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December 6, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Our writers have enjoyed going out and about this past week and will again this weekend. They have been attending Christmas festivities throughout the Valley. And they notice you out there enjoying them as well.

We hope you are enjoying these activities the Valley cities are doing for the holidays.

What we would like to know though, is what your park is doing for the holidays. We know many of the parks have gift exchanges, Christmas parties, dinners, and other events for you during the holidays. We also know that some parks hold fundraisers, collect toys for charities, have food drives for local food banks, prepare clothing donations or quilts for local children.

These are also events that we would like to share.

Whether you have a story, or some photos, we would love to hear and see what you are doing. You can send an email to news@wintertexantimes.com.


This is our last issue of the golf series. So look for that ballot and cast your votes. You can also cast your vote online.

Remember this is our fun contest. It’s all about the amenities, favorite holes, food, and other special features the golf courses have.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about some of the Valley’s hidden gems if you’re a golfer. If you haven’t been to some of these great courses, take some time to visit them and tell them you saw them in the Winter Texan Times. The golf courses are very appreciative of you and always want to hear how you learned about them.

We make sure the golf courses know what our readers like about them. We deliver certificates to the winners, and they are always appreciative of your patronage. Let them know how much you appreciate them as well.

Showing you care

20171221 Tims Coats El Valle del Sol MILLER IMG 6698 webI will have to admit that I rarely watch the news on our local television channels. If I listen at all it is generally to world news on British Broadcasting Company. I much prefer to read the news and re-read it to get a better understanding of what is really happening in our world. For local news, my source of information is generally our local newspapers.

One of the things happening locally right now is the drive for contributions to Tim’s Coats. This is a very worthy cause. There are many needy families who could use some help in providing warm clothing for their children. Since our winters seem to be getting colder, the need for warm clothing is even more critical than it used to be.

At one time – quite a few years ago – I taught in the Harlingen Public Schools. On the coldest of days, fewer children attended classes. I wondered why – my curious mind sought the answer. We do live in an area where there are families without enough money to provide warm clothing for their family. The answer was to keep children out of schools and in bed under the covers so that they could stay warm.

Even though many years have passed, this situation still exists … hopefully not to such a great extent but poverty is still around. Even though we should encourage those of us who are able to share and to give freely to those in need, the request for money to solve the need is somewhat disturbing. Let me give you a little history as to how what we now know as Tim’s Coats started.

So here goes … There was a gentleman in the Upper Valley who realized there was a need. This gentleman – Bill Stocker – owned and operated Palace Cleaners, a business that was opened in 1929. Mr. Stocker’s family bought the business in 1951. Just this past year the business was closed. Bill Stocker was a man dedicated to his community. When he saw a need he found a solution.

Read more: Showing you care

HCT present Always … Patsy Cline

Always Patsy line webHarlingen Community Theatre presents Always … Patsy Cline. Showings begin on December 9 and run through December 17. The production features live music.

The musical play, complete with downtown humor, according to Ted Swindley productions, has true emotion and even some audience participation. It includes many of Patsy’s unforgettable hits such as Crazy, I Fall to Pieces, Sweet Dreams, and Walking After Midnight. There are a total of 27 songs that will be featured. The show’s title was inspired by Cline’s letter to Seger.

Read more: HCT present Always … Patsy Cline

The South Pole opens

IMG 7190 webThere was a slight nip in the air when the South Pole Illuminated Festival kicked off.

It wasn’t South Pole cold. After all, it was McAllen’s highly popular and decorative South Pole. But the very slight chill was appropriate – perfect, actually.

Parents and children alike were wide-eyed like only Christmas time can bring as they strolled through the McAllen Convention Center grounds, an illuminated oval with dozens of color-changing trees, millions of lights, a carnival, a train ride, a gingerbread house, and a S’mores Station that on this night doubled up as a stopping spot for people to warm themselves by the crackling fire.

Read more: The South Pole opens

Festive cheer found in Port Isabel

20231202 Port Isabel Tree Lighting 0005 webPort Isabel held their 15th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Hometown Holiday Street Parade this past Saturday on December 2. The Parade started at the Laguna Madre Youth Center and went down to the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center. Afterwards, the Tree Lighting took place at Beulah Lee Park. There was holiday décor throughout the park, including photo op areas as well as one with Santa. Present were food vendors and other booths selling various items. Performances put on by local schoolchildren from elementary through high school took place as well, creating an environment where Christmas cheer was celebrated.

Lights on the water

20231202 SPI Lighted Boat Parade 0003 webBy Anastasia Brunson

The weather was comfortable, and the festivities were plentiful at the Lighted Boat Parade that took place at South Padre Island on Saturday, December 2.

Thankfully the drizzly rain and lower temperatures had abated just in time for this outdoor event, allowing families and couples of all ages to enjoy viewing and partaking in the celebration.

Read more: Lights on the water

Come join the fun

20190320 Senior Softball All Stars IMG 4106 HMiller webPractice has begun for the senior slow pitch softball teams. This is a senior group, so you must be 55 years young and over. Practices take place at the baseball fields on Ware Rd., across from the Convention Center, just before the highway.

All games are in the morning. Depending on what team you are one, your practices could be Tuesdays and Thursdays or Mondays and Wednesdays.

Read more: Come join the fun

Annual International Festival to be held

The annual St. George International Festival will be held Saturday, December 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The festival is an annual festival hosted by St. George Orthodox Church, in Pharr, 704 W. Sam Houston Blvd. The festival has been held annually each December since the 1980’s

Members of St. George are multicultural and offer the local community a vibrant celebration of cultures from around the world. It’s a day filled with delicious food, lively music, colorful performances, and local vendors selling holiday items for yourself or gifts.

This is the largest fundraiser for the church each year, and funds ongoing parish needs, improvements projects and ministries. The event is free for all to attend. Food and drinks are available to purchase, but the church tours, vendor booths, and entertainment are all free for the community to enjoy.

Read more: Annual International Festival to be held

Angels of Love seeking donations

After having a successful Thanksgiving event, Angels of Love is reaching out to local businesses and organizations to help them with their 14th Annual Christmas Toy Drive and Christmas Party. They are inviting community members to partner with them.

Angels of Love is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide victims of violence and their families with individualized services in a safe and loving environment. They provide these things in hopes of providing them with the tools necessary to heal and move forward from their trauma. The organization also provides clients with empowerment classes, victim advocacy services, referral services, parenting classes, financial literacy, dating violence workshops, counseling and more.

Read more: Angels of Love seeking donations

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