This past weekend, an event called Charro Days has been celebrated in my hometown of Brownsville, TX. It is an event so grand that the students have only a half day of school on Thursday and no school at all on Friday. The cultures of both Mexico and Texas are integrated into the lives of Brownsville residents. This holiday celebrates this mix of cultures with events like the opening of the international bridge, or “Hands Across the Bridge”, to represent friendship between the two border cities, Brownsville and Matamoros. Some organizations travel to the Gateway International Bridge and hold hands across the border to celebrate the unity. Anyone is welcome to join in the festivities to celebrate their heritage.
There are fairs, food stands, parades, and organized dances all weekend throughout downtown, the area of Brownsville closest to Mexico. Traditional Mexican music is played through the city and food stands cook up thousands of flour tortillas, fajitas, cotton candy bundles and funnel cakes. It is common for families to dress up in colorful, extravagant charro days outfits to go watch the parades march downtown. In the parades, public figures, including the major and president of the local university, usually join in. Bands from local high schools and middle schools, dancers and performers, and handmade floats all made their way from one end of the city to the other.
It is a celebration unique to Brownsville and Matamoros that spreads joy across the Rio Grande River. For the past 77 years residents have been rejoicing in their Mexican heritage and remembering that they will always have ties to their neighboring country.
Here are just a few pictures of me and my family is extravagant charro days outfits:
As you can see, my dress and my brother’s outfit are both quite extravagant:
Found a book on the library website that helped also!