Paradise Quilters hosted a veteran’s quilt presentation

In honor of the veterans of Paradise Park in McAllen, Texas, the Paradise Quilters hosted a veteran’s quilt presentation on January 26, 2019.    Fifteen quilts were presented to veterans in the park during a program that included a dedication thank you poem by Barb and Greg Foster, singing of God Bless America by Ginger Engels accompanied by Dwight Brackman.  Veterans of all ages were honored this year and the program will continue until all veterans in the park have received an appropriate thank you and a quilt in their honor.


Veterans honored this year included:

Jerry Baldwin, Navy

Edward Boehmer, Jr., Air Force

Mark Campbell, Ohio National Guard

Sharlene Campbell, Air Force

William Ernst, Army

Steve Frankowski, Navy

Dennis Frisch, Air Force

David German, Navy

David Harston, Army

Marnae Krueger, Army

Warren Lee,  Army

Al Mahowald, Navy

Dickie Parkridge, Navy

Paul Vassallo, Army

Carole Zarling, Army


Tropical Trails RV Resort Hosts Open House March 1st


Tropical Trails RV Resort, South Texas’ newest RV Resort, is hosting an open house on Friday, March 1st, from 10:00 – 2:00 p.m., as part of Welcome Home RGV’s Communities on Parade.  Stop by to see the new amenity building and visit with the General Manager and Owner about all that the resort has to offer!  “I have worked in the Rio Grande Valley for years and wanted to build a high-end resort where visitors can actively enjoy the area,” said Hill Dishman, Owner.


Tropical Trails RV Resort will open in June 2019.  The 240 large RV sites and 23 park model cottages at the resort will become your home away from home, with the most modern conveniences, well-manicured landscaping, and concierge service waiting to serve you!


Tropical Trails RV Resort offers 30/50 amp, full hookups, spacious concrete pads, back-ins and pull throughs, and high speed fiber optic internet.  Amenities include a secured, gated entrance, an amenity center, a resort-style swimming pool, an exercise room, pickle ball and shuffleboard, golf cart rental, bike racks, outdoor pavilions, dog parks, bathhouses and shuttle service.


Situated on 165 acres just east of Brownsville at the intersection of FM 511 and Dr. Hugh Emerson Drive, the resort is conveniently located just minutes from all of Brownsville and only 20 minutes from South Padre Island.  For more information, please see our website at

Part two of HCA Vice President Cheryl LaBerge’s mid-January email interview with Cadence Tenor Ross Lynde

Welcome Home Winter Texan Exclusive

Cheryl:  Where are you performing between now and February 9?

Ross:  We’ll be performing here at home in the month of January, focusing mostly on local outreach (school) shows and workshops but will have our first show in Texas on February 7th in Terrell.


Cheryl:  Any observations about other artists you admire or who have influenced you?

Ross:  The artist that comes to mind here is Bobby McFerrin.  A pioneer in a cappella music, he paved the way for so many artists to explore their own voices to discover there are truly no limits to the human voice.  We’ve had the great honor to perform with him a number of times, and the fact of his musical genius and multi-Grammy-Award-winning status never detracted from his warmth and humility.  He is indeed a very generous performer.


Cheryl:  What type of audiences do you most enjoy?

Ross:  There are so many different groups we’ve performed for (theatre crowds, choirs and church-folk, primary and high schools, senior residences, etc.) so it’s hard to say which is ‘the best.’  There’s something about the human voice that so easily engages the listener and makes a clear connection to the heart.  The best shows are ones that (where) that connection is made early on, so we can take the audience on a journey that is one part good music, one part good fun.


Cheryl:  Any feedback from audiences that you could share or quotes we might use for PR?

Ross:  Here are some quotes for you:  “This was a very talented group but also very entertaining; we enjoyed the performance a lot. My daughter is 12 yrs.; she said it was the best show we have ever attended and she has attended a lot of shows!”

“Cadence were super showmen and held audience’s attention through whole performance. Wonderful!!!!!”

“It was the first time we went to see an a cappella group and it was delightful.  Exceptional performers and unbelievably great music and vocals.”

“Drums, bass, guitar, trumpet, saxophone. and almost any other instrument imaginable was there to be heard, but nowhere to be seen.  Their delectable harmonies and diverse vocal abilities created in each song a world unto itself – a fusion of sound and imagination.”

“Against the ever-changing skyline of Canadian music, Cadence shines like a rainbow: in their arrangements – brilliant;  in their harmony – weightless and pure as colour;  and in their horizons – promising.”


