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March 6, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

20240301 203449 webThis past week was a fun one – a little cooler than usual, but a fun one. There was a great turn out at the Mission Winter Texan Fiesta. The day started with a light misty rain and a cool breeze, and although we were expecting the sun at some point, I don’t think it showed itself until the event was practically over. So, quite a few Winter Texans decided not to venture out until a little later in the afternoon instead of showing up at the beginning, which was fine, we still had the chance to talk to a lot of you.

We even met the couple that is in our Winter Texan Ambassador ad. It’s a picture from several years ago, but it’s one that we like and have been using for the ad for several years. They said you could tell the time frame of the photo because no one is using cell phones to take photos – everyone has a little point and shoot camera instead. Most Winter Texans you see taking photos at events now have a cell phone, or something nicer than a point and shoot.

It is always fun hanging out with you and talking to you. We had a lot of visitors to our table. So many of them mentioned how long they had been coming to the Valley, reading the paper, and how they came once to visit and the next year they bought a home to come back to each year. It’s awesome hearing how much the Valley is loved by our Winter Texan friends and what some of you find different from here versus Florida. We are thrilled you have decided to spend time with us.
We also had the opportunity to go see Fiddler on the Roof performed by the Harlingen Community Theatre. I just have to say WOW! That was a phenomenal production! The people that volunteered their time and talent to this production were incredible. I was crying during one scene and laughing in another. It was so real, heartfelt, and emotional. They really made the story come to life on that stage. I am hoping we can catch more of their productions next year.

The Harlingen Community Theatre is a non-profit and everything on the stage, from their outfits to props, is all made possible by donations. They have had a wonderful season this year – selling out almost all their shows, something that hasn’t been done since 2019.

You can find out more information about them, how to support them, and when their next shows are, by visiting them online at https://hctvalleystars.org/.

Winter Texan Ambassadors

If you are still interested in becoming a Winter Texan Ambassador, don’t forget to call us soon and reserve 25 copies or more to take home with you and show everyone why you enjoy the Valley so much. Our take home issue will be March 13 and we can work out on how to get those papers to you.

Call us by March 8 to let us know how many you want reserved.

So much fun to see you

It was so much fun to see some of you last week. I was able to attend and host a table at the Red Hatters Festival of Tables last week and had so much fun. I will admit, it made for a long day with the decorating, taking photos, and socializing, but it’s always fun to spend time with you, our readers.

We look forward to spending some more time with you in the next few weeks as well. We have the Valley Star Awards coming up and Mission Chamber’s Winter Texan Fiesta. Both wonderful events that we are so proud to be a part of.


On another note … Today is Valentine’s Day. What are you doing with your significant other, your friends, or in your park? We would love to see photos of your celebrations, dances, get-togethers. You can send items to news@wintertexantimes.com.

We don’t typically celebrate the day here at home, but we do take some time to spend some quality time with each other. If we have the chance to have a special dinner, we’ll take it, but we never make it a grand event. We just try to express our love to each other daily so neither one forgets.


We know the season is coming to an end soon… it seems to have gone by too fast and we don’t want to start saying goodbye yet.

I hope you have had a great time here in South Texas if you are already heading back to your other home. If not, we are thrilled you are staying a bit longer.

Let us know what you have enjoyed about your stay in the Valley. Is it your first time visiting the Valley? What sites did you visit this year for the first time? What sites did you visit that you are eager to go to again or share with others?

We would love to know. If you have photos, even better. Let us know what you have been up to while visiting this great diamond in the rough.

Until next week,
- Rina

It’s been busy around here

20240207 Mike Leichner IMG 1500 webWhile we have been gearing up for the Valley Star Awards, we have also been busy trying to get out to some events. Last week I was able to attend a couple of events and had a great time visiting with you and enjoying your entertainment.

We first went to Pastor Pudge’s Gospel Music Extravaganza last Tuesday. The Winter Ranch rec hall was practically full of Winter Texans listening and singing along to some great gospel music. It was a lovely afternoon.

Tuesday evening, I went out to Fun and Sun to see Brett Marshall and his group perform. I had never heard them before and was pleasantly surprised. I loved the sound that was a mix of big band and jazz. He covered a lot of familiar tunes. Fun N Sun’s hall was full as well.

20240207 Breatt Marshall Band IMG 1600 webI also had the opportunity to eat out at Victoria Palms. I had their hamburger steak with mushrooms and gravy, some mashed potatoes, and sauteed veggies. It was nicely done and was the perfect thing for the beautiful day it was outside.

Read more: It’s been busy around here

January 31, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

Valley Star Awards is creeping up fast and the votes are coming in. It’s exciting to see the Wintertainers™ sharing their names, calendars, and vote for me posts. We can tell these people that come to entertain you are loved and they love what they are doing.

