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Every year BorderFest provides different music, entertainment and food from a country or a culture to celebrate and learn more about. The event will be held starting Thursday, March 3 through Sunday, March 6. Headliners include Janet Jackson on March 3 and Selena Gomez on March 5.
Major events include an Abrazo at the International Bridge between the Mayors of Hidalgo and Reynosa, MX, honor ceremony for Border Texan of the Year, the Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame presentation, a grand parade, the BorderFest Queen and Miss Hidalgo Pageant, Square Dance Jubilee and the marriage of the new and official BorderFest mascots Cha Cha Rita and Pepper.
This year BorderFest celebrates Hawaii with the Hawaiian Islands and guests from Hawaii. Hawaii is the newest of the 50 United States (Aug. 21, 1959), and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. Hawaii’s natural beauty, warm tropical climate, inviting waters and waves, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and volcanologists alike. Due to its mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many North American and Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Hawaii has over a million permanent residents along with many visitors and U. S. military personnel. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of O’ahu.
In the BorderFest Hawaiian Island area visitors will find a 75 ton Sandcastle being built as a backdrop to the islands. It will be 24 feet high, 30 feet long and 20 feet deep and will feature a smoking volcano, tikis and more. There will be grass huts with crafters making leis, palm weaving and a tattoo artist. An Imu pit/oven will be used to prepare a pig that is used in traditional luaus.
The Hawaiian stage and area will transform from an Australian Outback last year to a full Hawaiian Island experience. Visitors will see all kinds of interesting things from the Aloha State. Entertainment will include dances from the islands from Te Iriatai Ora, Desert Polynesia, Savea’s Pride of the Pacific, Hula Halau Ohana Elikapeka, and Drums and Fire Dances of Polynesia.
If the Hawaiian experience isn’t enough, BorderFest brings other entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. The H-E-B Buddy and Friends tent will offer crafts, games and free children’s finger print ID cards. The Mopars Car Show will be presenting “Mopars on the Border III.” Audiences will be engaged and laughing at the Fantasyland Stage by hypnotist Erick Kand and ventriloquist Nacho Estrada.
At the new La Mujer y su Familia Pavilion, chefs will offer cooking demonstrations throughout the day. Clinics will also be held for both adults and children to sample new products. Families can also take part in pioneer crafts including yarn hand spinning, tatting, bobbin lace and quilting. Food sculptor Jim Victor will also be on hand carving a 300-pound block of cheese. The food court will offer a wide variety of food booths including turkey legs, funnel cakes and Hawaiian treats. There will also be a carnival featuring all-you-can-ride tickets on Wednesday and Thursday.
There will be a BorderFest media cooking competition at Cocina Kraft featuring on-air talent from each television and radiogroups. The competition will take place through the four days of BorderFest with qualifying rounds on Thursday and Friday, a semi-final round on Saturday and the Cooking Face-Off on Sunday.
Other events include a world record balloon stunt show that includes magic, comedy, daredevil stunts, music, and interactive audience participation by James Johnson. He currently holds the record of 18 adults inside a giant six-foot latex balloon and will see if he can top that at the event. Wildlife Wendy and her tropical birds will provide an up-close and personal encounter with her macaws and parrots.
A Tejano Legend Stage will feature some of the best Tejano groups around performing classics and new songs for the audience. The Shinbone Alley Stilt Band, a brass combo on stilts, will bring music to new heights with a selection of Dixieland, swing, jazz, international, and rock. A Sea Lion Splash show will feature Surfer Joe with some talented sea lions.
A country stage will feature performances by local bands and more. Other areas will include performances by South Texas Indian Dancers, African Acrobats, folklorico performances, Mazurka Polish Dancers of San Antonio, Kazamba, Silver Thistle Pipes and Drums and many more types of entertainment and performances. A lighted parade will be held each night at 6:30 p.m. as well.
For a complete schedule of events, tickets, and more information visit www.myborderfest.com.
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The Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.