the Valley in response to the dramatic increase in the number of undocumented immigrants, especially children, to the U.S and to deter human and drug trafficking. 

The mission of the National Guard is to maintain a visible presence in the area to deter human and drug trafficking operations in support of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).  Steve McCraw, state DPS director, last week said currently National Guard troops man observation posts and call in potential illegal activity they spot to state troopers.

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Rainy brings Patsy Cline tribute to Valley resorts

In her first show of the 2014-2015 winter season, Lorraine “Rainy” Mancuso performed for a near capacity crowd of Winter Texans at Alamo Rec-Veh Resort. She has been doing Patsy Cline Tribute shows for 17 years.

She has also been part of a Legends show that is presented in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada for the last few years. The show includes tributes to Patsy Cline, Elvis, Neil Diamond, Roy Orbison and Lady Gaga.

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Top News

  • Winter Texans bring Christmas joy to children

    20171123 OPERATION CHRISTMASChristmastime is a time many of us think of others and seek ways to help those in need – those who are less fortunate. So many children go without proper food, shelter and essential medical care every day along the border.

    Read More +

  • Residents enjoy Country Jam at El Valle de la Luna/Del Sol

    20171123 COUNTRY JAM ElValleDelLuna Miller IMG 4232Jim Brommel took a step back from the mic during a musical interlude and cleared his voice. “That's really high,” he said before stepping back up and finishing the song “Old Rugged Cross” to the applause of those in attendance.

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  • Swing Street Big Band set for 18th season

    20171122 Swing Street 4514Band leader Bob Comeau plays the alto sax during practice for the Swing Street Big Band. The band performs it's first show of the season from 3 to 5:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 3 at the Texas Theater Ballroom, located at 115 E Newcombe Ave. in… Read More +

  • RGV welcomes return of Ralph Kuster's variety musical performances

    20171123 Ralph Kuster PhotoRalph Kuster's vocal range is only surpassed by the beautiful tone of his voice and the vast number of songs he knows.

    Since 2012 Kuster, has performed in the Rio Grande Valley. A Canadian in the summer months, Kuster used to be… Read More +

  • Pine To Palm's Bissillions among top shuffleboarders

    20171116 Shuffleboard Bissillions him 3008

    Brian Bissillion, of Pine to Palm Resort, takes a shot on one of the new 20 shuffleboard courts at the resort in Welsaco. Brian and his wife Gina are among the top shuffleboarders in South Texas.

    Gina and Brian Bissillion haven’t had a chance to find their… Read More +

  • Season of concerts arrives for RGV music groups

    20171116 Men of A chord MOERINGMen of A Chord

    Bob Lemkuil directs a number during a rehearsal last week of the Magic Valley Men of A-Chord men's chorus at St. Mark United Methodist Church in McAllen. The chorus is made of 40 plus barbershop singers.

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  • Bit-O-Heaven holds craft sale

    20171116 Bit O Heaven CraftFair GREGu IMG 4801

    New wardrobes for American Girl dolls

    Rosie Armstrong displayed new wardrobe items designed to fit the popular American Girl dolls many Winter Texan’s granddaughters have.

    Christmas is coming soon and craft sales are often a great source for people seeking gifts… Read More +

  • Many parks with new or improved ‘toys’ for Winter Texans

    20171116 Pine to Palm Pickleball HM IMG 2955

    Pine to Palm resident Dave Gemmell enjoys playing on one of the two new pickle ball courts at the resort, which also built 20 new shuffleboard courts for residents.

    There are new “toys” to welcome Winter Texans back at… Read More +

  • Camille Playhouse presents ‘End of the Rainbow’

    The Camille Playhouse, located at 1 Dean Porter Park (across from the Gladys Porter Zoo) in Brownsville, will present the musical drama of Judy Garland's “comeback” during Christmastime in 1968. Entitled “End of the Rainbow,” the show will be performed at 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17 and 18, and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 2:30 p.m.

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  • Halloween bash starts social season at Victoria Palms

    20171109 Victoria Palms Halloween contest 2

    Winter Texans at Victoria Palms Resort went all out with their costumes for the Halloween Bash and dance.

    Halloween marks the start of the social season at many of the larger parks in the Rio Grande Valley and Victoria Palms is no exception. Early arriving Winter Texans… Read More +

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