Brownsville’s Charro Days to kick off 87th annual fiesta Saturday

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Charro Days Fiesta 2024 gets underway at 1 p.m. Saturday when Baile Del Sol kicks off the beloved annual celebration in front of Charro Days headquarters at 455 E. Elizabeth St. in downtown Brownsville.

Baile Del Sol is a street dance along Brownsville’s original main street that features elementary school folkloric dancers, live music and the official grito at 2 p.m. to inaugurate the week of festivities.

“It gives us all an opportunity to celebrate together,” Charro Days President Henry LeVrier said Friday morning as the organization put the finishing touches on this year’s 87th annual fiesta.

The first Charro Days Fiesta was held in 1938, an idea by the Chamber of Commerce to help get everyone out of the doldrums caused by the Great Depression. It featured parades, dances, races, a bullfight, a rodeo, a concert, a grand ball and Noche Mexicana, much of which continues to this day.

“It is great to celebrate our heritage, our traditions and just a great opportunity for all of us to get together. …We invite everybody to come and join us. Come listen to music, see folkloric dancers, beautiful food, great refreshments. Come and join us,” LeVrier said.

The Jaime De Anda band will take the stage at 4:30 p.m. Folkloric dancers from various Brownsville elementary schools will perform throughout the afternoon, a children’s costume contest takes place around 3 p.m., and there will be a taco-eating contest at 4 p.m.

“We invite everyone to put on their favorite Charro Days outfit to help us promote the spirit of Charro Days. Come help us celebrate,” LeVrier said.

Monday evening, the Brownsville Independent School District’s Fine Arts Department will stage Fiesta Folklorica starting at 6:30 p.m. at Sams Memorial Stadium. Admission is free.

Countless Brownsville residents remember performing themselves in the iconic medley of folkloric dances from various Mexican states.

After Fiesta Folklorica, there will be a lull in official Charro Days events until the parades kick off Thursday afternoon.

Charro Days celebrate during the finale Grand International Parade Saturday, Feb. 25, 2023, in Downtown Brownsville. (Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald)

However, Sombrero Festival runs from Thursday through Saturday in Washington Park.

And the annual Charro Days Carnival takes place from Thursday through March 10, across from the Texas Southmost College ITEC Center in the former Amigoland Mall.

The BISD Children’s Charro Days Parade is at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Illuminated Parade is at 7 p.m. Friday, sponsored by IDEA Public Schools.

The Grand International Parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, preceded by the Color Guard Parade at 12:30 p.m.

All parades follow the traditional Charro Days route along Elizabeth Street.

Matamoros, and its sister-city organization Fiestas Mexicanas, will again be in the Grand International Parade.

“Their dignitaries will be coming and they’re bringing some floats and then there’s also a band from Matamoros, Flores Magon,” said LeVrier, who urged people to check the Charro Days website and Facebook page for more details.