Winter Texan Expo: Rusty Rierson

Rusty Rierson Performing January 16 at 1:45 p.m.



Rusty Rierson is a native of South-Central, Kansas. Growing up on the family farm he fell in love with agriculture earning a bachelor’s in agricultural economics and a master’s in animal science. Rusty got into music when he was 14 years old. He started singing in church and soon it became a passion. He learned guitar when his father, Roger, suggested they take lessons together.


Rusty has played all over the U.S., including Alaska. He has toured abroad in Canada, Mexico, Central America, Scotland, and London. He often travels with the Better Horses Radio Show and has played rodeos, barrel races, and horse events all over the Midwest. Rusty has opened for, and shared the stage and worked with, artists such as Sawyer Brown, John Berry, Doug Stone, Michael Martin Murphy, Dustin Lynch, T. G. Sheppard, Moe Bandy, David Frizzell, R.W. Hampton, Johnny Lee, Bill Gentry, Leroy Van Dyke, Helen Cornelius, Billy Dean, Johnny Western, Love and Theft, Collin Raye, Suzy Bogguss, Radney Foster, Logan Mize, Jimmy Fortune, Craig Campbell, John Anderson, Walker Montgomery, Ronnie McDowell, Cassadee Pope, Joe Diffie, Maddie & Tae, Don Williams, and many others.  He always plays tribute to George Strait, Don Williams, and some of his other heroes, as well as delighting crowds with his own music.


Rusty said he hopes people will see his music as “a breath of fresh air.”  He has produced eight albums and one DVD. There are now more than 100,000 copies of his albums in print.


If you are interested in having Rusty perform at one of your shows, please call his manager, L. Rice at 956-564- 1923 or send an email to  Be sure to visit his Facebook page!


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

Rick McEwen to perform at Winter Texan Expo

Rick McEwen Performing January 15 at 1:45 p.m.


A 35-year veteran of Branson Entertainment, Rick McEwen has performed with some of the biggest entertainers in show business.  He has a passion for performing classic rock, classic country, rhythm and blues, and soul music.  Rick is a member of the Traditional Country Hall of Fame and has been nominated for Male Vocalist of the Year in Branson, Missouri.


Rick spent eight years honing his skills in Nashville before moving to the live-music capitol of the world, Branson, in 1984. He performed with such greats as Earl Scruggs, Webb Pierce, The Dillards (They were the Darling family on the Andy Griffith Show).  Randy opened many shows for Waylon, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Dottie West, and other country-music legends.


After moving to Branson, Rick was the featured singer with the great Jim Stafford for 14 years.  He has produced eight musical shows, 10 albums, and music for a Walt-Disney production. Rick is currently the executive producer of the Branson Terry Music Awards and a full-time performer.


Rick said, “Music has been my life and my joy.”  Learn more about Rick on his Facebook page.


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

Winter Texan Expo: Ralph Kuster Jan 16

Ralph Kuster Performing January 16 at 9:30 a.m.


Ralph Kuster’s lifelong passion for music became a reality with the production of his first three CDs from 2003 to 2005. In 2006, he was thrilled and honored to perform I May Never Get to Heaven by Conway Twitty and Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers before over 2200 people at the annual COSAP Variety Show at the renowned Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Canada.


In 2008, Ralph opened his one-man variety show in Branson, Missouri, and continued shows there at the God and Country Theater through December of 2013.  In 2012, he began to perform in the Rio Grande Valley. With over 600 songs now in his repertoire, Ralph produces, directs, and performs a series of shows.  Ralph now includes a visual presentation for every song in every show to add to the enjoyment of his performances.


Ralph loves to interact with his audiences, and his musical diversity has resulted in various return engagements in the Rio Grande Valley. He can tailor a show to meet specific musical and time-restricted preferences. Ralph enjoys performing gospel music and has been a guest soloist at various churches and gospel functions.


See Ralph’s Rio Grande Valley Schedule or hear him perform a few songs on this site,


To arrange a performance at your facility, feel free to contact Ralph Kuster Entertainment at or by phone at 417-230-8198 or 613-922-1941.


