Brownsville’s eclectic mix of old Mexican charm and festive attitude make it the perfect bi-national travel destination. With year-round celebrations, natural treasures, one of the nation’s best zoos, and a history as big as Texas you won’t find anything short of exciting adventures in this exciting Rio Grande Valley destination.
Celebrations in Brownsville begin in January with “Taste of La Frontera”, a showcase of some of the best border cuisine in Texas. Brownsville continues the celebration with its internationally famous Charro Days Fiesta, Sombrero Festival and Air Fiesta and a slew of events and festivals throughout the year.
Charro Days Fiesta, begun 76 years ago, is an annual event where residents of Brownsville and its neighbor Matamoros, Mexico celebrate their rich cultural heritage with parades, carnivals, games, and costume balls. In a Mardi Gras-like fashion residents dress up in traditional regional costumes of Mexico and host a number of events throughout the streets of the Historic Downtown District.
A concurrent event adding spice to the Charro Days Fiesta is Sombrero Festival held in Historic Downtown Brownsville at Washington Park the last weekend of February. The 3-day event is like a big family-friendly block party where people can enjoy well-known Mexican, Country and local musical acts, food booths, and popular events like the Jalapeno Eating Contest, the famous Grito contest, Tortilla Frisbee Toss, and Frijolympics – a charro bean cook-off.
The celebrations continue in March with the world famous Air Fiesta – World War II and military aircraft take the skies and perform a number of breath-taking maneuvers, such as the re-enactment of Tora, Tora, Tora.
Fast forward to October and visitors can experience the eclectic sounds of the Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival. Inaugurated by the late, Tito Puente in 1997, this festival has become one of the most anticipated events in the city’s cultural calendar. Each year countless Latin Jazz artists from Latin America provide three days of entertainment of the highest caliber, advanced multi-cultural diversity, and have entertained thousands for 16 years. The Brownsville Latin Jazz Festival is widely recognized as the premier Latin Jazz festival in Texas and one of the best in the United States.
The Holiday Village, a recent but welcomed addition to the local holiday scene is an impressive display of cottages representing a variety of historic and prominent buildings of Brownsville. Lights adorn them inside and out, and large figurines are scattered throughout. Holiday Village is located within the Mitte Cultural District at Dean Porter Park beginning the last week of November to January 3rd.
Brownsville also hosts a number of city-wide community events throughout the year. In the past couple of years the City of Brownsville has continued its mission to promote a healthy and active lifestyle. Events such as Brownsville’s Biggest Loser and Cyclobia have gained a loyal following among the locals and surrounding communities. If you’re lucky you might just catch one of these events going on in Brownsville.