Winter Texans book entertaiment headliners

HARLINGEN — Tracy Wagner waited for her number to be called to interview and book the entertainer she wanted to showcase at the Tropic Winds RV Resort.

She was not the only park activity leader at the Winter Texan Music Showcase held yesterday at Park Place Estates.

Then Tracy received a text from her partner who was in another building getting the sneak peaks of all the entertainment.

The text read, “book the Kody Norris Show.”

The Norris Show was one of the more than 40 entertainers and bands from all over the U.S. showing off their act to get booked at any of the 500 Winter Texan resorts throughout the Valley.

All the Winter Texas resorts activity directors who are members of the Rio Grande Valley Activity Directors Association were there to book the best acts and entertainment to perform at their venues.

“You have to hustle to book them,” Tracy said while holding a Goldwing Express meeting ticket.

The Goldwing Express band traveled from Iowa to perform for the Winter Texans for the 10th year in a row.

“It’s like a work vacation for us,” said Paul Baldridge, Goldwing Express band member from Branson, Missouri.

Goldwing performs bluegrass, country and gospel music Winter Texans have enjoyed for a decade.

More than 300 activity directors and planers filled the hall as entertainers showed off their talent one by one to book a slot to play for park residents.

Many of the directors and planers helped each other rate the entertainment by scribbling notes on their calendars, trying to figure dates when to invite the artists and which one they liked most as they enjoyed the short shows.

The Winter Texan Music Showcase has been going on for more than 10 years after it was originally organized by a Park Place Resort resident, who wanted to bring solid entertainment to the Valley parks.

The entertainment is an underground music scene attracting critically acclaimed musicians and entertainers from Las Vegas, Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee and more.

“There are a lot of different acts and variety shows,” said Rusty Rierson, one of the entertainers. “I have never seen anything quite like this.”

Rusty booked more than 40 shows for this season and into 2020 and 2021 at the event.

“We are giving the audience a taste of what we can do in nine minutes,” Rusty said. “I like to do country music, rock ‘n’ roll and old cowboy stories.”