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Valley International Poetry Festival

Schlitterbahn

Visit festiva.themonitor.com to find out how you and your family can win a free trip to the flagship waterpark in New Braunfels.

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B-DAYS ERIC MAY 13

LOLLY MAY 14

FRANK MAY 14

MONICA MAY 17

KRISTIN MAY 13

OSCAR MAY 13

PHOTO BY MARIO DELEON

24-HOUR FILM DASH WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Randy Rogers Band

BY ZACK QUAINTANCE

The challenge was simple: you have 24 hours to make a three- to five-minute film that includes a cyclist, a rainbow raspa, somebody tripping, frustration and the phrase “there’s an app for that.” Now in its third year, the 24-hour Film Dash happened April 30 and included 19 teams of filmmakers from throughout the Valley. Twelve teams made the deadline, five finished late and two straight up quit. Here are the results:  Legit Pictures “Concept” was the biggest winner with five awards, including Audience Choice and Best Film. Christian Blake (above center) also won for Best Editing, Best Cinematography and Best Director.  True Valley Studios “The Gravedigger Chronicles Presents: Monster Date” won four awards, including Best Ensemble and First Runner Up. Fred Galvan Jr. and Araceli Lopez won Best First Date and Jerrome Warden and Charlie Brenner won Best Script.  CAB Films “Speechless” captured three awards. Katherine Schroeder won Best Supporting Actress, John Torres

won Best Makeup Effects and Pearl Rodriguez won Best Actress.  Quad “S” Entertainment “Dumpster Diving” won three awards, including Best Use of Prop. Tommy Ureste won Best Supporting Actor and Tony Thompson won Best Actor.  G Productions & Cain Films “14 Nor-

ra” won Best Sleepwear Award for Emmanuel De Leon’s costume.  Bars and Tone “Confessions of a

STAFF BR ANDON R . GARCIA

EDITOR BGARCIA@THEMONITOR.COM

ZACK QUAINTANCE

WRITER ZQUAINTANCE@THEMONITOR.COM

AMY NICHOL SMITH

WRITER ASMITH@THEMONITOR.COM

CR YSTAL OLVER A

WRITER COLVERA@THEMONITOR.COM

Zombie Killer” won Best Visual Effects for William Del Carpio’s work.

TR AVIS M. WHITEHEAD

 Crazy Studios film “Revelation” won the U17 (under 17) Future Filmmaker Award.

COPY/PHOTO DESK TAMARA CUPPLES ALEXIS CARRANZA AMY CASEBIER BRUNO GARCIA SANTOS GARCIA NYDIA GARZA TELMA GUZMAN JUAN LUEVANO DAVID VALLE

 Martin Torres of Team Torres won the Best U17 Script Award for “Nick Knife.”  Vanguard Academy’s film “Q-pid’s Tips” won Best U17 Film and Best U17 Actor for Armando Alvarado’s performance.  Mariella Zavala won the Best U17 Actress Award for her performance in City Films “Living Lines.”

WRITER TWHITEHEAD@BROWNSVILLEHERALD.COM

PHOTOGRAPHERS GABE HERNANDEZ NATHAN LAMBRECHT DELCIA LOPEZ JOEL MARTINEZ

Festiva, a product of The Monitor and Valley Freedom Newspapers of South Texas, is the Rio Grande Valley’s oldest and most established weekly arts and entertainment publication. It is available in every Friday edition of The Monitor. Story suggestions, comments and criticisms may be e-mailed to festivamagazine@ gmail.com. For advertising inquires, contact Christina Castillo at (956) 6834177 or Pily Toledo at (956) 683-4164.


