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DSC 0964 webThe evening was pleasant, there was shopping to be done and for the kids, a chance to have their picture taken with Santa during the Holiday Market held Friday in Mission’s Leo Pena La Placita Park.

The sixth market event hosted by the Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce was also an opportunity for Doug and Dawn Mundt to showcase their musical talent. The work campers, living this season for the first time at Seven Oaks Resort in Mission, were invited to perform during a visit by Chamber of Commerce representatives, who came to the resort to promote both a health fair and the market. The couple hope to get their name out in the public so they can do more park happy hours or other special events in the Valley.

The Mundts, originally from Nebraska, became full-time RVers four and a half years ago living in a 35-foot fifth wheel now. They retired from positions in the insurance industry in claims and auditing which had led to moving 23 times.

DSC 0959 webThe work camping program in which they do work around parks - like in the office and janitorial for free rental space - has allowed them to see a lot of the U.S. They have been all the way from Arizona to Illinois and from the Michigan Upper Peninsula and now to Texas. The couple are scheduled to spend five months this next summer in Montana.

Winter Texans Vernon and Diane Krentz, who have come down to the “Valley” from Minnesota for 17 years, had not been to the Mission park since before the covid pandemic. The couple, who have a place with a 100-year lease at W&I Resort in Mission, really like being in the “Valley.”

“We like the area,” Diane said. Vernon added, “We have friends in other parts of the Valley.” Both agreed people are friendly. Vernon said he keeps up with what’s happening here through an online newspaper subscription.

They are expecting another visit from their daughter and granddaughters at the end of December. The family members live in Minnesota. They hadn’t been here since the covid episode.

Vernon was wearing a Harley-Davidson jacket, and he said he’s been riding for about 45 years. He began as a teen on a Cushman motor scooter and since then has had six different Harleys. Diane has ridden with her husband to the motorcycle company’s 95th, 100th and 105th anniversaries held in Milwaukee, WI. They’ve also made 13 trips to the hugely popular Sturgis, SD motorcycle gathering.

Vernon gave up riding the motorcycles when he hit 73. So, they use their time now for music jams, especially rock n’ roll, and to have coffee on their big patio each morning.

The holiday market, which is held once in the late fall and in the spring has been growing, according to Carlos “C.J.” Sanchez, vice president with the Mission Chamber. The market was launched just after the pandemic as part of the tourism component to help small entrepreneurs with sales. The market was held at the chamber square but has expanded and needed the larger La Placita Park site.

Sanchez said the latest market events are averaging 30 to 35 vendors and exposure to the area’s Winter Texans and local residents has had a good response.

“We’re hoping to see it continue to grow,” he said.