San Benito museum jump-starts Valentine’s Day tradition

A sign announces the upcoming grand opening of the Texas Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum Saturday Feb. 11, 2023, outside the museum's new home within the Aztec Building in San Benito. (Denise Cathey/The Brownsville Herald)
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SAN BENITO — The bands are gearing up to play one of conjunto music’s biggest Valentine’s Day dances.

After a three-year hiatus, the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame and Museum is holding its first Noche de Ronda Valentine’s Day dance Saturday, raising money for the world’s only museum showcasing the homegrown genre while offering student scholarships.

“It’s an opportunity to dance to great music with your significant other,” Patricia Avila, the museum’s president, said.

After their father’s death in 2019, she and her brother Pete Avila held off on holding the annual fundraiser which Rey Avila founded in his home about 25 years ago.

Now, the bands Conteno and Los Halcones del Valle are ready to take the stage to play the 15th annual Valentine’s Day dance to run from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at the L&H Events Center at 220 W. Stenger St. in San Benito.

“We’re bringing it back,” Patricia Avila, a teacher, said. “We wanted to continue the legacy my dad started. It was real close to his heart.”

While the dance raises money for the museum, it’s offering the Reynaldo Avila Sr. Memorial Academic Scholarship to two students of El Conjunto Estrella, the San Benito High School’s conjunto music program.

“My dad was a big advocate of education,” Patricia Avila said. “He gave back to the kids. So let’s bring the scholarships back to help students. Let’s give back to the community.”

Now, tickets are on sale at the museum at 402 W. Robertson St.

On Saturday, tickets will be selling for $30 at the door.