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

Winter Texan Expo: Patsy Cline Tribute with Rainy

Rainy Mandziuk Performing January 15 at 12:15 p.m.

Rainy returns to the RGV with her special tribute to the Legendary Patsy Cline. With a voice that is distinctly “Patsy,” she presents a convincing performance as she celebrates the songs and spirit of this country-music legend.


During her high-energy show, Rainy slips in a few memorable hits from 60’s pop artists Connie Francis, Karen Carpenter, and Anne Murray. Mix this with a little trivia and some hilarious (not-so-true) stories, and you’re in for an entertaining and fun-filled evening.


When not in the Rio Grande Valley, Rainy is part of a group of tribute artists who travel and perform in casinos and at corporate events and and festivals in both Canada and the Upper Midwest.


Rainy and hubby, Hank, welcome you to come out and join them as they take you on a musical journey down memory lane. For all Patsy Cline fans, this is a must-see show!


Contact Rainy at 956-702-6819 or by email at


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

Pickpocket Gene to perform at Winter Texan Expo

Gene Turner

Performing January 15 at 9:30 a.m.


Gene Turner began his career as a pickpocket entertainer almost by accident. As an insurance salesman, Gene would perform magic tricks for his clients.  But soon, they wanted him to perform at parties more than they wanted to talk insurance. By 1985, Gene found he was successful enough with his comedy, magic, and pickpocket demonstrations to leave the world of actuarial tables behind and dedicate himself to his real love–performing.


Since that time, the demand for Gene’s talents as a corporate magician, pickpocket infotainer (someone who uses entertainment to inform or educate), and speaker has grown to over 150 events each year and includes performances and speaking engagements for many Fortune 500 companies. He wows audiences at seminars, conferences, stockholder meetings, trade shows, awards banquets, and celebrity receptions. He is an incredible keynote speaker and master of ceremonies, using his skills to motivate, inform and entertain.


Gene is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist and makes numerous presentations weekly on the subjects of identity theft risk reduction, travel safety and security, and pickpocket prevention. He speaks to small and large audiences alike and recently presented to a crowd of over 1,500 people. Using his skills as a pickpocket infotainer, Gene has addressed law enforcement personnel and has presented numerous fraud and identity-theft-prevention seminars for the banking and education communities and the military.  He travels coast to coast yearly, displaying his own special brand of magic and humor. Gene’s incredible sleight-of-hand skills, combined with his memorable presentation style, make his keynotes and seminars on identity theft protection a one-of-a-kind experience. His ability to create “Magic with a Message” has enabled him to perform for groups of all sizes and backgrounds, delivering topics in a memorable, fun way. Throughout his professional career, Gene has appeared on countless television and radio programs to demonstrate his magic skills and humor while conveying his message. Additionally, he served as a coach for the pickpocket scenes in the movie Bulletproof Monk and performed at a birthday party for the world-famous actress/singer/performer Bette Midler.


Visit Gene’s website at or his Facebook page, Pickpocket Gene.


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

Jason Whorlow Performing at Winter Texan Expo

January 16 at 12:15 p.m.


Jason Whorlow is in his fifth year of entertaining Winter Texans. He has been nominated–and won–several awards during this time and is now in high demand for his extremely versatile, unique, and interactive show. Jason has had crowds of over 400 singing along to Sweet Caroline, with their hands raised high in the air. At his shows, you will find couples dancing emotionally to Can’t Help Falling in Love and Unchained Melody. Winter Texans have enjoyed his energetic performances with music by Jerry Lee Lewis, Billy Joel, Elton John, and others. Jason also enjoys playing to laid-back Island crowds with songs by Kenny Chesney, the Zac Brown Band, Otis Redding, Jimmy Buffet, and so many more. He prides himself on his ability to effortlessly enjoy each and every performance with gratitude because he is living out his dream as an entertainer.


Jason often features his young daughters, with songs from The Greatest Showman, Alison Krauss, Linda Ronstadt, and others.   He will be performing at over 50 venues this 2018-2019 season.  You can experience this one-of-a-kind show by emailing Jason at  Visit Jason’s website at and explore more videos and pictures on his social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, and WeddingWire.


