Taste time

Museum gala honors ‘Old Mexico’ for 2019

HARLINGEN — “Taste of Harlingen,” which began in 2004, is pretty much old hat now.

And if you have an appropriate old hat that fits this year’s gala theme, wear it.

A Taste of Harlingen is the biggest museum fundraiser of the year, and this year’s event will be held the evening of Oct. 17. The theme is “A Night in Old Mexico,” and that means a chance to get out and dress up for those so inclined.

“Costumes for one thing,” said Sue DeBrooke, a Taste organizer and a museum board member.

“Last year we had everybody dressed up with tie-dye and hippie rigs and it was all kinds of fun,” said Frances Keim, coordinating chair of the Taste committee, referring to the 50-year-old “Feelin’ Groovy” theme from last year. “But every year it’s different. We get a lot of people and each year the honorary chair seems to bring in different people, maybe who have not been here.”

This year’s honorary chair is former mayor Connie de la Garza.

Tickets are $75 per person ($85 at the door), but both DeBrooke and Keim say attendees — usually the number is 400 to 500 — get their money’s worth.

“You get to listen to live music, you get free beer and wine, we’ve got 17 restaurants this year that serve food and you can go to all of them,” Keim said. “You have 17 restaurants to choose from and you can go back more than once. They’re all out in the courtyard which makes it really nice to be able to be outside, weather permitting.

“Inside here we have silent auction items that they can come in and bid on, we have a photo booth they can come and get a souvenir photo strip,” Keim added. “We even have the photo booth put our logo on it, so it’s a nice little souvenir for them.”

A deliberate part of the Taste strategy is there are no reserved tables for the gala, which pretty much ensures everybody moves and mingles. “They’re not stuck,” Keim said.

This year’s band is Jaime G and the Adels.

“They do country, they do oldies, Tejano, and a little bit of rock and roll, so that’s a pretty good mix,” Keim said.

“We found them playing at Market Days and they made us happy,” DeBrooke added.

Both Keim and DeBrooke urge anyone with the wherewithal to do so donate items for the silent auction or become a Taste sponsor.

Money raised at the gala goes to maintaining the museum, the historical homes on the property and all the exhibits.

If You Go

WHAT — A Taste of Harlingen

WHEN — Oct. 17, 6-9 p.m.

WHERE — Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum, 2425 Boxwood St.

TICKETS — $75 per person advance; $85 at door

THEME — “A Night in Old Mexico”