Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

The last few days have been rough for those of us who live in the Rio Grande Valley as well as people throughout Texas due to the unprecedented freezing weather and power outages. As expected there have been few live or in-person events and virtual offerings, although plentiful, might not have been accessible. Many services we normally use were also disrupted such as the temporary closure of the Harlingen Public Library and other city offices and retail locations.

As we move forward in the recovery process the following are a few items you might want to explore:

The Sombrero Festival 2021 is going virtual at 7 p.m., Saturday, February 27 via Facebook! For one night, from the comfort of your home, you can enjoy “Sombrero Festival en Casa” – a virtual variety show. Join the group as they keep the Charro Days spirit and the tradition of Sombrero Festival alive! Stay tuned to their Facebook page for details.

The Youth Services Department of the Harlingen Public Library is hosting a Virtual Science Fair in March! Kids (0-17) are invited to participate individually or as a group. Participants can choose any safe, family-friendly experiment  they like, get their parent/guardian’s approval for the project and send in a completed permission slip and a picture or video of the experiment. The library will put together a slideshow on its social media for everyone to enjoy. All participants will be entered into a raffle for science kits. Submission deadline: March 18, 2021, 5 p.m. Visit the Harlingen Public Library’s Facebook page for the entry form and information on virtual science fair resources. Please direct questions to youth@harlingenlibrary.com.

The Texas Tropical Trail Region’s 178th monthly Partner Event/7th virtual event via ZOOM scheduled for Tuesday, February 16 was postponed until further notice due to power outages and inclement weather. This event was to feature  the San Benito Historical Society’s program on the Callandret Black History Museum of South Texas located in San Benito. Visit the Trail’s Facebook page for updates.

Humanities Texas (https://www.humanitiestexas.org/) whose mission is educational excellence provides programs that improve the quality of classroom teaching, support libraries, and museums and create opportunities for lifelong learning. These programs also contribute to Texas’s thriving economy, culture, and civic life. Founded in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), Humanities Texas is one of fifty-six state and jurisdictional humanities councils in the U.S. and is a nonprofit, educational organization supported by federal and state appropriations, as well as by foundations, corporations, and individuals. They invite you to subscribe to Humanities, the Humanities Texas e-newsletter, which provides monthly information about programs and opportunities. For additional information and to subscribe to their newsletter visit info@humanitiestexas.org and follow Humanities Texas on Facebook and Twitter.

An interesting website I recently visited is https://printables.hp.com/us/en. The site has a variety of free printables that make learning from home fun for everyone. There are birthday cards and crafts;  posters, calendars, stress relievers, and coloring fun for kids; business worksheets, planners & signs, and more available for personal use only and may not be distributed for any commercial purpose.

If you haven’t already done so, visit https://news.google.com/newspapers to view a collection of free newspapers that might be helpful in your genealogical research.

Congratulations to Dr. Francisco Guajardo, Chief Executive Officer of the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg, on his appointment to the board of The Friends of the Texas Historical Commission! Dr. Guajardo hosts the museum’s popular Sunday Speaker Series Online presentations, and writes the “Bearing Witness: Victims of COVID-19” articles that appear in The Valley Morning Star and other Valley newspapers.

If you’ve registered for the RootsTech Connect Family History and Technology Conference, don’t forget that it’s taking place this week virtually February 25-27. If you haven’t signed up yet for this exciting and interesting conference, visit https://rootstech.org to register for this free conference.

Stay warm and safe!