How long has it been since you visited the Museum of South Texas History in Edinburg? If you can’t remember, or even if you made a visit last week, make plans to attend MOSTHistory’s “Free Community Day,” a free admission event, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 27.

Starting at 10 a.m., the museum’s Collections Staff will host “Preservation Week: Pass the Pages,” a book swap event. Instead of throwing away old books, exchange them or share them with participating organizations which include The South Texas Literacy Coalition, McAllen Public Library, Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, UTRGV Book Buzz and UTRGV special collections. To celebrate Preservation Week, MOSTHistory is hosting these organizations that will have books available to exchange and will also be accepting donations of previously owned books. This event will be ongoing until 3 p.m. in the Grand Lobby. It is recommended to bring a bag to carry your books.

Preservation Week is an annual event founded by several national organizations including the American Library Association and the Library of Congress. The goal of Preservation Week is to connect communities through events, activities and resources that highlight ways to preserve our personal and shared collections.

During lunch time, you can enjoy a snack such as an elote en vaso (corn in a cup) prepared by E&B Elotes and a variety of beverages by the Girl Scout Troop #391. Please bring cash to purchase any of these delicious refreshments.

From noon to 3 p.m., The Big Squeeze statewide conjunto semi-finals will take place in the Gran Paseo, just outside the museum’s front entrance. Accordion players from across the state of Texas and the Rio Grande Valley will battle for spots in the final competition to be held in Austin, Texas. This is the first time that Texas Folklife will host the event at the Museum of South Texas History. The community is encouraged to join others at the museum to support students competing at this cultural event.

The Big Squeeze is presented by Texas Folklife as part of its mission to preserve and present Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Since 2007, Texas Folklife has promoted Texas accordion music genres through the Big Squeeze program. More than 300 young, talented players from dozens of Texas communities have participated in the program, which supports these vital community-based accordion music traditions. The three musical genre categories of the Big Squeeze are Polka, zydeco & Cajun, and conjunto, with the largest amount of entries usually coming from the conjunto tradition.

The 2019 Big Squeeze is supported by grants from the Texas Commission on the Arts, the City of Austin Cultural Arts Division, H-E-B, Music Water, Texas Music Office, Southeast Texas Arts Council, the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board, and Rancho Alegre Radio. Additional support is provided by regional partners including Full Gallop, Ennis Czech Music Festival, Museum of the Gulf Coast, Cajun Sounds Internet Radio, Latino Cultural Center Dallas, zydecoevents.com, Texas Polka News, Multicultural Engagement & Counseling through the Arts (MECA), La Joya Independent School District, Los Fresnos Consolidated Independent School District, Roma Independent School District, Museum of South Texas History, Conjunto Heritage Taller, the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, Bullock Texas State History Museum, and more!

These events are free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please contact the museum at 956-383-6911 or visit mosthistory.org/events for the latest updates.

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.