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McAllen- Music After Hours, Arts & Crafts Fair

Come visit us at the Music After Hours- Arts & Craft Fair.  Crafters are welcome to participate the first Friday of every month.  The next Craft Fair will be held on Friday, March 6, 2015 from 6:00PM to 10:00PM at Archer Park located at 101 N. Broadway, McAllen.  Reserve your space for $20.00 by coming to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce at 1200 Ash Avenue, McAllen, TX, 956-682-2871, between the hours of 8:30AM – 4:30PM, Monday-Friday.  Music After Hours will be featuring great live music!

Rio Roma Concierto en McAllen

El dueto de pop mexicano, autores del soundtrack ¨Vida Nueva¨de la telenovela la tempestad y del ¨Hoy es un Buen Dia¨de la telenovela El color de la pasión, y de otros temas más, se presentará:

Fecha: Viernes 27 de Febrero de 2015

Hora:   8:00 p.m.

Lugar: Auditorio Cívico de McAllen

             1300 South 10th St.

              McAllen, Tx.

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City of McAllen earns recognition at 2015 Keep America Beautiful National Conf

The City of McAllen received a Keep America Beautiful National Award at the annual Keep America Beautiful (KAB) National Awards Dinner, held during the recent 2015 KAB
National Conference in Washington, D.C.

The City of McAllen was honored for distinguishing itself as an exemplary Municipality taking first place in the Government category. The City of McAllen was honored for its Community Revitalization program Project Imagine Tomorrow and its on-going collaboration with local affiliate Keep McAllen Beautiful.

The KAB National Awards are open to KAB affiliates, government agencies, nonprofit or civic organizations, and youth groups or schools for program activities during the past year that help create communities that are socially connected, environmentally healthy and economically sound. Established in 1953, KAB consists of a national network of more than 600 community-based affiliates whose programs, initiatives and efforts aim to transform public spaces into beautiful places.

“It’s my privilege to honor the City of McAllen and celebrate its dedication in engaging volunteers to make its community vibrant,” said Jennifer Jehn, president and CEO of Keep America Beautiful. “Award-winning affiliates, such as Keep McAllen Beautiful, serve as a great inspiration in our national effort to keep America beautiful.”

The City of McAllen took first place in the Government category for its implementation and support of multiple community improvement and litter prevention programs including:

  • Project Imagine Tomorrow: The City of McAllen’s Health & Code Enforcement Department launched Project Imagine Tomorrow to help curb the amount of substandard, vacant homes in the City of McAllen. This initiative is currently offering Home Improvement Incentives to Property Owners and Developers that include Roll-off containers, 50% Contractor Reimbursement for Demolitions, Tax Incentives for Home Improvements, and Waiving of Permit Fees. In addition, it is also offering an incentive of Low Interest Home-Repair loans financed and undertaken by Affordable Homes of South Texas, Inc., specifically created for owner-occupants.
  • Collaboration in Paint McAllen Beautiful: The City of McAllen’s Health & Code Enforcement Department and Keep McAllen Beautiful are working together to help low income, elderly, and disabled residents paint the exterior of their home with the help of community sponsors, volunteers, and faith based organizations.
  • Support of Project Clean Neighborhoods: A Keep McAllen Beautiful project that empowers residents in a given neighborhood to clean up their property and dispose of any debris or litter with roll-off dumpsters provided free of charge by the City of McAllen’s Public Works Department. “Collaboration has been a winning formula in beautifying the City of McAllen,” said Chris Lash, Program Coordinator for Keep McAllen Beautiful.

Keep America Beautiful’s National Conference, KAB’s premier educational and networking event, brings together KAB’s national network of state and local affiliate directors, business leaders, policymakers and other national experts who focus on framing new ideas and strategies to build and sustain vibrant communities.

About Keep McAllen Beautiful:
Keep McAllen Beautiful, Inc. is an educational, non-profit organization that develops and expands the awareness of McAllen’s citizens and visitors about littering and proper waste disposal, and promotes the preservation of McAllen’s natural beauty.

About Keep America Beautiful:
Keep America Beautiful is the nation’s leading nonprofit that brings people together to build and sustain vibrant communities. With a national network of community-based affiliates, we work with millions of volunteers who take action in their communities to transform public spaces into beautiful places. Through our programs and public-private
partnerships, we engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community’s environment. To learn how you can donate and take action, visit, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.

