February 2002By Comments

A GRAND AFFAIR During the Great Depression, a group of friends in Brownsville came up with the idea to boost morale by paying tribute to what their city and their Mexican sister city, Matamoros, had to offer. Sixty-five years later, Charro Days is still rockin’—and still celebrating border culture. Back in the forties, my grandparents would put on the traditional costumes—for her, a china poblana dress; for him, a charro suit, the characteristic outfit worn by a dashing Mexican horseman—and head to the fiesta, where acts such as Ray Wilde, Ted Weems, and Desi Arnaz would perform. At this year’s festivities, which take place February 28 through March 3, revelers can hear the tejano sounds of Robert Pulido y Los Clasicos. Of course, music isn’t everything. Partygoers will be showing off their finery, little boys will be sporting hand-painted mustaches, and military marching bands and floats will parade down Elizabeth Street. When you see the mayors of each city meet one another on the Gateway Bridge to exchange gifts and shake hands, you’ll know it’s time to party. (See Elsewhere.)

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