In my years of writing, I’ve covered plenty of local events, from the moment promotional efforts launch until the very last photo is posted on Facebook. I’ve been on both sides of local festivals, too, either volunteering with an organization or as an attendee looking to explore the foods and main attractions. As a result, I’ve come to truly enjoy community events. I think RGV residents know how to throw parties that highlight unity. Whether it’s a holiday festival, livestock show or community gathering, it’s always a magical experience to witness our celebrations in action.

The annual international folk-life celebration, PalmFest, will be no exception. Coming this fall, PalmFest is gearing up to be one epic community celebration at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 3rd and 4th. The city, along with participating organizations, are pulling out all the stops and featuring the best attractions yet. Over 40,000 guests are expected to enjoy the festival for a day filled with oodles of fun! Some of the attractions include:

  • Live entertainment
  • El Mercado Shopping
  • Cooking competitions and demonstrations
  • Authentic international foods
  • Car shows
  • Dancing horse shows
  • Paddle boat rides
  • Historical displays
  • Local artworks
  • Family-friendly games and activities

What You Can Expect

While things are a little different this year, PalmFest will still feature many favorites and more. Inside the convention center, you’ll find Heritage Village, an area sporting works by local artists and gripping ancient stories of Deep South Texas. The area is brought to us by the McAllen Heritage Center. Handcrafted pottery and leather works are just a few of the perks of the indoor attraction.

Valley Rails, a local favorite, is featuring an expanded exhibit, too! Various musicians will be strumming away at the guitars at the Lonesome Dove Stage, a rustic entertainment area. The beautiful scenery there will provide the perfect place for family and friends to take pictures.

Six live entertainment stages means you won’t have to wait for something to do. Come see a variety of local performers and musical talent. That’s not all! You’ll get to see great dance groups performing in Folkloric, Middle Eastern, Indian, belly dancing and more.

Outside in the Oval Park, you’ll get to see Heritage Village transformed into an authentic cowboy campsite and American Indian village. There will be tipis and exciting traditional performances from both parties, like Civil War re-enactments and suited actors roaming the festival grounds for pictures. Kids are encouraged to visit locally-sponsored storytelling and magic performances throughout the day.

Nothing beats that fresh Valley BBQ smell. The Cooking Competition will feature a heated Fajita Cook-off and five categories: frijoles, pan de campo, mollejas and traditional and gourmet fajitas. Rancho El Caballo will be on site for a record-breaking dancing horse show as well as an epic CarFest car show with an amazing line-up of classic automobiles.

In the mood for shopping? PalmFest has you covered! El Mercado Arts & Crafts outdoors or the Hecho en Mexico indoor shopping area will feature over 50 Mexican vendors with handcrafted works. For the first time, guests will get to enjoy the PalmFest Farmer’s Market. To finish off your day, take a relaxing Paddle Boat Ride through the Reflecting Pond just outside the convention center.

Bring your friends and family and enjoy this awesome community celebration. Admission and parking are FREE to the public! Check out the Palm Fest website for more details.