The Winter Texan Expo is a fun-filled, two day event held each year in January.  This year’s event will be held on January 15-16, 2019 at the McAllen Convention Center. Admission is free, and so is the parking!  For more information visit

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.

International Festival – a tradition worth savoring

PHARR, Texas – If you’ve ever savored homestyle Greek food, or are more of a handmade Eastern European fare fan, this is an event you don’t want to miss. Most especially, be sure to try the crispy, sweet baklava.


A much-anticipated annual event, the International Festival, held at St. George’s Orthodox Church in Pharr is perfect for picking up holiday gifts, as well as for-sale specialty foods. Local families and Winter Texans alike enjoy this seasonal occurrence. If you appreciate a taste of the world, don’t miss this culinary fundraiser. Festival favorites include Greek layered pastitcio, spanakopita, grilled souvlaki and stuffed grape leaves.  On the Russian side of the gastronomic globe, try savory cabbage rolls, pirogies or hot blini. And of course, some Ukrainian honey cake.


“You won’t find anything like this Festival here in the Valley,” shares Judie Geil, long-time Parishioner of St. George’s. “Even though I now live in Houston, I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” Geil’s special German beirocks and strudel are already made up and ready to sell.


A fun, educational outing for the entire family, the Festival offers free entry, parking, children’s activities and a wide variety of entertainment. There’s always something for everyone to see, hear and do.  Activities and information will be shared by the Museum of South Texas History, IMAS, the McAllen Public Library, Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Master Gardeners, UTRGV CHAPS, the Lambs Loom, Gem Valley Farmers Market, Milkweed & Monarchs and more. “Two by Two Petting Zoo” will be available for children from 10 a.m. – noon.


The year’s entertainment schedule includes the wonderful UTRGV Tuba and Euphonium Ensemble, playing holiday favorites, as well as the much-beloved Mariachi Nueva Tradicion.  The children’s mariachi and conjunto groups from Creative Arts Studio will join the day’s performances, as well as members of the colibrí children’s choir. Find the exciting entertainment and activity schedule at:


Elizabeth Perdomo, International Festival Director shared, “Each year, we try to include some repeat performances from past favorites, as well as adding something new.” Perdomo continued, “This year, the event will open with Scottish Pipes and Drums, and close with Robert Soto and the South Texas Indian Dancers. It should be a great day of music and dance!”


A special place for for holiday shopping, pick up some unique items created by artisans, handicraft and farmers market vendors. Everything from local honey and tasty preserves, to handmade soap, beeswax candles, Eastern European folkart and handcrafted wood items will be there to choose from. Some special vendors from Mexico will sell small batch bags of coffee grown in Mexico, handcrafted silver jewelry and more. If you’re interested, take a free guided tour of St. George Orthodox Church and the learn about the lovely icons, an ancient liturgical artform.


Vegan and vegetarian options are available for some of festival foods, including International Soups. Besides take-home soup containers, frozen versions of many specialties are also available inside the church hall. Pick up some to enjoy later.  Bring a cooler along in the car to keep ‘em cold.  Besides baklava, holiday cookies, sweet breads and other baked goods from around the world will make your mouth water.  Treat someone you love with a package or two.


Come early and spend the day. Begin the morning with freshly baked scones and muffins. Want a break to sit a while and watch the performances?  Grab a cup of Russian tea, Greek or Mexican coffee and some special baked goods from the Russian Tea Shoppe, and you’ll be ready to relax and enjoy the music. Handicapped drop off and entry access available.


One purpose for the festival is to collect food and funds for St. George Food Pantry, which serves over 100 families twice a month. Bring monetary donations, canned goods or non-perishables, new or lightly used blankets, coats, children’s clothing or toys, for the special Christmas distribution. Receive one homemade cookie as a “thank you” in the “Give a Can; Get a Cookie” campaign.


This year’s International Festival will be held on Saturday, December 8th, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at St. George Orthodox Church, 704 W. Sam Houston in Pharr. To learn more about the festival, see their website at: or on Facebook at: