McAllen, TX Culture Overview

The show goes on at many attractions throughout the city

By Marc Acton on Mon, 10/13/2014 - 06:00

Bravo! The city of McAllen provides a big stage for live entertainment, festivals, art and historic landmarks.

Live Entertainment

The 1,800-seat, four-story McAllen Performing Arts Center in the Convention Center complex hosts at least 200 plays and concerts each year. McAllen also enjoys the Valley Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, and South Texas Lyric Opera offers an annual slate of productions and an opera gala.

Interesting restaurants also make up the McAllen entertainment scene, including Republic of the Rio Grande, whose ambiance includes live music on weekends to accompany patio dining. Another must-try culinary/music experience, Infusions Eats & Drinks, offers live music on weekends, making it an ideal spot for an evening out complete with dinner, dancing and a selection of craft cocktails and wine.

Festivals

On the first Saturday night of December, many residents turn out for Holiday in the Park, a huge parade of lights, live entertainment, caroling and a live nativity scene. If you're looking for food festivals, try the Sizzling in the Tropics BBQ Cook-off, the Santa Fe Wine Classic and Taste of McAllen.

Music After Hours and Crafters Fair is a monthly free outdoor concert series and crafts fair. And check out Latin Night to catch some of the area's most talented musical performers. 

Visual Arts

The International Museum of Art & Science promotes appreciation of the arts and science through its exhibitions, cultural events and many educational programs. McAllen Art Walk is a free self-guided tour that explores the city's art offerings every first Friday of the month from September through May. Enjoy changing exhibits by local up-and-coming and well-established artists at the galleries of the McAllen Creative Incubator.

Historic Sites

The Museum of South Texas History draws people curious about the Rio Grande Valley's history, while McAllen Heritage Center showcases exhibits about the city's colorful past and hosts storytelling and children's events. Another favorite attraction is Quinta Mazatlan, a 1930s hacienda that embodies the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture of arches, adobe and beams.  It is home to McAllen’s wing of the popular World Birding Center.

Chamber of Commerce Support

The McAllen Chamber of Commerce manages the McAllen Arts Council, which organizes the City Poet Laureate program, produces an annual fine arts exhibit and offers grants to local artists. The chamber also hosts a free outdoor music concert series, coordinates the Public Art Committee's acquisition program, supports the Music After Hours concert series, Unplugged at the Food Truck Park and Project Runway RGV.

Do It Yourself

McAllen Stained Glass offers classes that can be office get-togethers, ladies' nights out or children's sessions, while art classes and low-cost rental studios are available at the McAllen Creative Incubator. The Alebrije Creative Workshop provides a fun outlet for creativity by teaching many mixed-media techniques.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marc Acton is a magazine writer out of Nashville, Tenn., who’s written for Journal Communications since 2013, flown helicopters for the Army since 2005, and played central midfield for his ...

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