Armed with two guitars and an old suitcase drum, to say this Americana duo is greater than the sum of their parts would be a vast understatement. Winnie Brave has been hailed as one of Alberta’s best kept secrets. Known for their dynamic and energetic shows, Winnie Brave is a sonic force to be reckoned with.
Regan James has been in the Rio Grande Valley for about 11 years and is attracting attention at different venues with his high energy, great entertainment and music. Regan James (Swedeen) lives in Minnesota with his wife Char in the summer months and has made his home in the Valley since 2013 in the wintertime.
The 6th Annual Children's Haven Benefit Concert will be held on Friday, February 3 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event will be held at the Rio Grande Bible Ministries Friesen Building, 4300 S. US Hwy. 281, in Edinburg. Winter Texan favorites Dale and Gayle and Ambassadors of Grace will be performing.
A love offering will be received during the concert, with 100 percent of the proceeds given to Children’s Haven.
The 12th Annual Valley Star Awards is just around the corner. The event will be held at Mission Bell Resort on Wednesday, February 15th. The show will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. with an intermission. Mission Bell will have lunch available for attendees for a small price before the show at 12 p.m., or just get there early to save a seat up front.
This year’s lineup, as always, includes some Winter Texan favorites, including some of those that have been nominated. They are Nu-Blu, The Piano Man Jason Whorlow, Ron Moshier, Winnie Brave, Regan James, and Redneck Revival.
Save the date for the Llano Grande Quilting Bee’s Annual Quilt Show, Mercedes Mineral Matrix, to be held Tuesday, January 31st from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Llano Event Center, 2215 East West Blvd (off Mile 2 West) in Mercedes.
The Bee is selling raffle tickets for their Opportunity Quilt that is a 102” x 102” Matrix of creams, browns, and blues with wool batting. Proceeds from the quilt show help to fund community service projects such as military service quilts to local veterans, baby quilts for Child Protective Services, and lap quilts that are distributed to local hospitals and medical facilities. Tickets will be available for purchase at the quilt show and you do not need to be present to win.
It has been such a great week – busy, but good busy. We have been able to attend several things this past week and we have more events coming up on our calendar to attend. There are so many activities, open houses, and other events that are being held for you that we are trying to get a chance to visit. We can’t make it out to everything, but we’ll be out there as much as we can.
One thing there is plenty of is entertainment. The Wintertainers™ entertaining at the parks, and elsewhere, are thrilled to be back in the Valley to entertain you. Please let them and your park know how much you appreciate them.
The Wintertainers™ are here because of you and for you. Without you, they wouldn’t have much to do in the Valley. We can only keep them coming back, if you go to their shows. If you don’t see someone you want to see at your park, talk to your activity director and see what they can do to get that someone booked for next year.
Most of the Wintertainers™ are already booked up for this year but are already looking forward to the future. They are booking for next year and beyond.
Make sure to visit our Wintertainers™ section on our website where you can find listings of a lot of the entertainers that come to the Valley. You will also find links to their websites, schedules, and music.
If you don’t see them there, let us know so we can get in touch with them to get their information. We only accept submissions from the Wintertainer™ for our website so we can ensure we have correct information.
I had the pleasure of visiting with the ladies at Texas Trails this past week. Sharon, who oversees the ladies’ luncheon group, invited me to talk about myself a little bit and present something to the group of ladies. I was able to talk about what the Winter Texan Times provides to their community as well as share a presentation about sites to see in the Rio Grande Valley.
It was so much fun watching these ladies come into the rec hall, greeting each other, sharing what has happened in their lives the past week and such. One lady just arrived that morning and was invited to the event.
This group of ladies doesn’t just meet for a potluck lunch though. Each month, Sharon chooses a local organization to support. For this month they chose Mujeres Unidas. Since this is a women’s shelter, ladies brought in hygiene products, clothes, socks, purses, kid’s shoes, and other items a single mother might need when staying at one of their facilities.