F R I DAY, MAY 13 , 20 11 | THE M ON I TO R

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 CALL FOR ARTISTS

 OUTDOORS

Children’s Play Auditions South Texas College Theater invites aspiring actors to audition for the play “Wiley and the Hairy Man,” part of the school’s Summer Main Stage Children’s Theater Production. Auditions will happen Monday, May 16, and Tuesday, May 17, with call backs scheduled for Wednesday, May 18. The directors need to find three men, one woman and a chorus. Interested actors should prepare a two- to three-minute monologue and bring a photo. They will also receive a passage from the script to read. The play is set within the Tombigbee Swamp, detailing the story of a young fatherless boy, his mother, his dog and a man who haunts his dreams. WHERE: South Texas College Pecan Campus Cooper Center for Communication Arts, 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., McAllen WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17 MORE INFO: jrodriguez@ southtexascollege.edu  FAMILY

Springfest Our Lady of Mercy church in Mercedes will hold their third annual Springfest Saturday, May 14, complete with live music. The event will also feature food, raffles, children’s rides and food. Raffle prizes include a washer and dryer, laptop, television, lawn mower and more.

THE BEST STUFF

Bay Fishing Tournament This fishing tournament, held at Louie’s Backyard on South Padre Island, gives you a chance to help Valley children suffering from cancer and also to win some serious cash prizes. All registration fees from the event go to Friends for Hope, a group aimed at raising money for Vannie E. Cook, Jr. Children’s Cancer and Hematology Clinic.There are also ample awards and prizes to be snagged. Redfish and Trout are the two divisions. The first place finisher in each gets $1,000, second place wins $750 and third place gets $500. WHEN: Louie’s Backyard, 2305 Laguna Blvd., South Padre Island WHEN: Registration is 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. today, and boat check in is 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14  THEATER

WHERE: 322 S. Vermont Ave., Mercedes WHEN: 4 p.m. Saturday, May 14 COST: Entrance is free, raffle tickets cost $5  LIVE MUSIC

Classic Tejano Dance

‘Pat and Lyndon’

This classic tejano-style dance will feature Latin Heat with Jimmy Edward and Rudy T. Gonzalez. Valley’s Own Westside Band will also perform. The event takes place from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday, May 14. It’s bring your own bottle, and advance tickets are available at Outta Town Dance Hall, Mission Western Wear, JP’s Meat Market or Diana’s Diner.

This two-act play tells the stories of Patricio Castañeda, a Weslaco native who was killed in Vietnam, and Lyndon B. Johnson, who was president of the United States at the time. The story involves leadership, courage and family values. This production is brought to life by the Pharr Community Theater.

WHEN: Outta Town Dance Hall, 4012 N. Conway Ave., Mission WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, May 14 TICKETS: $15 in advance or $20 at the door BUY AT: Outta Town Dance Hall, Mission Western Wear, JP’s Meat Market or Diana’s Diner

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WHERE: Community Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., Pharr WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19, Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21; and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 22 CALL: (956) 460-5473 COST: $7

 CIRCUS

Ringling Bros. eet Ramon Esqueda, who trains the elephants for the show.

Q: How do you as performers react to people protesting animal treatment at the circus? A: I can say it since I work with the el-

Q: Describe what attendees can expect to see at the circus? A: They can expect a great show for the

ephants … I think people really need to learn more about what we do with the animals, the time we spend, how we feed them, care for them, live with them, how we cover all their needs. That’s why animals are comfortable with their trainers. They are well treated and part of the family, and respond well to us because they know they are well taken care of. As I said before, everything changes including methods of training. We train through voice command and positive reinforcement so when we’re in the ring, it’s more like playtime for them and they are rewarded so they enjoy it. I encourage everyone to come see the show and see how well they are taken care of. [ZQ]

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whole family. The circus is one of the last forms of family entertainment. We are going to have a great show that has extraordinary acts like the Urias’ Globe of Steel with three motorcycles inside and a girl in the middle hanging inside. We also have girls that hang by their hair. We have David DaVinici, who does mind boggling illusions that’s amazing to see. We have animal acts like the dogs, birds, a bareback horse riding act, and the elephants, who are the biggest stars in the show.

XXXXXXXXXX

Q: How has the circus changed over the years? A: It has changed like everything else

with technology and new conditions, everything has an evolution. Movies for example have had constant progress. Every day we are improving and everyday trying to be more exciting for all the audiences. We have traditional circus acts but even they have been evolving.

