Pioneer and ranching heritage celebrated in family-friendly event 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

photo - MOSTHistory PRCD'15

The Museum of South Texas History invites the community to celebrate South Texas pioneer and ranching heritage at a highly interactive and entertaining special event. “Find Your Pioneering Spirit” is the theme for this year’s Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day, to be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Feb. 21. This family-friendly indoor and outdoor festival features artisans providing authentic craft demonstrations, hands-on activities, live music, folkloric dance performances, costumed historical reenactors, a studio camera photo booth to capture the moment and vendors selling foods, beverages and handcrafted goods. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of this favorite event, there will be many new activities — and beloved traditions — to help visitors of all ages find their inner pioneer!

This year’s theme is represented by the image of a chuck wagon, an iconic symbol for this time period. “Chuck” comes from an old western term for food. When the trail cook yelled “Chuck!” hungry vaqueros came a runnin’. The cook’s kingdom was a rolling kitchen, sometimes called a camp wagon, but better known as a chuck wagon. Visitors will be able to see a 1910 John Deere Wagon in action as “Cookies” (owners Charles and Janice Ellis) cook dishes for sampling that will include beans, sourdough biscuits and peach cobbler. Cowboys and cowgirls will learn about chuck wagon history and hear some cowboy poetry.

Other interactive activities will include flintknapping, Native American tipi storytelling, butter churning, coffee grinding, wood carving and a variety of handwork such as cro-hooking, felting, cross-stitching, quilting and a rug making technique called Pleache’t. Take a walk in our Will Looney Legacy Park and build a Cerca de Leña, try out roping, trick roping, print making with artist and Texas A&M University Assistant Professor of Art Jesus De La Rosa or play a game of GIANT checkers! Visitors can enhance their pioneer look with face painting or tattoos — glitter, that is! Be sure to catch the electrifying performance by Africanized bees expert Luis Slayton at 1 p.m. when he steps into a plexiglass case with a swarm of Africanized killer bees to demonstrate his “beard of bees.”

Visitors will also be treated to traditional cowboy poetry and music by event favorite and award-winning cowboy Pipp Gillette. Gillette keeps the tradition of cowboy music alive through his songs and poetry, giving momentum to the recent revitalization of cowboy music and poetry. Watch him perform at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., and be sure to take advantage of a meet and greet with Gillette to be held at 2:30 p.m. in the Museum Store. In addition to music and poetry performances by a true cowboy, visitors will be able to experience live music provided by Edinburg North High School’s (ENHS) Mariachi Oro and folkloric dance performances by Conceptos Entidad Dancística, Edinburg Folklórico, Grupo Folklórico RGV, Las Palmas Community Center Ballet Folklórico and Los Fresnos High School Grupo Folklórico.

It wouldn’t be a festival without delicious foods and refreshing beverages. Stop by the rows of aromatic booths and choose from items such as charro beans, chili, pan de elote, fajitas, chalupas, apple pie, raspas, aguas frescas and nieve Mexicana. And, be sure to visit the Tijerina Family Cooking Team’s Pan de Campo Tradition booth on the Gran Paseo!

Admission to Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day 2015 is the regular admission price, passes excluded: $7 adults (ages 18+); $5 seniors with ID (ages 62+), students with ID (ages 13+); $4 children ages 4 to 12; free, children ages 3 and under. FRIENDS of the museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship. The museum is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 North Closner Boulevard on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. For more information about MOSTHistory’s Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day, including becoming a FRIEND,visit, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911. Take the trail to yesterday and … Find Your Pioneering Spirit!

Lisa K. Loebl
Marketing & Public Relations Officer