Cheryl:  Thank you!  You guys were amazing when we saw you in Nashville.  We are very excited that you’ll be here soon!

Ross:  Us too!


Toronto-based Cadence, one of Canada’s top a-cappella groups, performs at Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Saturday, February 9, at 7:30 p.m., presented by the nonprofit Harlingen Concert Association (HCA).  Tickets for the Cadence concert are available online at or at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium Box Office, 1204 Fair Park Boulevard, 956-216-5990.  The Box Office is open Monday-Friday and an hour before the show. 

See videos of Cadence on their website at



Grab your boots and get ready bull ridin’ fans, the “HOTTEST 8 SECONDS OF THE YEAR” is back… and it’s bigger and better than ever!!  The National Professional Bull Riders bring some of the nation’s top bull riders to town for a 2-day event on January 26 & 27 in the Payne Auto Group Arena at the RGV Livestock Show Complex, Mercedes, TX.   Top cowboys will compete for an average of $14,000 in money and prizes.  This includes a chance to win one of three $600 Monsoon Silver Champion Trophy Buckles and a sack full of money.  The NPBR is one of the premier bull riding tours in the country and has been entertaining crowds since established in 2000.


The four-footed beasts that cowboys will be trying to score points on will be a hulking, snorting temperamental 2,000-pound bull.  Many are up and coming stars of professional bull riding.


This is your chance to be up close and personal with the bulls and the bull riders.  You will experience the thrills and spills of each one and be able to cheer on your favorite contestant.  Afterwards, join the NPBR Bull Riders for the “After Party” Saturday night at Mustang Lounge!!


Returning this year…South Texas Bull Fight Challenge.  This will be the first stop on the South Texas Bull Fight Challenge Tour.  Five top bull fighters will be competing against each other not only for money in their pockets but also for a chance to perform in the finals held in September.    In a freestyle bull fight, the bull fighter goes one-on-one against a Mexican Fighting bull for 70 seconds.  The bull fighter is judged on his willingness to expose himself to risk and on his aggressiveness.   You will be on the edge of your seat watching these athletes showing off their skills!!


Pro Rodeo Clown and Barrelman, Joey “Hashbrown” Hackett from Hutto, TX will be showing off his comedy routine from inside the “clown barrel” at each performance.  Joey has established himself as one of the hottest barrelman and funny guy personalities in the world of Professional Rodeo.  Working rodeos from Florida all the way to Washington, he brings southern family Cajun humor to relieve any stress or worries your life holds.    You can be promised top notch, family oriented entertainment for both performances.


There will be something for everyone including music, food, vendors, pony rides and a calf scramble for the kids.  Mustang Lounge will be hosting the “Meet the Cowboy’s” after party on Saturday night, January 26, following the bull riding….And come take a picture with the African Watusi Bull, Oliver!!


Local sponsors for this event are 100.5 KTEX,  Mustang Lounge, BootJack Western Stores, Welcome Home RGV, Payne Auto Group, BrushTek Pipeline Maintenance, Med-Care EMS, Executive Inn, City of Mercedes and Mercedes EDC, KRGV-Channel 5 & KRGV-Cable 1240 Somos El Valle.


Pre-sale tickets are available at Boots & Jeans in Weslaco, Bull Rider in Harlingen and all Boot Jack Western Stores.  Adults are $14 pre-sale and $16 at the gate.  Seniors (55+) are $12 presale and $14 at the gate.   Kids (6-12 years) are $7 pre-sale and $8 at the gate and kids 5 & under are free.


Chris Marshall starts the action on Saturday, January 26 at 5:30 pm with a variety of country music and the bull riding and bull fights start at 7:30 pm.   The Sunday, January 27th matinee show will start with a performance by “Ruthi” at 12:00 noon followed by action pack bull riding and bullfights.



South Padre Island Kite Fest: Let’s Tie One On!

What started out as a mere ‘fun fly’ is now one of the biggest kite
festivals in the country.


On Jan. 31st, Feb. 1st and 2nd , 2019 ~ Thursday Night, Friday & Saturday ~ SPI Kite Fest will descend onto the flats of South Padre Island. The festival kicks off Thursday evening with Indoor Kite Performances held at the South Padre Island Convention Centre from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.