This week we will start featuring the entertainers that will be performing at the show this year. We are excited to see everyone and know that we will have a great show for you. We are always thrilled to see it in action on the day of the show. We never know how it is truly going to be received until we are right there in the thick of it all.

Continue to vote and buy tickets if you haven’t already. It’s a great way to see six top entertainers in the Valley – all in one place.

January 17, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

Wow, it’s been a cold one. Monday really hit hard this week, didn’t it? It might be a little cold, but at least we don’t have to shovel snow, and it doesn’t last very long. Unfortunately, it does mean that we usually stay inside when it’s like this. We don’t tend to venture out – at all.

We had one of our writers trying to cover some Golden Age Olympics events. He showed up to a shuffleboard event on Monday morning, and no one showed up to play. Apparently, no one wanted to play out in the cold.

I don’t blame them though. I would rather be at home, snuggled in a warm blanket watching a movie or something than outside in the cool air. This is when it’s a good time to have an extra puzzle or two on hand to work on.

But…. We have warmer weather to look forward to in the near future. Projections are for another little cold spell on Friday and then getting back to some more normal temperatures so you can get back outside for your golf, shuffleboard, and RC racing.


Speaking of outdoor activities – and activities in general – we want to know what you are doing out there. What are you doing at your park?

We see the announcements for Happy Hours, Bingo games, dances, and entertainment. We would love to see photos and hear what you are having fun doing at your park, or when you are out and about taking in the sites.

We also have a lot of great entertainment in the Valley – local and visiting. Be sure to check them out and let us know who your favorites are, or who we need to go and see for ourselves.

We have seen Facebook posts of trips to the island, to Progreso, and other areas of the Valley. It looks like y’all are having a lot of fun out there.

If there is something you think we should know about – an event, a special person, or favorite hangout – share it with us. We might want to check out this something special.

As always, you can email us at news@wintertexantimes.com. Email photos, story ideas, and your news.

January 10, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

Just about halfway through the month of January already. All of our favorite events are approaching fast. And we are already halfway through our season. Thirteen issues have been published, including this one, eleven issues are left. We still have so much to do and cover for you.

Again, we look forward to this time of year. It’s when we get busy attending events, going to dances and entertainment, and hanging out with you more. It doesn’t always feel like work when we are having fun enjoying time with you and seeing all the things that you do around the Valley.

Speaking of things to do in the Valley, have you checked out our Visitors Guide? If you haven’t yet, you should be able to find some copies at the Texas Travel Information Center in Harlingen, our office, or you can also find it on our website, www.wintertexantimes.com. It’s amazing the multitude of things this beautiful Valley has to offer.

Read more: January 10, 2024 - Rina's Ramblings

December 27, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I do hope everyone had a great Christmas and holiday season. Now we are preparing for the new year that is just around the corner.

What do you do for New Year’s?

Do you make a New Year’s Eve resolution? Do you take a moment to remember the good things that happened to you this past year? Do you share your happiness with others and have a gathering with friends?

We would like to know and share your New Year’s Eve moments in photos and words.

Read more: December 27, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

December 20, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe Christmas is less than a week away. The year has sure gone by fast. The season has gone by quickly as well. We really only have three months left before you start leaving us once again. We’ll soon be celebrating a new year as well.

This past week we made sure to get our tamales for Christmas and we already have our ham for Christmas Eve. We still have just a little bit more shopping to do including some gag gifts for a White Elephant gift exchange with some close friends. I am really looking forward to a fun evening there.

Our family has held serious, and not so serious, White Elephant gift exchanges for Christmas several times. We would take turns drawing names or doing the White Elephant game on one side of the family. We did it once on my husband’s side of the family too. It always turns out to be tons of fun.

Read more: December 20, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

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.

November 22, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is tomorrow. This year has gone by fast… and this season seems to be speeding on by. Thanksgiving Day is usually quite a busy day for us. We usually have family over or are visiting family.

This year, we are spending it with friends. And although we aren’t hosting, we still have a few things we are making to take to that gathering. We also have a turkey to cook for ourselves.

No matter what, my husband has to have his own turkey. He likes the turkey leftovers. We get a big turkey so that we can have meat for casseroles, sandwiches, and other meals. I can get tired of just plain turkey, but when it’s used for other types of meals, it’s something else entirely.

We also have traditions that start this time of year. Sometimes we are able to keep them, sometimes, depending on the availability of tamales, we don’t do the full thing.

Read more: November 22, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

November 8, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Even though our little cold snap didn’t last very long, we still had some pretty good weather. It’s been just right for the most part. And with all this great weather, more people are out and about, enjoying the golf courses and the many nature parks we have in the Valley.

We continue to say that there is so many things to do in the Valley. Our events calendar and Parks calendar are proof of that. But it isn’t just the parks and entertainment events that are happening. All of our nature parks have regular activities too.

