For all who have been keeping up with the Facebook countdown, the day has arrived. Celebrated in the Valley for just over four decades, this year’s BorderFest promises a weekend of entertainment with a Spanish influence.
Festivities have been going on throughout the week since Tuesday’s crowning of BorderFest Teen Miss and other Royal Courts in the International Junior Pageant. Winners will be a part of Saturday’s parade, which begins at 10 a.m. on State Highway 336.
Inside the State Farm Arena on Wednesday, the “Rio Grande Valley Walk of Fame,” was hosted to honor outstanding citizens from the community.
BorderFest began 42 years ago with the mission to honor South Texas diversity and provide the opportunity for cultural enrichment and education by recognizing a different nation every year.
Once the country is selected, event planners then research its customs and surrounding culture to bring a new experience to Valley residents; last year’s theme was the United States and the year prior was Brazil.
This spirit of inclusion and friendship is evidenced by the International “Abrazo,” introduced in the 6th year of the festival to unite the sister cities of Hidalgo and Reynosa, Mexico.
Performances begin today when the gates surrounding the State Farm Arena open at 5 p.m. Multiple acts are scheduled on various stages, including Lucha Libre on the Pavilion at 7:30 p.m., while members of Raa-Raa Zydeco will dance on the Budweiser Music Experience stage.
At 10 p.m., the Lubbock originated Josh Abbott Band will take the outdoor main stage; the carnival and outdoor market will be open daily now till Sunday.
Two and three-day pass pre-sale tickets for the outside events are being sold at all Valley-wide Boot Jack locations. At-the-gate entrance will cost $12 per person. Veterans and active military members will be admitted for free with ID.
Exotic vehicles will be on display by fanatic owners for a Car Show from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday.
Local folklorico performers from Palmview and La Joya will be making a visit, as well as Ballet Espanol of UTRGV, which dances Tango, Solea, Bulerias and Alegrias.
Apache Pistols, Indie-rock band and local treasure have a show scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday.
Indoor arena performances will also be occurring throughout the weekend, beginning with Friday’s 90’s Pop Tour, moving to Saturday’s featured performer, Bad Bunny and rounding off on Sunday with a Bloodless Bullfight by second generation matador, Manolo Martinez Jr. Tickets for these shows may be purchased separately at the State Farm Arena box office or through the website.
For a taste of Spain, food vendors will be offering dishes representative of the country’s cuisine.
BorderFest recognizes a festival is nothing without a parade; this year, there are three. The Budweiser Grand Parade begins on Saturday at 10 a.m., then an illuminated parade occurs at 6:30 p.m., followed by another Sunday at 7 p.m.
Over 50,000 have attended South Texas’ largest international festival in year’s past and that figure is only expected to increase this 2018.
One may choose to embark on the “White Tiger Experience,” and listen to Inka Wayra music any day of the event.
Tribute bands, hypnotists and comedy shows are just a few other activities anyone in the family can look forward to. For the complete schedule of entertainment, visit hidalgoborderfest.com.