WHERE: State Farm Arena, 2600 N. 10th St., Hidalgo WHEN: May 19-22 TICKETS: statefarmarena.com COST: Tickets range from $15 to $40

TO HAVE YOUR EVENT CONSIDERED FOR INCLUSION IN OUR CALENDAR FREE OF CHARGE, E-MAIL


vamos FRIDAY, MAY 13 , 20 11 | THE M O N I TOR

TO DO THIS WEEK  THEATER

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 ART

International Exhibit Artist Jose Gilberto Cano Guillen will display his paintings Saturday, May 19, at the Upper Valley Art League in Mission. There will also be refreshments and art work for sale. WHERE: Upper Valley Art League, 921 E. 12th St., Mission WHEN: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14 CALL: (956) 583-2787 COST: Free ONLINE: www.uval.webs.com  LIVE MUSIC

Incohero

‘Basilica’ T

his play, produced by a pair of Valley actors/filmmakers who have had success in New York City and Los Angeles, is an original work about a family trying to be good in the face of past sins. The cast is local actors, who took time away from their day jobs and families to make this happen. The play takes place in San Juan, and it aims to capture the Valley culture. There will be 13 showings between today and Sunday, May 29. You can learn more and buy tickets online at www.basilicatheplay.org. We recently spoke with Mando Alvarado, who wrote “Basilica.” Q: How has the play turned out? A: It’s actually going really well, be-

cause we’re down here there’s some authenticity that it’s lacked before that’s really made it into the play. I’ve added about 30 pages of text into the play since I’ve been down here. Q: Give me a brief summary of the story… A: It’s about a family in San Juan.

They’re a good, church-going family. They try their best to be good, but they do have secrets. When Father Gonza-

WHERE STC Pecan Campus Cooper Center, 3201 W. Pecan Blvd., McAllen WHEN 7:30 p.m. May 13, 14, 19, 20, 21; more dates on web site COST $12 ONLINE basilicatheplay.org/

lez, a high school friend, comes back to the Basilica they have to confront these secrets. They have a hard time facing who they are and what they’ve become. Redemption only comes to the one who is able to face what they’ve done and who they are. Q: What was the most challenging part of completing an original production in the Rio Grande Valley? A: Resources. There isn’t a structure

in place that we’re able to access. We have to scramble. For instance we’re getting some of our set pieces from a high school in Alamo on Saturday. There isn’t a theater so we have to go to STC for a theater. Q: How have the local actors done? A: Michael (Ray Escamilla) and I talk

about this, Michael is the director, and they’re on par with what we find in New York. There is a sense of real joy and purity in what they’re doing that makes it even better. We’ve been really blown away.

Q: What do you hope audiences take away from Basilica? A: The big hope, the big reason we

come back, is to give people from the Valley an opportunity to see stories about themselves. I know for a fact that doesn’t usually happen. To come back and to see that, I hope that they see themselves in a different way, in ways that they hadn’t thought of. Also that there’s a sense of pride and sense of community in exploring our culture that we have here.

This dirt-cheap local rock show features some of the best up-and-coming bands from the Rio Grande Valley. It also takes place in McAllen’s longtime rock venue Simon Sez. Entrance is $3 and Lone Stars are $1. WITH Seafoam, Land Locked Pirates, Tim’s Myth and Petrock WHERE: Simon Sez, 2007 Orchid Ave., McAllen WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14 COST: $3  COMMUNITY

We also spoke with cast member Gabriel Martinez, a 37-year-old from McAllen. Q: Have you ever acted before? A: Yes. I’ve been acting for a while.

At McHi in high school I did and I did it in college. I had a theater company in Austin and briefly one in the Valley. I was in Los Angeles 3 1/2 years and I did some TV and soaps. Recently I came back to the Valley and it’s been about five years and now I’m teaching, I’m teaching art. Q: How do you think the Valley audience will react? A: I think it’s going to be something

they’ve never seen before. Something different, cutting edge. I think it will spark debate and conversation. It will be challenging. The writer, the director and the talent is local. I think it benefits the writer that he left and came back home. [ZQ]

ALL DETAILS AND IMAGES TO FESTIVAMAGAZINE@GMAIL.COM AT LEAST TWO WEEKS IN ADVANCE.

