New details announced for McAllen’s MXLAN festival

A scene from Thursday's press conference about McAllen's new event, MXLAN. (Courtesy photo)

McAllen’s new five-day celebration, MXLAN, is starting to take shape as the McAllen Chamber of Commerce gave an update at a Thursday press conference in Mission.

The event is scheduled for July 24-29 and is described as a “music and interactive arts festival that celebrates the past, present and future of Mexico’s cultural influence on our world,” and promises to “bring traditions rarely seen outside interior Mexico to a new generation alongside modern artists and events that honor their cultural roots,” according to a news release.

The event will be held at the McAllen Convention Center campus, with daytime programming indoors, and most outdoor festivities beginning in the evening. MXLAN is intended to draw visitors to the city during the heat of the summer, and to “buffer some of that criticism that was happening in Washington and Austin toward Mexico,” chamber president Steve Ahlenius told The Monitor in March.

MXLAN will feature both paid and free events.

Billed as “MXLAN’s signature event,” the Shah Calenda Parade will feature Oaxacan performers and large dancing dolls, according to the release. MXLAN will also feature different daily color dedications and letter burnings, along with fireworks on Friday and Saturday.

Performances are scheduled with artists, including one with 150 Oaxacan dancers. There will also be a “MXLAN Breakthrough” stage featuring “live music by artists mixing Mexican influences into new and unexpected genres,” according to the release.

MXLAN will host over 100 Oaxacan artisans selling handmade goods, and an Tex-Mex street food.

Wednesday’s Neon Nights 5K is a colorful, illuminated run “inspired by the mile-high footrace trails of Los Pueblos Mancomunados in Oaxaca,” according to the city.

Foodies can enjoy a tequila and mezcal tasting on Saturday, “the ultimate Mexican food experience, prepared by chefs from across Mexico” on Thursday and chefs grilling on open flame on Friday and Saturday. Zapotec Chef Abigail Mendoza will prepare dishes “in rare culinary traditions.”

MXLAN Mindgames will feature chess, video games and robotics competition. Circo Hermanos Vazquez will perform and MXLAN will host a main stage for performers.

Tickets for the run, tequila and mezcal event, MXLAN Mindgames, food festival, Firemasters, chef event, and Saturday concert finale go on sale May 11 at