Category Archives: Things To Do

Butter Cows and Local Fairs

I recently saw a Facebook post that announced that Laura Ingalls Wilder was going to be featured along side of the Butter Cow this year at the Iowa State Fair.  My first reaction was, “Of course!  Why not?” But after a few moments of reflection, I realized that most people in the world would react with, “Wait, what?  What is a butter cow and what does Laura have to do with it?”  Some may even wonder who Laura is.

A Butter Cow on Display
Photo courtesy of Evan Bayh

A little bit of background for the non-midwesterners that are reading this post.  The Butter Cow is an annual attraction at the Iowa State Fair, where a sculpture of a cow made of Iowa butter is put on display.  You can read more about it by clicking the link above.


The Laura Ingalls Wilder connection is because she and her family briefly lived in Iowa for a time, and her sister attended the school for the blind there as well.  In honor of her 150th birthday, she will be temporarily immortalized in 100% Cream Butter.

As a former Iowan myself, I find these things not only interesting, but totally normal, however, my fair going experience did not include a trip to the state fair as a child.  We had our own local fair that I grew up going to every year.  The National Dairy Cattle Congress in Waterloo, IA.  Of course that fair is all about the cows, or at least it used to be.  Check out there history here.  It started in the early 1900’s, but by the time I used to go, for me it was all about the carnival rides and the food stands.  Although I admit I did like to check all the exhibits too, even though I never entered anything.

What I love about fairs and festivals is how they are so different, depending on their location.  We used to have the Annual Cucumber Festival in Evansdale, IA, but I think it changed names to Evansdale Community Days, which lasts for 3 days will all kinds of events.

Now that I live in South Texas, we have quite a few fairs and festivals that take place around the Valley.  There is Palmfest, Borderfest, Citrus Fiesta, and of course the RGV Livestock Show.

Now matter where you are this summer, or this coming winter, be sure to check out all your local fairs and festivals.  You will be glad you did.

Some U.S. FairsSome Canadian Fairs
Wisconson State FairCoaticook Valley Fair
Indiana State FairSaint-Hyacinthe Agri-food Fair
Minnesota State FairStanstead County Agricultural and Horticultural Exposition
Michigan State Fair

Please click on the ‘Leave a Comment’ button at the top of this post and share some of your favorite memories of the fairs and festivals you have attended!

Getting Things in order for the New Year

As the new year approaches, this is a time to take stock of your life and make some changes if you want to improve things for the future.  During this time of resolutions, it is also a good opportunity to take stock of your financial situation.  According to an article by Jeremy Bromwell, there are 5 common estate-planning mistakes made by seniors.

    • Not pre-planning funeral arrangements.
    • Not taking advantage of tax-exempt gift laws.
    • Not discussing estate planning details with their loved ones.
    • Not creating a springing or durable power of attorney.
    • Not regularly revisiting their advanced medical directives, including healthcare power of attorney and living will.

You can read the entire article here.

McAllen Holiday Parade!

ctaThe 2016 McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by La Plaza Mall, is looking for the young, and young at heart, to be a part of the tradition of making dreams come true for everyone at this year’s magical celebration. The parade, to be held on Saturday, December 3, 2016, is the largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas. The parade features more than 50 vibrant lighted floats, 36 larger than life inflatable character balloons, 13 bands and a celebrity filled line-up and this year, features the musical theme of Entertainment on Parade.

The one and a half mile long parade route begins at 6 PM, starting from McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, 3129 Galveston Avenue, where reserved seating is available and heads south on Bicentennial Boulevard to U.S. Business 83, where free seating is available along the route on a first come, first serve basis.

You can purchase reserve seating from Boy Scout Troop #84. Call Lori Rodriguez 956-458-3813


Holiday Adoption Event at Mission Veterinary Hospital

Mission Veterinary Hospital Holiday Adoption Event!

Mission Veterinary Hospital will be hosting an adoption event for the holidays where we have invited various local rescues to come out and showcase some great animals that are up for adoption and awaiting their forever homes. Help us show support for local rescues in the Rio Grande Valley and join us on December 3rd from 10am-3pm!

Radical Elements Quilt Display at IMAS


Radical Elements:
Sewing together quilting and chemistry

Location: Clark Gallery

Soft materials meet hard science in Radical Elements, an exhibition in Clark Gallery at International Museum of Art & Science (IMAS) from September 27, 2016, to January 8, 2017. Featuring 40 contemporary art quilts, each work is inspired by a different element from the periodic table, from arsenic to hydrogen to platinum. Quilt artists explore the elements in many ways, ranging from their industrial uses to personal memories associated with them.

The artists in Radical Elements were chosen from an international pool of members of the non-profit organization Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA). The quilters were challenged to represent their favorite element on a quilt. Each of the selected artists had to adhere to the definition of new art quilts, using alternative materials as the quilt’s layers. These layers also had to be fastened together by some innovative method. Indeed, very few of the quilts on display use much of the traditional supplies of fabric, thread, and batting.

Materials range from duct tape and aluminum foil to keyboard keys and dining utensils. Their inspirations came from anything relating to the element, whether it is a play on the name, its color, or the products made from it. The wild array of representational and abstract quilts in Radical Elements explore the intersection of art and science in brilliant form.

Radical Elements is organized by Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. Join us for all our new programs and activities! General admission is FREE for IMAS Members; $7/Adult; $5/Senior or Student with ID; $4/Child (4-12). Ask us about our Museums for All program. For more information, please call (956) 682-0123 or visit

Butterflies will soon be heading to the Rio Grande Valley!

If you are headed back to the Rio Grande Valley soon for your winter season, you might want to check out our other seasonal visitors.  The National Butterfly Festival is set to kick off at the end of October, just in time for some of our earlier Snow Birds.  Registration is going on now if you are interested in attending the 3 day event.

Check it out here


The National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas has a lot to offer, even if you can’t make it to the Festival.  Winter Texans that present their Park Badge can get in for the local rate of $5.00!