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Brew at the Zoo: Raise your glass for animal conservation

The Gladys Porter Zoo invites you to Brew at the Zoo on Saturday, May 13th from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. with music until 11 p.m.

Support your local Zoo and quench your thirst by sipping on specially selected premium and craft beer samples and delicious food tastings from amazing chefs and restaurants. Only a few of the top Rio Grande Valley restaurants will be competing in this “feast with the beasts.”

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Wal-Mart and Sam's to support RGV Food Bank

Walmart Food bankRising food prices, continued supply chain disruptions and the end of pandemic-related federal emergency support programs are affecting the charitable food system as well as millions of people in America, with nearly 34 million people, including more than 9 million children, facing hunger.

For the 10th straight year, all U.S. Walmart stores and Sam’s Clubs are launching the Fight Hunger. Spark Change. campaign, helping to end food insecurity and provide nourishment to families and individuals across the country.

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PVAS seeks community assistance following storm damages

This weekend's storm left quite a mark on the Rio Grande Valley, with many businesses and households suffering from extended power outages and property damage. Palm Valley Animal Society felt the effects most intensely at our PVAS Trenton Center.

The 80 mph winds left our facility with numerous shattered windows, broken dog kennels, and various other damages to our buildings on the property. We are anticipating repairs up to $30,000, and we need the community's assistance to help fund the repairs to get the facility up and running fully for our animals again.

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2023 Mission Citrus Golf Tournament

Citrus GolfThe Mission Citrus Golf Tournament will take place on Friday, May 5th at the Shary Municipal Golf Course. The day will begin with a registration and breakfast at 7:30 a.m. with Tee-Off at 8:30 a.m.

A majority of proceeds will go towards supporting education for Mission CISD students. The Chamber believes that every child deserves access to a quality education, regardless of their background or financial situation. By participating, you can help make this vision a reality.

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Quinta Mazatlan hosts Monarch Fest

20230329 Quinta Mazatlan Monarch Festival HMiller 4675 webEach spring, monarch butterflies migrate north during March and April. On Saturday, April 1st, Quinta Mazatlan will be hosting the 7th annual Monarch Fest presented by H-E-B from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in McAllen, with the Mayors Bug Parade at 11 a.m. in the park.

Fun family activities include live music, dance, vendors, arts & crafts, migration path, scout/youth projects and more. Participate in one of our community created art installations: add your own splash of color to the monarch mural painting and contribute to the butterfly migration installation. The main stage will feature local cultural dances and performers throughout the festival.

Children of all ages will enjoy the Mayors Bug Parade, dress as a pollinator, and walk in the parade. The street parade will be led by the famous McHi Drumline & Color Guard, Butterfly Stilt Walkers and many more entertainers. Quinta is calling all kids, scout, and youth groups to wear orange and/or dress as a pollinator to be part of the old-fashioned walking parade.

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Tourist Day in Nuevo Progreso huge success

20230321 Progreso TOurist DAy DSC 0773 HMoering webBy Herb Moering

Neither the early weather threat of rain nor cartel concerns seemed to dampen the enthusiasm of Winter Texans for the 47th Tourist Day 2023 in Nuevo Progreso on March 21. An estimated 8,000 people crossed the border for the annual local merchant’s appreciation day.

Darris and Judy Hable, from Aladdin Villas Subdivision in Mission, reigned as king and queen over Tourist Day. The couple, who spend part of their summers in Minnesota in addition to traveling, had breakfast in the Bridge Authority building before joining the American delegation on a walk to meet a delegation of Mexican officials at the center of the Progreso bridge.

Joining them were Mr. Tourist 2023 USA, Weslaco Mayor David Suarez, and Mr. Tourist 2023 Mexico, the musical group Nortenos De Rio Bravo. It was Rio Bravo, Mexico officials who chose those to be honored as they joined other Mexican officials on the main stage following the brief ceremony and stroll on the bridge.

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April programs at Bentsen-RGV State Park

20230329 Bentsen ST Park Trees in Bloom Picture1 webPrograms at Bentsen-RGV State Park continue through the spring. Feeding is ending for some migratory birds, but there is still more hawk migration. The park is starting their spring and summer programs such as kayaking and Dutch oven cooking. As always, the park offers a variety of family activities and programs.

The park holds a Hawk Watch daily from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Hawk Tower. On April 2, at 10 a.m., they will hold their Useful and Edible Plants class.

