Wild Horse Desert remembered in family-friendly event 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The Museum of South Texas History invites the community to celebrate South Texas pioneer and ranching heritage. The land once known as the “Wild Horse Desert” is the theme for the 24th Annual Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day from 10 a.m.–4 p.m. on Feb. 15. For the price of regular museum admission, visitors will experience a family-friendly indoor and outdoor festival of artisans, hands-on activities, music and dance performances for all ages and the ever popular face painting. This year’s event will include crowd favorites such as international touring and recording artist Pipp Gillette, folkloric dance group Conceptos Entidad Dancística (CED) and WILD animals from Gladys Porter Zoo, as well as new artisans demonstrating their crafts such as relief print making. Don’t miss the beans, biscuits and deserts from an authentic 1910 chuck wagon and nopales prepared by a chef from H-E-B. A variety of mouth-watering foods and refreshing beverages, including tacos de fajita, chili and cornbread, pan de campo (cowboy bread) and aguas frescas will be on sale so that visitors can savor the flavors of all things pioneer and ranching at their leisure.

Cowboy roping

Visitors can try their hand at roping.

Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day will kick off with mariachi music performed by La Joya High School’s Mariachi Los Coyotes. Folkloric dance groups Edinburg Parks and Recreation Folklórico Dance Team, Grupo Folklórico RGV and PSJA High School Folklórico are sure to be crowd pleasers under the big tent with their colorful costumes and traditional dance performances. CED will be sure to bring the audience to their feet with their Clogging Suite. Edinburg Housing Authority Children’s Folklórico Dance Group, affiliated with CED, will also perform, and the pint-sized performers will no doubt bring smiles to all in attendance as they enjoy a dish of nieve Mexicana. In what has become an entertainment tradition, the featured performer will be Pipp Gillette.

Conceptos Entidad Dancística (CED)

Non-profit folkloric dance group Conceptos Entidad Dancística (CED) will perform their Clogging Suite.

Pipp Gillette is one half of the duo known as the Gillette Brothers. Along with his brother Guy, Pipp Gillette has kept the tradition of cowboy music alive through their songs and poetry, giving momentum to the recent revitalization of cowboy music and poetry. Guy Gillette passed away in September 2013 after battling cancer but not before being awarded another Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Original Western Composition for “Trade Off,” performed by the Gillette Brothers and composed by Waddie Mitchell. In addition to musical artists, Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day features skilled artisans and their crafts.

Artist and professor Jesus De La Rosa demonstrates relief print making with an etching press.

Artist and professor Jesus De La Rosa will demonstrate relief print making with an etching press.

A wide variety of local, national and international artisans will wow visitors with their demonstrations of skilled craftsmanship. This year’s craft demonstrations will not only include the popular horsehair braiding, spinning and wood carving but also new crafts such as penmanship (calligraphy) and relief print making. Jesus De La Rosa, an artist and assistant professor of art at Texas A&M University in Kingsville, will demonstrate relief print making, one of several print making processes, using an etching press. Unlike today’s printers, De La Rosa’s etching press is made of steel and aluminum and weighs 300 pounds. Visitors will be able to watch how prints used to be made and learn about this old-fashioned printing process, yet another symbol of a land once known as the Wild Horse Desert.

Admission to Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day 2014 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 MOSTHistory.org or call +1-956-383-6911.

Lisa K. Loebl
Marketing & Public Relations Officer