Harlingen Happenings

Metro Creative

By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

So many activities to choose from this week!

On Saturday, February 1, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. it’s time to shop for treasures in Downtown Harlingen’s Jackson St. Market Days. This old-fashioned, open-air street market features antiques, collectibles, plants, fresh produce, live music and more on Jackson Street between 4th & Commerce. For more information call 956-216-4910.

The Billboard-charting group, Sons of Serendip will perform at the Harlingen Municipal Auditorium, 1204 Fair Park Blvd., Thursday, February 6, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. Sons of Serendip consists of a harpist, cellist, pianist, and lead vocalist. This creative quartet was a finalist on Season 9 of America’s Got Talent, gaining popularity by offering fresh interpretations of popular music.

The group has three successful albums to their credit and a very dedicated following. This performance is sponsored by the non-profit Harlingen Concert Association. Tickets are available online at HarlingenConcert.com or at the Municipal Auditorium box office, (956) 216-5990.

Please note that Subscriptions for the 2019-20 season are no longer available. ONLY single tickets ($25 balcony, $35 main floor) are available at this point and the majority of seats remaining for this show are in the balcony, which is accessible only via stairs (no elevator.)

The Valley Byliners Annual Writers Workshop will be held at the Harlingen Public Library Auditorium on Saturday, February 8 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Southwest Studies Historian EvaLisa Fuentes will present “The Narrative in Place and Memory.” A former Rio Grande Valley Native and Historian, Ms. Fuentes will share her extensive knowledge of resources and experiences of the local folkway, culture, oral histories, museums and written and oral archives.

Her graduate studies include research in Musica Tejana. This workshop may also be of interest to educators, other professionals, and anyone researching their family history. As part of the workshop there will be a free field trip on Friday, February 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to different historical locations in Brownsville. To add your name to the list for the field trip please email ana.a.cavazos@gmail.com. Registration for the workshop is $25/person and $20/Students. You may register by mailing a check payable to Valley Byliners, c/o Jose Alvarez, 130 Pizarro Ave., Rancho Viejo, TX 78575 or you can pay at the door.

Registration will begin at 8 a.m. on the day of the workshop. A catered meal from J&B Restaurant will be available for a fee payable at the door. For more information please visit the rgvvalleybyliners Facebook page or call 956-873-3184.

The 2nd Annual Federal Courthouse Open House at the Reynaldo G. Garza and Filemon B. Vela United States Courthouse will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, February 8, 2020 at 1700 E. 6th St., Brownsville, TX in the Mitte Cultural District.

Don’t miss your ONLY chance this year to see the Robert Runyon collection of photographs focusing on the lower Rio Grande Valley and the Michaela Mahady carved/etched glass panels depicting Brownsville’s pictorial history! For more information, contact Karen Ballard at Kaaren_Ballard@txs.uscourts.gov.

A note to genealogists and historians: the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a huge increase in fees for genealogical records in November 2019 and the deadline has been extended again to add your voice to the fight against the proposed fee hikes. According to Judy G. Russell “Another chance to be heard,” The Legal Genealogist (https://www.legalgenealogist.com/blog : posted 27 Jan 2020) we now have until Monday, February 10, 2020, to make sure USCIS and its parent agency, the Department of Homeland Security, get the message loud and clear that the proposed increases are unacceptable.

We need to make sure it’s not overlooked, or genealogists, historians, and other researchers are going to find that a lot of the records of our immigrant ancestors are priced so high they’re beyond our reach. The proposal would raise fees for genealogical records from the current maximum of $130 to anywhere from a low of $240 to as much as $625 for a single record. The fee (for a record search) would increase from $65 to $240, an increase of $175 and the fee for (a paper record) would increase from $65 to $385. To voice your objection to the proposed fee increase visit https://www.regulations.gov/ and access

DHS Docket No. USCIS-2019-0010 to post your comments. Better still, go to The Legal Genealogist .com/blog for more information.