Cowboy Santa will be available for photos!

Returning for its third year, Fiesta de Noche Buena will feature local traditions, performances, artisans and tasty traditional foods. The event will be held inside the museum’s 22,500-square-foot building Sunday, Dec. 10, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. It’ll be toasty and warm so bring the whole family to enjoy the border-spirit festivities.

The afternoon will be filled with music from choruses, guitarists and mariachis, serenading guests with holiday favorites. Opening the performances is the renowned Mariachi Mariposas, an all-female mariachi group that received first place in the 2014 Best in Texas Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. Following the award-winning mariachi group performance, the Bard of the South, Rickey Pittman, will present his children’s book, “Rio Grande Valley ABC.” Pittman is a storyteller, folksinger and the Grand Prize Winner of the 1998 Ernest Hemingway Short Story Competition. Performing holiday favorites is the First United Methodist Church Edinburg Choir, which is led by Omar Samaniego.

Story time available for children of all ages!

Brand new this year is a bilingual presentation titled “La Navidad en México/Christmas in Mexico,” which will explore the culture and history of Mexican Christmas traditions such as the pastorela play, the symbolism of piñatas and the community posada. The presentation will be conducted by museum staff and José Manuel González, a retired professor of Spanish and Latin American History. Following the presentation, guests can participate in the first-ever “Posada Por Tiempo” in which guests will visit costumed interpreters in the River Frontier and River Highway exhibits singing “Pedir Posada,” a song that tells the story of Joseph and Mary seeking shelter before the birth of Jesus. And, if weather permits, children can participate in the breaking of a piñata – a tradition also practiced outside of the Christmas festivities.

Another Mexican Christmas tradition is the use of the poinsettia and its role in Christmas festivities including Nochebuena. Families can learn more about the poinsettia and Nochebuena during UTRGV’s Book Buzz Club book presentations. Enjoy the stories of “La Nochebuena South of the Border” by James Rice, “The Legend of the Poinsettia” by Tomie dePaola and “’Twas Nochebuena” by author Roseanne Greenfield.

Don’t forget to document the memories to be made at Fiesta de Noche Buena with one of the museum’s free photograph opportunities. Guests can find MOSTHistory’s 12-foot-tall fiesta tree for all to admire and a great background for a family photo. For the children, they will be able to take a photograph with Cowboy Santa and his saddle. And for border-twist fun, the Try On History Project will have a number of costume pieces for the family to model and to take a selfie.

Get last minute holiday gifts at Fiesta de Noche Buena.

Bring an appetite, and enjoy traditional Mexican food favorites such as tamales, elote en vaso or pan dulce and, to warm the tummy, atole, champurrado and arroz con leche. New this year, guests will learn about and taste the artisan chocolates made at the Mozna Chocolate factory, currently operating in Hidalgo, Texas. Artisan vendors will line the Annex Hallway, giving visitors the opportunity to shop for last-minute holiday gifts. The Museum Store will also be open for guests who seek an array of gifts and books about South Texas history.

Fiesta de Noche Buena is included in the regular museum admission: $7 adults (ages 18+); $5 seniors with ID (ages 62+) and students with ID (ages 13+); $4 for children (ages 4 to 12); free for children ages 3 and younger. FRIENDS of MOSTHistory are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDships. For more information about the event or becoming a FRIEND of MOSTHistory, call +1-956-383-6911. The Museum of South Texas History is located at 200 N. Closner Blvd. on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square in downtown Edinburg.

About Museum of South Texas History
The Museum of South Texas History is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. It is located in downtown Edinburg at 200 N. Closner Blvd. on the Hidalgo County Courthouse square. Hours of operation are from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tuesday–Saturday. Founded in 1967 as the Hidalgo County Historical Museum in the 1910 Hidalgo County Jail, the museum has grown over the decades through a series of expansions to occupy a full city block. In 2003 following the completion of a 22,500 square foot expansion, the museum was renamed the Museum of South Texas History to better reflect its regional scope. Today, the museum preserves and presents the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico through its permanent collection and the Margaret H. McAllen Memorial Archives and exhibits spanning prehistory through the 20th century. For more information about MOSTHistory, including becoming a FRIEND, visit MOSTHistory.org, like us on Facebook, follow on Twitter, find on Google+ or call +1-956-383-6911.