Category Archives: Recreation & Tourism

Texas Butterfly Festival Community Day

Patrons walk along the butterfly gardens during the Texas Butterfly Festival.

On Nov. 2, the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas hosted its 24 annual Texas Butterfly Festival free community day. The National Butterfly Center is a non-profit organization geared towards butterfly conservation. The center has plenty of nature to explore throughout the 100-acre property, and more than 300 different butterfly species to catch sight of. On this specific day of the festival, there were plenty of free activities to take part…

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Downtown Harlingen Hot Points

Downtown Harlingen

Downtown Harlingen is a hotspot for seasonal events this month. This includes the Downtown Harlingen Ghost Tour, trick-or-treating on Jackson Street and unique merchant promotions,  But did you know Downtown Harlingen … Has a 98 percent occupancy rate for business. Only two buildings are available for lease as of the middle of September. Is one of only five Valley areas to be designated as part of the Texas Main Street program.…

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Preparing for Ghost Hunts

Thomas Hotcaveg has been seeking ghosts for about 17 years. Later this month, he hopes to make his first discoveries in Downtown Harlingen along with dozens of regular citizens who also have an interest in locating paranormal activity.  “We are hoping maybe the founder of Harlingen will still be around,” Hotcaveg says about the upcoming ghost tour in the city. “Maybe some of the spirits from those who had businesses…

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Pharr Breaks Natatorium Ground

Pharr officials ceremoniously turn the dirt for the Pharr Natatorium groundbreaking.

Amid a crowd of enthusiastic swimming athletes, community members, and elected officials, the City of Pharr broke ground on the Pharr Natatorium Sept. 27. The Pharr Natatorium is a years-in-the-making project in partnership with the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. “My son is an avid swimmer and my wife and I have had the privilege of cheering him on during many competitions,” said Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez.…

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Halloween Fun in Harlingen

Downtown Harligen storefront owners give out candy during the Halloween festivities. (Courtesy)

It all started with a change of venue and hundreds of pounds of candy.  In September 2016, the Harlingen Parks and Recreation Department suggested the city’s annual Halloween event relocate from Rangerville Park to Jackson Street. Four years later, ghouls, goblins, witches, comic book characters and much more stroll the streets collecting candy from merchants on Halloween night. It has become one of the city’s and downtown’s most attended and…

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Searching for Ghosts

Many tenants of Downtown Harlingen historic buildings claim that the buildings are haunted. The public will be able to find out for themselves via the Downtown Harlingen Ghost Tour if the ghost stories are true.

As the sun goes down, an eerie feeling falls across the dimly lit streets of Downtown Harlingen. The buildings of the past have a different feel to them. One can almost feel the rush and excitement of the Roaring Twenties in Harlingen. “Some of these buildings have a different feel to them, almost like they’re living,” Downtown Harlingen manager Edward Meza said. “We hear things here in our building and…

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Haunted Hotel: La Niña

Haunted Hotel: La Niña takes place in the basement of the Villa de Cortez Hotel in the center of Weslaco’s downtown historic district. (photo Haunted Hotel: La Niña)

With the recent change in the weather, we can’t help but anticipate the spookiness that lies ahead. Those looking for a good scare this season will want to keep Haunted Hotel: La Niña on their radar. Unlike your traditional haunted house setups, this one has roots that run a little deeper than ground level. This one is making its debut in the basement of National and Texas registered historic landmark…

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Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch

Maddie's Pumpkin Patch

Families looking for the perfect fall photo shoot backdrop this season should make plans to visit the Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch. The McAllen location offering an unforgettable experience sits on Bensten Road between Lark and Auburn Ave. It certainly is a crowd pleaser, especially during the golden hour. Melanie and Rick Vega first opened their McAllen location in 2017, and Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch has since then expanded. There is now a…

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Golf Carting the Island

Two slingshot vehicles for rent on SPI.

The sound-blasting golf carts seen along the streets of South Padre Island are as popular as they can be. The half dozen or so businesses that have the “rent me” signs have been adding newer and fancier rental vehicles to their fleet. Some of these vehicles look like fancy racing cars, called slingshots. Others resemble the smart cars seen on some roads these days. The demand for such vehicles decrease…

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Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch Opens

One of the rustic and charming photo set ups, perfect for fall photos.

With fall on the horizon, pumpkin patches are rising in popularity. One very popular attraction is Maddie’s Pumpkin Patch in McAllen, which opened on Sept. 14. Pumpkins line walking trails leading you to several picturesque photo set-ups ready for you to use. There are goats, piglets, bunnies and horses you can enjoy petting at the big red barn. Take advantage of snacks and the playground, and let the kids take…

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