I continue to be amazed at how many things there are to see and do in the Rio Grande Valley. It seems that every town has a festival or a special day to celebrate. There is the Butterfly Festival in Mission, the Birding Festival in Harlingen and another in McAllen, the Citrus Festival in Edinburg, the Festival of Las Palmas in McAllen and not to be missed the Festival of Lights in the small town of Hidalgo. Even Kingsville joined in with the Saturday before Thanksgiving celebrating ranch life with the Ranch Hand Breakfast. You name it, we've got it. And then we have the Parades - July 4th, Veterans Day and Christmas Parades as well as the Port Isabel Boat Parade just to name a few.
In addition to Festivals and Parades most towns set aside special days to offer special events. There are Market Days at least once a month with some towns offering market days only during the growing season where garden fresh fruits and vegetables are sold.
I urge you to take time to go to South Padre Island on Turtle Release Day. It is such fun to see those tiny little turtles not much bigger than a silver dollar as they scurry to the water. Now how do they know which way the water is?
Your church may even have an altar set up to celebrate The Day of the Dead. You won't lack for something to do in the Rio Grande Valley. So, enjoy!
True, the celebrations mentioned above are somewhat sedentary, but you can choose to be more active. Why not join one of the walkathons or a bicycle or motorcycle club that will organize special days for excursions. Or take part in one of the Christmas Tree Forests often organized by a local museum or your Chamber of Commerce.
One of the most cleverly decorated trees that I have seen was decorated with swags of lace highlighted with a collection of teacups and saucers. Decorating a tree is work - but it is a lot of fun. I personally have entered a tree twice - once the tree was decorated with a Micky Mouse collection and another with a collection of dolls from around the world.
A little more exciting for some might be a rodeo. The Los Fresnos Rodeo is generally in February so watch your paper for the dates. Mercedes is home to a Livestock Show and Rodeo during mid-March. That rodeo is so popular with the students who have entered show animals that the public schools decided to celebrate Spring Break the same week as the Show and Rodeo...otherwise classrooms would be virtually empty.
Surely, there are other Festivals that could be organized. A Coyote Festival? Renowned Texas author J. Frank Dobie wrote about Brother Coyote. Armadillos? Austin, Texas has a music hall inspired originally by the Armadillos. That put Austin on the map as the music capitol of Texas. So why not a Pelican Festival? Or how about a Bob Cat Festival? Maybe even a cactus festival would be fun. Surely, there is another festival or special day we can celebrate.