Sharon said the ladies are always so willing to help with whatever organization they decide to donate to. Every Christmas they do the Pharr Police Department she said. Next month they are collecting donations for a Veterans home facility.
Mujeres Unidas supports women in Hidalgo County that have had to leave an abusive relationship.
“There women have nothing when they leave their situation,” said Sharon. Often times, it’s just what they have on and with kids in tow.
Febe Alcantar, a representative from Mujeres Unidas, said it’s a big thanks to parks like this. “We’ll take anything,” she continued. It all goes to the shelter.
She also said, there are rare occurrences where they have men in their shelters – after all, domestic abuse doesn’t only happen to the female.
Women that are looking for help can stay at one of these shelters anywhere from 10 days to 18 months, depending on the help they need and how long it takes them to get back on their own feet.
Febe was very thankful for the donations that were given at the luncheon.
Sharon said she has been thankful for all the ladies that come to luncheon and how much they have helped the community.
Texas trails and farming
Texas! It's a whole other country! Maybe it would be more descriptive of our state if we said, "Texas is a lot of country!” And how true that is. Texas covers so much territory that the Texas Historical Commission decided to divide the state into Heritage Trails. There were several reasons that the State decided to create and promote these trails. First of all, the Historical Commission wanted to preserve the history and culture of the different regions. Of course, another reason was to promote tourism into the different regions.
If you have traveled across Texas, you know immediately how different each area or trail is. The different regions seem to have a personality of their own. There is The Plains Trail, The Pecos Trail, The Mountain Trail, and The Lakes Trail plus six more. Those of us living in the Rio Grande Valley live in The Texas Tropical Trail. Yes, the trails are unique - definitely different - which makes traveling on those trails so interesting.
It was 3:50 p.m. We were 24 hours late, as Justin and Debbie, Linda, and I, the last two vehicles of the "Baja Winter RV Caravan," stopped at the campground gate in Los Barriles, Baja, Mexico. Justin, and his wife Debbie, the Caravan Tail Gunners, had stayed with us while we had our broken trailer springs repaired in a desert workshop outside of La Paz.
At the campground gate, Kathie from our RV Caravan group was waiting.
"Supper is ready; follow me. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, and the caravan wants to hear about your adventure.”
After supper, I began the story…
We located a mechanic. He explained – “It’s the Baja roads; they keep me in business.”
Lamplighter Mobile Home Park located at 2240 S. Bentsen Palm Dr. in Palmview is a senior community that hosts three jams each week featuring either bluegrass, country, or gospel music. I recently attended their Country Jam that is held on Monday evenings from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., December through March.
Prior to the jam, park volunteers prepare and serve delicious dinners for a nominal price starting at 4 p.m. Then, at about 6:30 p.m., these same volunteers provide free cookies, cakes, and other treats to all those attending the jam.
During my visit to this jam, there were 27 performers who sang classic country hits from the 40’s or earlier through the 60’s.
Why do they sing these older songs versus today’s country? Simply stated, “So that they will not be forgotten. Once we are gone from this earth, these songs may not be remembered. We want to keep them alive for everyone.”
Maurice Parent’s father died while he was in school and his mother worked to provide for the family.
While his friends were being paid allowances, Maurice wasn’t. Well, that’s not totally true. More often than not, Maurice won some of his friends’ allowances, beating them on one of 15 or 16 pool tables, actually snooker tables, set in the basement of a game hall.
“I let them win sometimes,” Maurice joked prior to the McAllen Parks and Recreation 43rd annual Golden Age Olympics men’s 8-ball competition at Fast Eddies in McAllen. “I didn’t get an allowance so I would take theirs.”
Maurice started coming to the Valley in 2006 and resides at Citrus Valley RV Park in McAllen. When he was in high school “earning” his allowance, they played snooker, a game similar to billiards but played with 22 balls, including a cue ball, 15 red balls and six other balls, called the "colours."