Get ready for “Hawaiian Pirate Adventures” as Mission’s annual celebration of the Texas citrus industry kicks off. Events begin on Saturday January 13 beginning with the Texas Citrus Fiesta Product Costume Show and run over a two-week period until January 27 culminating with the annual Texas Citrus Fiesta Parade of Oranges. The show will be held at the Mission Community Center, 1420 E. Kika de la Garza Loop. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under. The show starts at 2 p.m.
The Product Costume Show is one of the most unique style shows in the United States and is thought to be the only handicraft that originated in the United States. Base costumes are made of a material that will easily hold product such as flannel. Agricultural products grown in the Rio Grande Valley are dried, dehydrated, pulverized into powder, or grown into small flakes and glued with fabric glues to the base costume. The only requirement is that each costume must use some form of citrus. But there are many products to choose from. Grapefruit, lemon, and orange peels can be dehydrated and powdered to create bright colors. Tangerines give a lovely golden color. Leaves can provide a green shade while citrus bark can produce a brown color. Peels can be burned for a black color and citrus seeds may be used for beading.
For other colors bougainvillea’s can produce a variety of shades from pinks to purple. Purple sage can provide a purple while onion skins when ground provide flakes that resemble lace on finer materials. The products used are up to the designer and sometimes a totally new product is used.
Each costume is unique. Some by new designers getting their first experience are simple while other costumes have astonishing detail to them. These costumes take hours and hours to make.
In addition to the style show the winners of the shoebox float contest will be announced. This is a contest between fourth and fifth grade student in the Mission, Sharyland and La Joya Independent School Districts. Each float must reflect the theme of the Texas Citrus Fiesta, “Hawaiian Pirate Adventures.”
They will be made from some of the same materials as the entries in the Product Costume Show.
A third component of the show and a new addition to the show this year will be the announcement of the winners of the 2nd Annual Ultimate Grapefruit Pie Baking Showdown, sponsored by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. (Last year it was part of the Fun Fair).
Make plans to attend this special event and enjoy seeing the unique costumes made by the designers, view the shoebox floats made by the elementary students, and see who won the grapefruit pie baking contest. See you there.