Palm Fest

Palm Fest International Folk-life Celebration 2016

Celebrate a culture of unique history, rich foods, and colorful arts and entertainment at the McAllen Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday, October 5 and 6. Gates open at noon! This year's Palm Fest is shaping up to be one of the greatest events in the Rio Grande Valley for the fall season. Over 40,000 guests are expected to join in the festivities at the Convention Center and the surrounding Oval Park and Reflecting Pond.

This year's list of attractions is bigger than our appetite for fun. Take a look at what you can expect:

  • Live entertainment
  • El Mercado Shopping
  • Cooking competitions and demonstrations
  • Authentic international foods
  • Car Shows
  • Dancing Horse Show
  • Paddle Boat Rides
  • Historic displays
  • Local art works
  • Family-friendly games and activities

Palm Fest, At a Closer Glance

Inside the Convention Center, guests can explore the makings of local artists and discover gripping ancient stories of the area as well as the Larger Rail exhibit, and all-time favorite attraction. Artisans will showcase their handcrafted pottery and leather works. The McAllen Heritage Center, museum of local culture and history, will engage guests in a blast from the past with displays of our vibrant history.

The experience is carried outside, in the Oval park, where guests can journey through Heritage Village, an area transformed into an authentic cowboy campsite and a colorful American Indian Village - complete with tipi's and exciting traditional performances. Witness Civil War re-enactments outside and suited actors that roam the festival grounds throughout the weekend. Watch out for the legendary revolutionary Pancho Villa or the comical Garfield and Odie!

Bring the kids along to enjoy a little storytelling and magic. Brought back by popular demand, the South Texas College will provide a Mother Goose Story Telling area for all the kids. Join the fun at Lonesome Dove stage as warm-hearted magician John O'Bryant takes his audience on a magical, educational adventure. Other popular local storytellers and musicians will join the line-up, too. HEB brings back the Teach the Children Fun Tent and the famous Kidsville area, strictly catered to provide hours of fun entertainment.

Expect the fiercest cooking competition with a heated Fajita Cookoff, including five cooking categories that reflect the Rio Grande Valley culture - frijoles, pan de campo, mollejas, and traditional and gourmet fajitas.

But wait, there's more! Guests can find three live entertainment stages throughout the Convention Center. Each stage will feature a diverse mix of local performers and musical talent - Indian, Folkloric, Middle Easter, Belly Dancing, and much more. The unique performances don't stop there! Rancho El Caballo, the dancing horse show, is back after garnering record-breaking crowds last year. CarFest is always a huge hit at Palm Fest, too. Surf the grounds riddled with an exquisite line-up of classic automobiles.

Take a break from the entertainment and special shows by visiting El Mercado Arts & Crafts outdoor shopping area or by renting a Paddle Boat to float joyously along the Reflecting Pond.

Valley folk are experts at coordinating events and celebrations of epic proportions. There's plenty to see and do during the two-day Palm Fest event in McAllen. You may grow tired after a long day of festivities, but you'll never lack for something to do. Bring your friends and family along to enjoy the celebration as admission and parking are free. Call the McAllen Convention Center and inquire about Palm Fest at 956.681.3897. Check out the Palm Fest website for more details.

Palm Fest Photo Gallery

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