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Gladys Porter Zoo implements new pricing

The Gladys Porter Zoo has implemented a new dynamic pricing model. Zoo admission prices will now vary through July, depending upon the day of the week. This dynamic model is currently used nationwide at various attractions and is intended to encourage visitorship from Monday through Thursday when the attraction is generally less crowded. At the same time, the slightly higher cost to attend the Zoo provides an inflation-based increase in income at the front gate. Since 90 percent of the Zoo’s operating income is derived from admission sales, this adjustment is needed to maintain a world-class facility, purchase nutritious food for the Zoo’s 1,600 inhabitants, and retain top-notch experts by paying competitive wages.

Read more: Gladys Porter Zoo implements new pricing

Updated passport processing times

The U.S. Department of State has extended the processing times for U.S. passports again. Now, the routine processing of a passport application is now 10 to 13 weeks, up from eight to 10 weeks. The expeditated processing – for the additional $60 fee – is now seven to nine weeks, up from five to seven weeks.

Read more: Updated passport processing times

Sign Up for the 2023 Adopt-A-Beach

adopt a beach webRecently, the Texas General Land Office (GLO) Commissioner Dawn Buckingham, M.D. reminded all interested volunteers to sign up for the 2023 Texas Adopt-A-Beach (AAB) Coastwide Spring Cleanup on Saturday, April 22nd at 23 locations across the Texas coast, from Port Arthur to Boca Chica Beach.

Read more: Sign Up for the 2023 Adopt-A-Beach

Edinburg Music Fest seeking vendors, artists

Edinburg Music Fest is seeking vendors and artists to participate at the fourth annual festival on April 15th. This year’s festival will take place at the Edinburg Promenade Park Amphitheater located at 201 W. McIntyre and promises to be a fantastic day filled with music, dance, food, and fun for the whole family.

The Edinburg Music Festival will feature various local bands, carnival rides, folkloric and dance performances, food trucks, crafts, children’s activities, an animal petting zoo/exhibits, and more. This year, Texas Folklife and the Museum of South Texas History will host the annual Big Squeeze, partnering with the City of Edinburg for the annual accordion semifinals competition, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., followed by the Edinburg Music Festival concert from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public but VIP tables are available for purchase at edinburgarts.com/viptables.

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Experience native landscapes at South Texas Ecotourism Center

20230315 STEC Edwardo Meza stec24 scaled webThe South Texas Ecotourism Center (STEC) had its grand opening last year, but it’s still one of the newest nature centers in the Valley. STEC gives visitors the opportunity to experience the Valley’s native landscapes through displays and mini habitats on its property. The center has living models of six different ecosystems that can be found in the Rio Grande Valley.

The center promotes the restoration and preservation of the native landscape and brings awareness of the plants and animals that are threatened in the Valley and live in these habitats. Throughout the center grounds, you can find signs that illustrate the plants and animals living in the habitats. The signs tell of what to look for, what the animals eat, and how to preserve the wildlife and vegetation.

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Canada wins annual rivalry game

20230310 Canada USA Sfotball Game Courtesy HMiller 05 webEd Martens stood there in the middle of a group of people, never getting a moment alone -- and all was right with the world.

That made the 20th annual Winter Texan softball rivalry games between Canada and the United States a super celebratory event with plenty of fun, laughter – and competition. There were USA and Canada memorabilia being carried around, chants of "U-S-A" and "Canada" throughout the games, food and games within games for the annual event. At the center of it all was Martens.

“It’s good to be back, to be here,” Martens said, adding that he was feeling just fine. “It’s a beautiful day to play.”

Canada won the matchup in both divisions, 9-5 and 17-10 but everyone won on a day where they played two under nearly perfect weather conditions. Canada pulled away from a 4-4 with five straight runs in the “B” Division game while exploding for nine runs in the top of the seventh inning while trailing 10-8 in the “A” Division

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New processing times for U.S. Passports

The U.S. Department of State has updated the processing times for U.S. passports. Now, the routine processing of a passport application is eight to 11 weeks, while the expedited processing – for the additional $60 fee- is five to seven weeks. The processing times begin the day the U.S. Department of State receives the application at the passport agency or center, not the day the customer applies for a passport at an acceptance facility.

Read more: New processing times for U.S. Passports

Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted

2020 WTT ambassadors img webIf you love coming down to the Rio Grande Valley each winter, you’re invited to become a Winter Texan Ambassador. The job is simple: share with your friends all the good times you have in the Valley each winter – away from the snow and ice. In a place where you can play golf almost any winter day. In a place where your MH & RV resort is a community of its own with lots of friends to share in a whole array of fun activities.

Read more: Winter Texan Ambassadors Wanted