The year 2021 started off as no other in our memories. Still reeling from the effects of the Corona pandemic, astonished and saddened by the breach at our Nation’s Capitol, we were left wondering what possibly could happen next. Almost overnight the world's attention was focused on the Rio Grande Valley when our nation's president announced he would visit Alamo to dedicate a section of "The Wall" that had been completed or repaired during his term.
This would be his second visit to the Valley during his four-year term. Many were overjoyed and some were fearful that there could possibly be another confrontation between opposing factions. That certainly was not the case.
Read more: Making more history in the Valley
While McAllen has seen a growth in business in the last 20 years, it has also seen a growth in what it offers for outdoor activities.
The entire Rio Grande Valley is a huge birding hub. McAllen has not been left out in the birding area. McAllen features one of the World Birding Center’s at its historic Quinta Mazatlán.
Read more: Enjoy the outdoors in McAllen
The Texas Citrus Fiesta (TCF) will host their annual Product Costume Show this week, Saturday, January 16. The event will be held at the Mission Event Center, 2425 Ruby Red Blvd., from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Each year, the Fiesta chooses a theme that participants carry on in their costumes. This year’s theme is Let Your Dream Blossom. Participants then walk the runway showing off their handmade creations.
Read more: Product Costume Show this week
Learn to draw with IMAS. Learn sketching techniques as they demonstrate how to quickly draw images from real life. This kit includes a sketchbook, sketching pencil set, and sharpener all in a travel case. The program is recommended for ages 12 and up. The Workshop will be held online on Wednesday, January 20 from 3 to 4 p.m.
Tune in every third Wednesday of the month for a new art workshop that you can follow along with at home. A limited number of supply kits are available each month for registration. Kits are picked up at the museum via curbside delivery.
Visit theimasonline.org and go to the Explore tab to register. Kit pickup is every Saturday prior to workshop from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m.
Share your work with IMAS using #IMASArtist and #ExploreIMAS for a chance to be featured on IMAS social media.
Previous workshops are available for viewing.
The International Museum of Arts and Sciences is open and has several exhibits on display and programs taking place. The IMAS galleries are open weekly Wednesday through Saturday with modified hours and scheduled admission tickets. Currently admission is $1 for guests four and up, and IMAS members and children under four receive free admission. Visit theimasonline.org for the most up to date visitor information. IMAS is located at 1900 W. Nolana Ave in McAllen.
There is a whole lot of feathered fun happening on January 23rd at Quinta Mazatlan. The Center for Urban Ecology is hosting the first Hobbies in Nature session of 2021, “Begin to Birdwatch”. The one-hour program invites guests into the world of birds, where they will be amazed by the beautiful colors, fascinating behaviors, and incredible diversity of birds found all around us.
Read more: Start your birdwatching hobby
January 5 celebrated National Bird Day. The International Museum of Arts and Sciences had presented a lesson on creating your own backyard bird log on their website. Just because the day has past, does not mean you still cannot make one. The information is still on their website and available any time.
In 2002, Born Free USA, a non-profit focused on wildlife conservation, activism, and education, in collaboration with the Avian Welfare Coalition, launched the first annual National Bird Day to promote awareness of birds every January 5th. Many nature and bird lovers observe National Bird Day.
Read more: Bird watching in your own backyard
He goes by “Pineapple Joe,” or “Big Joe.”
At Canyon Lake RV Resort, on the marker board outside the dining hall, it simply reads: 4 p.m. - Veggie Man.
All of those monikers represent Jose Ybarra and for 21 years he has driven his portable market stand filled with produce and more to Winter Texan parks across the Rio Grande Valley. He brings good deals, fresh vegetables, fruits and more and when his truck appears in a park/resort, the lines start growing.
While the coronavirus pandemic has restructured the way people live, they still need to eat, and Ybarra provides. While the lines may not be as long as in the past, they still know when Ybarra is about to show up and they have their internal clocks ready.
Read more: The Valley’s traveling Veggie Man