To Contact Keep McAllen Beautiful: (956) 681-4562
To Contact Project Imagine Tomorrow: (956) 681-1900

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Los Blue Men en el Valle del Rio Grande

El grupo Blue Men, con sus rostros pintados de azul, sus cabezas cubiertas con gorros del mismo color, guantes azules y ropa de color negro, y que  actúan con temas familiares, humorísticos e incorporan la música Rock, iluminación sofisticada y grandes cantidades de papel, se presentará en:

Fecha:     Febrero 18 del 2015

Hora:       7:30 p.m.

Lugar:      State Farm Arena

Nos vemos en McAllen!

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McAllen HS mariachi wins state for second straight year

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McALLEN— The pressure was greater at this year’s state high school mariachi competition for McAllen High School senior Eduardo Villarreal, who after being part of the winning group last year thought all eyes would be on them. Thankfully, the pressure worked in their favor as they returned with a first-place trophy for the second time.

The group, called Mariachi de Oro, competed against about a dozen high school mariachis in their category this year in San Antonio and on Saturday took the gold once again.

“Last year was the first year that we ever even thought about going to compete and we took everyone by surprise,” the 17-year old said. “This year we had to prove that we could win again this year after taking such a big hit. And we proved it to everyone that we have what it takes to be consecutive champions.”

This year, 14 local high schools were among more than 30 finalists. Event coordinator Juan B. Ortiz had said that this is the highest number of groups since the annual tradition started eight years ago.

Mariachi de Oro’s teacher Alex Treviño said he was happy to make it to state again, but the fact that half of this year’s group was new and hadn’t been to state required a greater effort from all.

“They left everything they had up on stage,” he said. “A lot of energy went into it, a lot of solid preparation, and more than a lot of heart.”

Having mostly new members was not the only challenge for the champions. Treviño said that due to the school’s lack of resources the group hardly has the opportunity to perform with professional equipment.

“Our kids never play on a full-sound system because we don’t have one in our auditorium,” he said. “It’s like having a football team and just talking about what you are going to do inside a classroom.”

But they got a golden opportunity to practice their craft in a professional stage a few weeks before at the University of Texas-Pan American. Treviño said that even though it was only for a brief moment, this opportunity contributed to the group’s readiness and self-esteem.

At the finals, the group was given 12 minutes to perform three songs, which included "Yo Soy del Mero Jalisco," "Oyeme," and "La Rosa Colorada.

Story Courtesy of The Monitor

by Danya Perez-Hernandez

Día del Árbol en McAllen

La Ciudad de McAllen y Keep McAllen Beautiful, lo invitan a participar en la 4ta. Celebración del Día del Árbol.

Fecha:          Marzo 7 del 2015

Lugar:          Inicio en el Parque Municipal de McAllen

                   1921 N. Bicentennial Blvd.
                   McAllen  Texas  USA

Eventos del dia:

    • 7:00 a.m. Carrera 5 k   
    • 7:00 am Carrera 10 k  
    • 7:15 a.m. Tour de biciletas de 25 millas
    • 10:00 a.m. Caminata con la familia

Manténgase activo, celebre a los árboles, y disfrute del hermoso clima primaveral de McAllen.

Arbor Day 2015

IMAS Rings in the Lunar New Year


McAllen, TX- Celebrate the Lunar New Year and the official start of the Year of the Goat with a number of cultural activities hosted by the International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Now in its third year, the event seeks to highlight the rich diversity of the Rio Grande Valley’s Asian community. Visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy a number of traditional activities and customs that are celebrated throughout Asia during the Lunar New Year.

The Lunar New Year comes from the start of the new lunisolar year, which is based on the year’s moon phases and used by most Asian countries. Typically, the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Vietnamese New Year occur on or near the same date and include a number of activities ranging from colorful dance exhibitions to storytelling to hanging calligraphy, charms and handwritten wishes for the year ahead.

This year’s lineup of events will offer visitors many of the same activities with traditional Chinese and Korean games, Peking Mask Making, a Kung Fu Presentation, and a lion dance. Guests can also learn the ancient art of Origami, experience a Chinese tea tasting and presentation, or learn the basics of Chinese calligraphy and watercolor painting.

Of course, it would hardly be a celebration without some delicious sustenance. That’s why attendees will have the chance to sample an array of typical Asian New Year’s dishes and vote for their favorites. The celebration will finish off with a traditional Chinese dance exhibition featuring the award-winning Mary Shingler and her students, who will also offer information and insight about each dance in between performances. During this time, visitors will be invited to participate in a museum-wide procession during a dragon blessing which is believed to bring luck and prosperity for the New Year.

