RGV Visitors Guide

Page 53 Rio Grande Valley Visitors Guide 2023-2024 Christmas Bird Counts The Christmas Bird Counts are sponsored by the National Audubon Society and are done throughout the Americas. The counts are done from December 14th to January 5th every year. For more information visit www.audubon.org/ conservation/science/christmas-bird-count or call your local state park for more information: Weslaco - Estero Llano Grande State Park, (956) 565-3919; Mission - Bentsen - Rio Grande Valley State Park, (956) 584-9156. Fourth of July Butterfly Counts The North American Butterfly Association holds annual Fourth of July butterfly counts all over the nation. The Mission-area count is coordinated by the National Butterfly Center and Bentsen-RGV State Park. To learn more or register to participate, please call (956) 583-5400. Monarch Fest Quinta Mazatlán has organized Monarch Fest, a memorable festival to celebrate the migration of monarch butterflies through South Texas. The event is usually held in early April with over 3,000 attendees participating. Monarch Fest is an annual celebration that offers a fascinating learning platform to people of all ages, as they unravel the magic of the monarch butterfly. The event features cooking demonstrations, butterfly stilt walkers, scout badge activities, a caterpillar tot corner, pollinator art installations with interactive fun, special speakers, garden tours, arts and craft activities, live music, dance performances, a farmers market with incredible finds, native plants for sale, and more. Tickets are $5 per person, with children two years of age and younger free. Tickets may be purchased at Quinta Mazatlán prior to the event, or at the gate the day of the event. Skip the line at the gate and purchase tickets online at quintamazatlan.ticketleap.com. Follow Quinta Mazatlán on Facebook for daily reveals on special guests, activities and more. For further information call Quinta Mazatlán at (956) 6813370. Ocelot Festival The Ocelot Conservation Day and Ocelot Run return to South Texas every year on the first weekend in March. The event is held at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. The event is held to share information about ongoing conservation efforts and to educate about ocelots in a family-friendly environment that includes games, activities, and presentations. Visitors can expect to learn more about ocelots, the work underway to conserve them, and how they can help. For more information about the event, email director@flanwr.org or call (956) 832-3905. Information may also be found on the website at www.flanwr.org Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival Birders will flock to the Valley in search of the specialty birds of the Rio Grande Valley for the 30th annual Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival. The Festival runs from November 8th to the 12th, with field trips, keynote speakers, afternoon presentations, a rousing trade show, an exciting silent auction, a souvenir booth, and local art and photography. For more information, such as field trip destinations and registering, visit www.rgvbf.org. The Great Texas Birding Classic The Great Texas Birding Classic, coordinated by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, takes place every year from April 15th through May 15th, with a registration deadline of April 1st. With more than 40 tournament categories based on age, region of the state, length of time birding, and more, there is truly something for everyone. It is the biggest, longest, wildest bird watching tournament in the United States! For information, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/ events/great-texas-birding-classic/ or call 512389-4500. Texas Butterfly Festival The 27th Annual Texas Butterfly Festival will be held from November 4th to the 7th, 2023 in Mission. The festival includes educational workshops and field trips across the Rio Grande Valley, for anyone interested in learning more about butterflies, dragonflies, and birds. Whether you are a curious nature enthusiast or an experienced naturalist, you are sure to find something thrilling in this festival that features expert guides, speakers, and instructors. Registration opens May 1st. For more information visit www.texasbutterflyfestival.com, or call the National Butterfly Center at (956) 583-5400. Texas International Fishing Tournament The annual Texas International Fishing Tournament is held yearly August in the Port Isabel-South Padre Island area. For information go to www.tift.org or call (956) 943-8438.