‘Pasta and Poetry’ Come enjoy a night of poetry, pasta and, of course, wine. There will be a meal and poetry reading Wednesday, May 19, at Carino’s. This event is registration only, and the organizer asks that you contact him through the Facebook link. WHERE: Carino’s, 421 Nolana, McAllen WHEN: 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 18 ONLINE: http://www.facebook.com/ event.php?eid100215380063675


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 NEW CONCERTS  SEPT. 13

Santana Guitar legend Carlos Santana will be playing a show Tuesday, September 13, at State Farm Arena. Michael Franti and Spearhead will open. Tickets for the show go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, May 13. The show is part of the guitar veteran’s upcoming Sound of Collective Consciousness tour (SOCC). He will be performing his most popular hits, as well as music from his latest record “Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time.” To purchase tickets visit livenation.com or call (800) 745-3000. [CO]

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RATED PG-13 | GENRE: HORROR This post-apocalyptic western-style thriller is an alternate world that has been ravaged between ages of war between man and vampire. If that makes you excited, you’re probably not bringing a date to this one. Nerdiness aside, “Priest” tells the story of a legendary warrior priest who lives in obscurity until vampires abduct his niece. After that, it’s on. Priest is screening in 2-D and 3-D. [ZQ]

BRIDESMAIDS RATED: R | GENRE: COMEDY

Annie, a dysfunctional lovelorn mess played by “Saturday Night Live’s” Kristen Wiig, is the maid of honor for her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph). As she prepares for the ceremony with a colorful troupe of bridesmaids, her own life begins to unravel, resulting in what might be hilarious antics. Based on the trailer, which leans heavily on a sequence where the entire group gets food poisoning, this one could be filled with crude humor. In other words, it could be awesome or terrible. [ZQ]


F R I DAY, MAY 13 , 20 11 | THE M ON I TO R

 PROPS

Mission troupe captures 3rd place in global dance-off

A group of 16 young dancers from South Texas Cheer and Dance is celebrating a third-place win at the United States All Star Federation hosted Dance Worlds competition, one of the largest in the world. Last month, the senior co-ed hip hop dance squad “Team Empire” from the Mission-based troupe Stallion All Stars traveled to the Disney’s Epcot Center in Orlando, Fla., and went to war on the dance stage. “I’m excited,” said Ileana Martinez, the choreography director at South Texas Cheer and Dance. “They worked their butts off.” Doors will open to possible scholarships and invitations to other dance competitions with cash prizes for the dancers who won, Martinez said. The bronze champions, who earned a total score of 92.6, are the first in Texas to place in the top three in the competition’s hip hop category. [ANS]

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Y

ou heard the weather reports from up north — it seriously snowed in April. Maybe your brother called from Minnesota, or your sister who’s away at school in Indiana, or a childhood friend who moved to New York. Regardless of who it was, they all said the same thing: It’s freaking cold. “That sucks,” you told them. Then you sat back, sipped a margarita and ordered another round of appetizers. The Rio Grande Valley, with its scorching weather, never gets snow. Well, except for that one time. But as a rule, we Valleyites can count on feeling warm this time of year, like Mother Nature is giving us a full-contact, daily hug. Thus, we enjoy a wide array of fantastic places to grab dinner and libations in the great outdoors, often under palm trees and a starry sky. In this week’s “Festiva” we feature the Magic Valley’s best patios to grab a drink and a meal. [ZQ]

BOCA PAILA

PA L M S H O R E S , 4 1 6 N . K I KA D E L A G A R Z A , L A J OYA ( 9 5 6 ) 5 8 1 - 0 3 9 7 | R A N C H O E L C H A R C O. C O M

If you don’t mind navigating through a dark subdivision on the outskirts of La Joya, one of the Valley’s best outdoor drinking opportunities awaits you. Once you wind your way down to Rancho El Charco, which really isn’t too far off Expressway 83, you find a massive outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful 115-acre Walker Lake. You can hear the music booming as you approach, mostly regional and tejanostyle remixes played by an on-stage DJ. The great part about this place is that even the indoor sections feel outdoorsy. They have a central restaurant and bar, called Boca Paila,