The indoor performance lineup boasts an array of internationally known kitefliers. John Barresi holds thirty-one national championship titles and is the 2018 Open Individual Unlimited Ballet champion. John will be joined by Scott Weider & Phil Burks who both were invited to fly in Saudi Arabia in 2017 and James Fletcher the 2014 AKA National Indoor Champion. Other invited performers are Mario Di Lucca from Victoria, British Columbia, Spence Watson, Paul de Bakker, Paul Lamasters and Brett Marchel. All of these amazing indoor fliers dedicate their cheoreographed
routines with one passion in mind . . . “creating peace thru kiting ~


If you have never been to an Indoor Kite Performance, this is the
event you do not want to miss! Tickets for the Indoor Kite Exhibition are $6 per person and can be purchased or reserved in advance at B&S Kites (956-761-1248). Tickets are not available at the door.  The festival continues on Friday & Saturday (Feb. 1st & 2nd ) when the festival moves outdoors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the flats just north of the Convention Centre.


Several kitefliers from all over the United States are scheduled to bring their magnificent ‘show kites’ that will be on display throughout the day. Just imagine it ~ a huge 3D dragon, a 150 ft. octopus, a 90 ft. gecko or a 24 ft. spinning bol ~ whatever you can imagine, you might see it soaring in the air.


No kite fest is complete without the mesmerizing performances of
individual as well as team performances. Three teams are scheduled to perform at this year’s event ~ John Barresi is returning with Team Kitelife consisting of John (Portland, OR), Scott Benz (Jacksonville, FL), Eli Russell (Portland, OR) and Brett Marchel (Harbor Springs, MI). Next up Team Rev-Riders consisting of Scott Weider (Vancouver, WA), Paul LaMasters (Germantown, MD), James Fletcher (Baltimore, MD) and Drayton Callison (Treasure Island, FL) as well as Team End of the Line from Austin. Completing the performance roster will be Spence ‘Watty’ Watson (Bellevue, WA), Paul de Bakker (Oak Harbor, WA), Mario DiLucca (Victoria, BC) as well as several ‘Winter Texans’ who have found they not only have a passion for kite flying but a talent for performing as well. Admission for the outdoor event is free.


So . . . bring a cooler, bring a lawn chair, come for the day or stay
for the weekend. Just make South Padre Island your destination the
first weekend in February. You’ll be delighted you did. You’ll get
amazing photos to share with your friends and may even start a
new tradition. For more information contact B&S Kites at
(956) 761-1248, by email at , our website, or visit SPI Kite Fest 2019 event page on
We’ll see you there !

Tour Rancho Lomitas with Edinburg Scenic Wetlands

Edinburg, Texas – Take a tour of the beautiful Rancho Lomitas and learn about the historical uses and interesting properties of native plants. This winter, the Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center (EWBC) will escort a field trip to this native oasis north of Rio Grande City on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.


Ranch owner and ethnobotanist, Benito Treviño, will lead participants on a tour of the ranch and discuss how knowledge of local plants and their practical uses have helped people survive in the Rio Grande Valley for hundreds of years.


The cost for each Rancho Lomitas tour is $20.00 for EWBC members and $25.00 for non-members. Seating is limited, so please call ahead at least two days before the trip to reserve your space. Deadline to register is Monday. Jan. 14. Participants will depart from the EWBC at 7:30 a.m. and arrive back at 3:00 p.m. Participants can bring a sack lunch to eat while out at the ranch.


The Edinburg Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Center is located at 714 South Raul Longoria Road (in the Edinburg Municipal Park) in Edinburg, Texas. For more information on this and other programs, call (956) 381-9922 or visit

Bentsen Palm Village shares the Christmas spirit with a Mission family

Written by Rocio Villalobos 

Photo by Rick Harrington

For Christmas this year, residents at Bentsen Palm Village RV Resort combined their resources to create an unforgettable day for a family of six.


Resort manager Keith Willquette, along with other personnel, decided that nothing could bring more holiday cheer to the park than the gift of giving.


After finding a family in need through a Mission church, the park publicized the need for donations in early December. Residents did not disappoint.


The exclusively winter Texan park currently has about 200 of its sites full. And according to resident Anne Scott, just about everyone chose to give.


“They were exceedingly generous,” she said.


Dozens of toys, gadgets and clothing articles were collected for the children — two boys ages 15, 10, and two girls ages 7 and 4. Crafters put their skills to use by making quilts and knitting hats.


Al Peterson, a first year resident at the resort, served as the translator for the Spanish-speaking family. He helped set up the time and date for the gifts to be delivered and found out the sizes and gift requests for the children.


“They were just really modest people,” he said. “I think actually they were a little overwhelmed by all the stuff.”


The park staff was also able to purchase grocery gift cards and bikes and helmets for each child with more than $500 donated in addition to the toys.