If you look at the World Birding Center parks, their calendars are quite full most of the year too. They have nature walks, guided tours, presentations, craft times, and more. You can look at those calendars on their website at www.theworldbirdingcenter.com. There you can find the links to all nine parks. Make it a goal to try to visit each one this year. Each one has something unique that isn’t like the other, so they are all worth visiting.

Don’t forget we have a few wildlife refuges, the eco-tourism center, and other nature parks to visit too.

We also have a variety of museums and theaters in the Valley. We try to share what is happening at these locations, but there is so much more going on that we don’t always get to talk about. Make sure you look at our RGV Visitor’s Guide online in our digital editions at www.wintertexantimes.com.

Our Visitor’s Guide includes map inlays and is organized by location. You can find information about state parks, nature centers, museums, and so many other areas of interest in the Valley.

Let us know if you decide to use our guide to plan some outings. We would love to hear about where you go and see some photos of your excursion.

As always, if you have some interesting news to share, some charity events coming up for the holidays, or a person people should know in your park, send the information our way to news@wintertexantimes.com.

October 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Looks like things are happening all around the Valley. We are seeing submissions for park activities coming in and fall and Christmas events plans are already being made. It’s an exciting time of year – the beginning of the season.

We love this time of year for multiple reasons. But a big reason is seeing what you all are up to in the parks and your community. This time of year, we see Halloween parades and costume contests and dances. In fact, we get to attend one next week. We always get to see the photos, but now we get to have some fun with you.

We love seeing those photos too. So, if you have a costume contest at your park or decorating contest, send some photos in with your information. We would love to share them.

I know many of you hold Veterans Day activities for your residents. If you are holding an event or would like to share photos of your event, send them our way.

Read more: October 25, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

October 18, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

I can’t believe we are beginning another Winter Texan season. We look forward to this time of year every year, but it seems to have really sprung up fast. The summer just didn’t seem that long. Other days it did feel long because it was just so hot!

But we are done with that now. Nice temperatures are returning. It seems to follow you as you return to the Valley.

There’s a reason why so many people call this place their second home. In fact, Mission, TX is one of the top 25 best places to live in the southwest. Many will tell you it’s because of the affordability, amenities, safety, and health care. Winter Texans will agree with the cost of living and will add the weather to that component as well. It’s also why many Valley cities have some top golf courses in the States.

And it’s a great week to start our first issue this season. We just had a great weekend here in Texas with an eclipse and we’ll have a total solar eclipse in April. So, it’s going to be an exciting season, and year.

We are so happy to see faces returning to this hidden gem of a Valley. Where visitors can play golf nearly all year and activities abound. We anticipate seeing many of our friends, making new ones, and attending events throughout the season.

Read more: October 18, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

March 29, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Thank you for visiting

Us here at the Winter Texan Times would like to give you all a big, huge thank you for visiting the Rio Grande Valley. We thank you for making the Valley your home for the winter, whatever the length of time might be.

The season is ending, and we hate to see you go. We always enjoy your time with us, and our time with you, and we sure are going to miss it while you are gone.

We have been so thankful to get out and about this year. We attended as much as we could, but still wish we had attended more. There was just too much to do in the Valley – at the parks and around town. From the looks of Park Facebook pages, parks had plenty of activities for you while you were here…. And it looks like they were enjoyed by all. We loved seeing how much fun everyone had. We were thrilled to be able to enjoy some of it with you as well.

We also enjoyed seeing how much our Wintertainers™ were able to really get out there and enjoy themselves this year. I have never seen them gather and spend so much time together as they did this year. It was exciting seeing them entertain with each other and all of the camaraderie they have.

We are so very blessed to have great entertainment that visits the Valley each year. And it’s all because of you. The activity directors have a hard job trying to fill in their calendars. Make sure you tell them who you want to see at your park.

Read more: March 29, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

March 8, 2023 - Rina's Ramblings

Time sure is moving by … The season is almost over. It’s been a crazy and fun one so far. We are looking forward to the next few weeks and a couple more events that we will be attending, especially the Lady and The Gambler show on the 19th.

Speaking of events, this past week we had the Winter Texan Fiesta put on by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce. If you didn’t get to attend, you missed some great entertainment. Performing were Bruce Boudreaux, Rick McEwen, Denim and Lace, and The Night Howlers. They were all great and attendees were clapping, hollering, dancing, and singing along. These are some entertainers to try to catch when you come back next year.

We have our golf contest currently taking place. If you haven’t voted for your favorites, be sure you do before 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 8.

Also, next week will be our Take Home Edition. We love to share what you have been doing in the Valley while you winter here. Share your news with us, photos, and what you have enjoyed about the season. This edition is the opportunity to share what you love about the Valley with those that have not been here as of yet.

You also have the chance to take copies up north with you. If you would like to take 25 copies, or more, contact our office or email us at ads@wintertexantimes.com.

As always, if you have news, photos, important events to share with us, email us at news@wintertexantimes.com.