Harlingen Happenings


By Mary Torres, Special to the Star

As you are aware, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many local activities, and events have been canceled, rescheduled, or are just beginning to be offered on a reduced scale with the necessary precautions in an effort to contain the virus and protect the community.

One of the organizations that reopened on May 1 is the Harlingen Arts & Heritage Museum, 2425 Boxwood St. The museum, observing all recommended safety guidelines including social distancing and the use of face masks is operating at 25% capacity which means that no more than 37 people, inclusive of staff, volunteers and patrons will be permitted in the building at any given time.

The Rio Grande Valley Museum Association, the fundraising arm of the museum met recently to discuss programming changes related to previously scheduled exhibits and events for 2020. It is with an abundance of caution and based on the financial impact COVID-19 is having on our community, combined with the uncertainty of when we will return to the “new normal,” the Association has decided to cancel this year’s “Annual Taste of Harlingen” and rescheduled it for Thursday, October 8, 2021. The Association wishes to thank all previous sponsors and restaurants and looks forward to your participation in 2021. The Taste is the Association’s major fundraiser so donations to help maintain the historical exhibits and buildings are always welcome and appreciated.

The “Chisholm Trail” exhibit, originally scheduled for March 24 through May 10, has been extended to July 9 and is available for viewing during regular museum hours, Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. and is closed on Mondays. Until further notice, the Association will not be hosting exhibit opening receptions and plans for other annual events such as the Day of the Dead and the Christmas Tree Forest will be announced at a later date. For more information call 956-416-4901. May is National Preservation Month and even though many historic places are physically closed right now, the National Trust for Historic Preservation is opening a window to a world of adventure online. Each day they will unlock new experiences across America allowing you to step out while you stay in. You can wander the rooms of iconic houses, roam wide-open spaces and take a peek behind the scenes of some of your favorite historic sites.  Sign up for this adventure at https://support.savingplaces.org/page/18506/.

The National Genealogical Society is offering non-members free access to five years of NGS Monthly Archives through July 31, 2020. Everyone interested in family history can read insightful articles edited and authored by Aaron Goodwin, an award-winning genealogist. NGS Monthly’s articles help researchers at all levels. They offer family historians invaluable insights on methodology and recommendations on genealogical research techniques used by skilled researchers and scholars. The NGS Monthly Archives can provide you with hours of fascinating reading and help you advance your skills as you continue to build your family tree.  You can access the NGS Monthly quarterly archives by going to: ngsgenealogy.org > Learning Center > NGS Monthly >Archives.

Registration is now open for The Federation of Genealogical Societies 2020 Family History Conference, “Blazing Trails in the Heart of America,” being held in Kansas City, MO  September 2-5, 2020. This conference will be the last for FGS, as it prepares to merge with the National Genealogical Society next year. FGS 2020 offers a full four-day format jam-packed with topics of interest to every genealogist. Whether you’re a beginner just starting to explore family history or a well-seasoned researcher, the wide variety of new and inclusive topics offers something for you. To register or for more information visit www.fgs.org or the society’s  Facebook page.

Stay safe!