“We’re all grandparents and we don’t have little kids to buy presents for… because we’re not with our families,” said Scott. “So we decided to do something to provide a special Christmas for another family.”


A few days before Christmas, volunteers loaded up a truck and SUV with the items purchased and donated to deliver it to the family.


“They seemed very appreciative,” said Scott. “The kids were bouncing up and down like little kids do at Christmas.”


Given the response from the Bentsen community, said Scott and Peterson, they believe they can make their giving a tradition to share with families in need around the Rio Grande Valley.


“We’re all so blessed to have this lifestyle and to have enough money to reach out and try to help these people,” said Scott. “On the way back (from dropping off the items) we all said, ‘well, that made our Christmas.’”

You’re Invited to Our Winter Texan Expo Fiesta!

It will be a party to remember!


            Last year, approximately 8,000 seniors attended the Welcome Home RGV Winter Texan Expo at the McAllen Convention Center.  This year we’re expecting the party to be even bigger!


            Mark your calendars now for January 15 and 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Winter Texan Expo will be held at the McAllen Convention Center again this year and is being presented by South Texas Health System.  Although it is called Winter Texan Expo, all seniors in the Rio Grande Valley are invited to our party!


            Visit the Winter Texan Expo website at to see the long list of exhibitors who will be there to inform you about outings in the Rio Grande Valley, healthcare, products and services, nonprofit organizations, sporting events, entertainment venues, and much, much more!


            Be sure to wear your dancing shoes to our party because the entertainment is going to get you in the boogieing mood.  January 15 on the main stage, we have Pickpocket Gene, The Kody Norris Show, the Patsy Cline tribute with Rainy, and last but not least, Rick McEwen.  Come back for more on January 16 for performances by Ralph Kuster, KAI, Jason Whorlow and Rusty Rierson.


            Did we mention that admission is free?  And that’s not the only thing that’s free at the Winter Texan Expo!  Health screenings are free, party favors (aka door prizes) are free, and the knock-your-socks-off entertainment is free.  We all love free!


           We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the sponsors for our anniversary party. Thank you to our presenting sponsor South Texas Health System and our gold sponsors AIM Media, Burns Motors, City of McAllen, Gulf Coast Eye Institute, HEB, Mustre Dental Clinic, Oklahoma Tourism & Recreation Department, Shah Eye Center, Texas Regional Bank, The Mackie Clinic, Universal Vests and Harlingen Convention & Visitors Bureau.


            We are so excited to be celebrating you!  See you at the biggest party of the season in the Rio Grande Valley, the 26th Annual Winter Texan Expo!

“Winter Texan Wednesday: It’s a Hard Luck Life!”

Winter Texans and retirees are invited to participate in “Winter Texan Wednesday: It’s a Hard Luck Life!” featuring Neil Cassady, a Texas Master Naturalist and museum volunteer, December 19 at 3 p.m. at the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg. “Winter Texan Wednesday” is a half-hour multimedia presentation followed by a half-hour mini-tour of part of a museum exhibit.


Imagine living in South Texas before air conditioning, internet access and other modern conveniences to protect you from the region’s riparian forest landscape. How could anyone survive the scorching sun rays in South Texas, or the landscape filled with very few trees but lots of brush? Cassady will discuss how the Coahuiltecans and early Spanish settlers survived in the Rio Grande Valley with the help of native plants and trees. The presentation will be followed by a mini-tour of MOSTHistory’s River Frontier exhibit.


Winter Texan Wednesday is included in the regular museum admission fee: Adults (18+) $7; Seniors (62+) $5. Museum admission also includes access to the signature Rio Grande Legacy exhibition. For more information, please contact the museum at 956-383-6911.


About Museum of South Texas History


The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 N. Closner Blvd. on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003, following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.

A Tejano Christmas Carol plays again at Pharr Community Theater

For the third consecutive year, Pharr Community Theater (PCT) will present the classic play, A Tejano Christmas Carol. This Charles Dickens adaptation is set in the RGV where the mean spirited, shyster Mr. Ezequiel Codos serves as a powerful attorney and greedy water broker. He owns vast property on both sides of the Rio Grande, including tons of water rights, and when he decides to sell all those rights the river dries up to grave consequences in the future.


In the process he’s visited by three ghosts that include a soldier woman from the Mexican Revolution, played by Armandina Sesin, who has acted the part for the last three years.


“I love playing ‘La Soldadera’/The Ghost of Christmas Past because she reminds me of Mexico and it’s incredible history including the romantic side of the revolution, added Armandina. “The Christmas season is coming and this play is perfect for it, please come and enjoy it”.


