Harlingen Happenings

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

Today is Easter Sunday, a celebration that goes back to the earliest days of the Christian church. Easter traditions, both religious and secular are many, and your family’s traditions could date back many generations and have their roots in another country. Easter was not generally observed in our Country until after the Civil War. Last year Easter 2020 was like no other as  COVID-19 prevented us from gathering for church services or around the table for Easter brunch or dinner.

This year, many local churches will offer Covid-safe Easter services as well as virtual services on their websites and Facebook pages. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has released guidelines for safe Easter celebrations that can be found on their website or Facebook page. These include celebrating with your immediate household, with others virtually or outside while staying six feet apart; enjoying a traditional Easter meal with those you live with; doing Easter egg hunts outside while wearing masks and staying six feet apart; attending religious services virtually, preparing and delivering a meal to a neighbor, and reminds us that gatherings to observe religious and spiritual holidays can increase the risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

Those who choose to gather are advised to avoid crowded and poorly ventilated indoor spaces and are also reminded to wash their hands. Let’s count our blessings that this year we have more options to celebrate Easter safely and remember to record those memories for future generations that may want to know how you celebrated Easter in the second year of the pandemic.

The Harlingen Public Library continues to provide services to the community and would like to invite everyone to join them in celebrating National Library Week April 5-10. This year’s theme is “Welcome to Your Library.” Whether visiting in person or virtually, the library welcomes everyone, adapting to our changing world to make the resources people need as accessible as possible. It will be a week full of programs and contests for all ages. Virtual programs, including storytimes, crafts, video games, a Spanish class, and the premiere of their Virtual Spring Art Show, will provide opportunities for inspiration, creativity, learning, and connection.

There will also be contests in which participants will have the chance to win a variety of bookish prizes. The festivities will culminate on Saturday, April 10, with the Drive-Through Book Giveaway. Families can build their home libraries by picking up books for babies through teens, thanks to a generous donation from the South Texas Literacy Coalition. The Drive-Through Book Giveaway will take place on Saturday, April 10, from 2-4 pm at the Harlingen Soccer Complex. Visit www.harlingenlibrary.org for more information and to view their April calendar which includes many more activities for children and adults.

The Valley Byliners, a nonprofit writer’s organization “that cares” about writers and provides support to writers in the Rio Grande Valley and the Harlingen Public Library invite you to participate via  Zoom in their general meeting and writing competition on Saturday, April 10, and attend Poetry Night on Tuesday, April 20 and recite your favorite poem or just pop in and enjoy the poetry being read. The Byliners are waiving membership fees until they can meet face-to-face and you’re invited to join the group. For more information visit their Facebook page.

Fiber Arts Unlimited, a fiber arts group associated with the Upper Valley Art League, 921 E. 12th Street, Mission, TX, will open its exhibit of fiber art “Down the Rabbit Hole” Friday, April 9, 2021. Fiber art is an art that explores the use of fibers, including yarn, fabric, paint, found objects, and more. “Down the Rabbit Hole” defines the theme for this year’s fiber art exhibit. A visit to UVAL located in the Kika De La Garza Fine Arts Center next to Speer Memorial Library in Mission will give you the opportunity to share art and see our common experience.

The exhibit can be seen from April 9 to May 1. The gallery is open Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be extended hours on Saturday, April 10. A Collaborative artwork, ‘Celestial Wheels’ that has wheels or planets or stars made by each member  will be on display at the entrance. The work is a spinoff of the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum exhibit “New Quilts From an Old Favorite,” ‘Spocking the Imagination’ finalist currently on exhibit at the museum at 2425 Boxwood Dr., Harlingen, TX until April 16. Please call 956-583-2787 to confirm your visit.  Masks must be worn inside the gallery and social distancing maintained.

Happy Easter!