IMAS would like to extend its sincerest gratitude to Mary Shingler, George & Virginia Gause, the Rio Grande Valley Chinese American Association, the UTPA Chinese Students, the Seoul Grocery Market, the RGV Chinese Baptist Church, the Mantis Boxing Factory, the Bowen Chinese Language & Cultural Center, the Asian Culture Company, the Oasis Language Center, and the Chinese Students & Scholars Association for their support and partnership in the planning of this event. 

The Lunar New Year Festival will take place at IMAS on Saturday, February 21, 2015 from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The festival is included in the price of general admission. General admission is FREE for IMAS Members; $7/Adult; $5/Senior or Student w. ID; $4/Child (4-12). For more information, please call (956) 682-0123 or visit

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Hawk Watch at Bentsen-RGV State Park & World Birding Center!

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Everyone is invited to join Park Naturalists and volunteers as they spot and count thousands of migrating raptors during our annual Hawk Watch.  

The spring Hawk Watch season begins March 1 at Bentsen RGV State Park and there is an opportunity for the public to learn more about birds of prey and to join our hawk counters through April, as part of this important citizen science program.   

Birds of prey are important indicators of the overall health of our environment.  Bentsen’s annual spring and fall Hawk Watch seasons contribute to HawkCount, a long-term study that monitors raptor population trends and is the world’s largest standardized raptor migration count network.  HawkCount is a project of Hawk Migration Association of North America/HMANA (

Ride our Park Tram and meet us at the Hawk Tower this spring every day from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm.  Please remember to bring your binoculars, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent and drinking water. Park admission is required. 

For folks interested in becoming a volunteer at Bentsen’s Hawk Watch, a Volunteer Training Day will take place on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 1 to 4 p.m.  This will be a classroom focus on field identification of raptors in flight.

To register for Hawk Watch Training Day or for more information contact Roy J. Rodriguez, Park Interpreter or Melissa Chadwick, Natural Resources Specialist at Bentsen-RGV State Park and World Birding Center, 2800 South Bentsen Palm Drive in Mission, (956) 584-9156. 

Pic: BWHA Caption:  A common migrant hawk in spring, Broad-winged
Hawk (Buteo platypterus) is the most frequently counted raptor during Hawk
Watch.  Credit: Bill Supulski 

Pic: SWHA Caption: In the spring, Swainson’s Hawks (Buteo swainsoni) return from their Argentine winter grounds - one of the longest migrations of any North American raptor. Credit: Bill Supulski 

McAllen airport to offer more flights to DFW

American will be adding a sixth daily flight to McAllen-Miller International Airport beginning March 29. The additional flight will be on a 76-seat Bombardier CRJ-900 regional jet, which will accompany the five departures on the airline’s mainline MD-80 aircraft.

The new flight will depart DFW at 1:45 p.m. and arrive at 3:26 p.m. in McAllen, with a return leg that leaves at 3:57 p.m. each day.

The public is invited to a “christening” ceremony at 3 p.m. Thursday inside the Brownsville airport’s terminal restaurant.

McAllen Art Grant Program Deadline



Contact: Laura Robles, Cultural Arts & Incubator


Phone: 956-687-2787


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Deadline for applications:  12-noon on Friday, March 13, 2015

McAllen— McAllen Art Grant Program is an open submission grant scheme for individual artists and organizations living and working in McAllen. Awards up to a maximum of $1,000 are available to artists and organizations working in the context of art.

           The deadline for submission of a McAllen Art Grant is Friday, March 13, 2015 @ 12pm.  The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and the McAllen Arts Council have been working effectively to promote art within the Valley.  For the upcoming year, the two organizations would like to award grants to artists and organizations that are seeking funding for projects in McAllen.

           Organizations and individual artists that have received grants in prior years have been The Art House, RGV Ballet, South Texas Indian Dancers, The Dance Conservatory of McAllen, South Texas Symphony Association, Los Caminos Del Rio, and David Freeman to name a few.

The grant program in McAllen distributes money from The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and Texas Commission on the Arts to individual artists and art organizations.  The McAllen Chamber of Commerce and The Texas Commission on the Arts are making an important contribution to cultural activities in McAllen. We hope that these new grants will provide a valuable legacy.
          Applications are available at and at McAllen Creative Incubator office at 601 N. Main Street, McAllen Texas.    For more information regarding the grants program or to request an application, please contact: Laura Robles, at the McAllen Creative Incubator at (956) 687.2787 or  Completed applications must be received by 12 noon on Friday, March 13, 2015.

Applications, clearly marked Grants Management Unit, should be sent to the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash Ave., P.O. Box 790, McAllen, 78505.  Please note we cannot accept faxed or emailed applications. We will only consider applications received by the deadline. 

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