Fourteen year old Andres Flores from San Juan attends Austin Middle School as an 8th grader. This is his second play with PCT where he now performs in the role of the Ghost of Christmas present, as a young Zoot Suiter alongside 20 other characters and townsfolk who eventually help Codos find a better way, a kinder spirit.


“I love being an actor in a play, it has every basic element, I get a cool feeling when out there on stage and you have so much fun saying your lines in front of a crowd, the energy makes me feel great. I connect well to this character”, chuckled the young actor.


As the local theater company continues to celebrate it’s 10 year, this production has nearly 30 local actors, crew and technicians, including Nela De La Garza as Stage and Production Manager. It also marks the 3rd year in a row that veteran actor and company director, Pedro Garcia plays Mr. Codos, the Scrooge equivalent.


“I seldom cast myself in our plays but this is a part I feel I was cut to play, especially now that I’ve gotten older,” said Garcia. “Codos is a fun character because he’s mean…jeje. I allow myself to try different intonations with him, and this time I’m happy to be offered direction by our new director, Seres Jaime Magaña”.


Twenty-seven year old Magaña first took acting classes with Garcia when he was 14 years old and was brought back into the theater a year and half ago to write and direct the play, The Tragic Corrido of Romeo & Lupe, loosely based on Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet. The play was a hit!  Again under the supervision of Garcia, Magaña is being poised to direct on his own soon.


“I’m going about it one step at a time… getting more and  more involved with everything that comes into a production of a play; costumes, lights, music, the setting of the stage, directing actors and seeing what it really takes to orchestrate a play”, said Magaña.


The play is family friendly.


The PCT shows are bilingual but will be in English at several planned tours to local Winter Texan Parks.


The play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater at 213 W Newcombe Ave., Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. (Please note: The Saturday, December 1st show will coincide with the City Of Pharr Christmas Posada. It is advised to come earlier that day to find parking in the surrounding vicinity of the theater. Tickets for the play are only $6 for students, military and senior citizens and $8 general admission, and will be sold on a first come, first served basis starting one hour prior to showtime at the theater or in advance by calling 956-239-0412. (The intimate space seats only 60 persons at a time).


The bilingual version will also tour to the Pharr Events Center at 3000 N Cage Blvd on December 4 at 7:30 pm. Tickets to this show are $3 per person or 2 tickets for $5 and will only be sold at the door, starting one hour prior to showtime.


Four more shows, in English, will take place at 4 RGV WINTER TEXAN PARKS: Dec. 14 thru Dec. 19, 2018:


Dec 14 @ 7:00 pm (Fri)

El Valle Del Sol (Peppermint Palace)

2500 E Business Hwy 83, Mission, TX.

For more info. call 956-585-5704


Dec 17 @ 7:00 pm (Mon)

Casa Del Sol

400 North Val Verde Rd, Donna, TX.

For more info. call 956-464-9024


Dec 18 @ 7:00 pm (Tue)

Winter Haven Village

1015 W Sam Houston, Pharr, TX

For more info. call 308-289-2201


Dec 19 @ 7:00 pm (Wed)

Bentsen Grove Resort

1645 South Bentsen Palm Drive, Palmview, TX.

For more info. call 956-585-0703


Parks Admission is $7.00.  Open seating, doors open 1 hour prior to play



PIC CAPTIONS: Please feel free to utilize one or more pics for printing with the PSA/Editorial


Cast members from A Tejano Christmas Carol rehearse the dinner table scene. L-R:  Ethan Chapa, Zebony Vi Vega, Ruby E. Garcia, Lorelai G Martinez, Dante Cardenas & Katherine Chapa. The family-friendly play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater.



Pedro Garcia & Armandina Sesin reprise their roles for the third year in a row as the scrooge like character, Mr. Codos and as the ghost of Christmas past, La Rielera de la Revolución Mexicana in A Tejano Christmas Carol. The family-friendly play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater.


Three young actors rehearse a school classroom scene in A Tejano Christmas Carol. L-R: Zebony Vi Vega, Matthew Perez, & Andres Flores. The family-friendly play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater.


Dante Cardenas will be Pablo Gomez in A Tejano Christmas Carol. The family-friendly play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater.





Director, Seres Jaime Magaña offer guidance to cast members, Itza Flores, Dante Cardenas and Ruby E Garcia as they practice a party scene. The family-friendly play runs November 28 through December 2 at Pharr Community Theater.