This is my 20th spring in the Rio Grande Valley. I quickly realized during the first — still fresh from my small, Ohio hometown — what “festival season” means to this region.
From late February to early April, weekends are occupied with carnivals and outdoor entertainment from Brownsville to Hidalgo. The comfortable temperatures practically write the invitation.
That’s why it’s so difficult to see the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show close to guests, and events like Weslaco’s Onion Fest, the UFO Festival in Edinburg and Monarch Fest in McAllen postponed due to the threat of COVID-19.
But the RGV and entertainment are almost synonymous, not isolated to one season. We love to socialize and enjoy life.
The region is in a golden age for arena events. The McAllen Performing Arts Center, Payne Arena in Hidalgo and Bert Ogden Arena in Edinburg are among the top venues bringing live music and shows to our doorsteps.
Family acts like Cirque du Soleil, Monster Jam, Paw Patrol Live and Disney on Ice have been pulled from the calendar and future events are in question.
Last week, Hidalgo County issued a disaster declaration, in an attempt to mitigate the potential spread of the coronavirus. The nation as a whole has been advised to practice social distancing.
With the declaration in mind, and the focus of the community’s well-being at heart, The Monitor will temporarily suspend publication of Festiva.
The magazine seeks to be a guide for weekend entertainment opportunities, and we will return when we can fulfill that goal.
I have a feeling there will be a lot of fun to catch up on.
In the meantime, we’ll be focusing on local content for our Vida features section in The Monitor. Y’all stay healthy!