THE PATIO ON GUERRA 1 1 6 S . 1 7 T H S T. , M C A L L E N ( 9 5 6 ) 6 6 1 - 9 1 0 0 | PAT I O O N G U E R R A . C O M

The night gets later, the music gets livelier and every set of thighs and shoulders in the place shimmies to the funky Caribbean Latin grooves served up by the live band. People continue to sway to the music as they order drinks at the bar against the back wall. Outside the front door, a stream of nightclubbing 17th Street partiers flows past. Inside, dinner music plays for couples and families enjoying the fine dining late into the night. Stop and look up, though. You can see stars from this bricked-in patio, through a sparse layer of palm trees. It’s almost magic. In the coming months, The Patio on Guerra, one of the McAllen Entertainment District’s oldest establishments, will double the size of its outdoor area. That means twice as much space for dancing, dining and downing drinks. [ZQ]

but there are so many massive open windows that the wind blows right through it. There’s also a deck that circles the place, so when you’ve had your fill of beers and seafood, you can take your date or family on a quiet leisurely stroll around the edges. You’re still in the rural county here, so expect more cowboy hats and less designer fashions, but hey, you wouldn’t be drinking and eating outdoors if you weren’t into that kind of thing, right? Unfortunately, Boca Paila has closed for the summer. The restaurant will reopen in the fall when the weather cools down. [ZQ]


F R I DAY, MAY 13 , 20 11 | THE M ON I TO R

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

capellini ristorante 7 0 1 N . M A I N S T. , M C A L L E N (956) 683-7999 | CAPELLINIRISTORANTE.COM

España closed a while ago, but Capellini Ristorante rose in its place, keeping intact the restaurant’s longtime tradition of excellent outdoor dining and drinking. Capellini’s patio is an awesome, cozy date spot. It’s the type of place you might actually buy a rose from one of those everpresent rose-selling dudes. Paper Chinese lanterns cut a swath of decorative light across the night sky. A live band plays Spanish and retro pop on a decent-sized stage. You need both of these things for

schneider’s

a truly phenomenal dinner patio, it turns out. Capellini has also assembled an incredible army of servers. Clad in all black, they stand around the fringes of the party, arms crossed and ready to serve you at a moment’s notice. I don’t want to tell you how to run your love lives … but I’m going to. If you have a special date, arrive early for Italian dining, which most everyone loves. And stay until the patio music stops at midnight. Also, order a martini, because you are that smooth. [ZQ]

german gasthaus and beergarden

5507 N. WARE ROAD, MCALLEN | (956) 451-7195 G E R M A N D I N E R . F O O D . O F F I C E L I V E . C O M / D E F A U L T. A S P X

There’s no other place in town you can get drunk and someone will be like, “you should put on lederhosen,” and then you can. Also, this place comes fully equipped with a menu of authentic German food, which I can pretty confidently say makes it unique by South Texas standards. Schneider’s is a bit out of the way, off of Ware Road just north of Dove, and unless you know it’s there, it’s kind of easy to miss. They could al-

most change the name to Schneider’s German Gasthaus and “Secret” Beergarden. But all this adds to the cozy ambience. You feel like part of an exclusive club at this outdoor haven for eating and drinking. Schneider’s has German music, a table built on top of a tree stump and one size for their draft beers — super tall. I don’t know how to say anything superlative in German, but it would be totally appropriate to describe this patio. [ZQ]

ALHAMBRA

5 1 9 S . 1 7 T H S T. , M C A L L E N (956) 994-9754 | ALHAMBRAON17TH.COM

Before walking through the oversized wooden double doors of Alhambra, close your eyes. Listen to the wind rustle the leaves of the palms and ferns and take a deep breath. Have someone guide you a few feet into the semienclosed patio and then open your eyes. You see, Alhambra is a magical oasis in downtown McAllen, which has the power to transport you to hidden retreat on a Mediterranean shore — minus the blue waters of the sea, but you won’t miss it. Foliage separates the private tables on the outskirts of the patio, providing privacy from the tables nearby. The layout of

the rest of the spacious patio encourages social interaction, with tables, chairs and outdoor couches scattered across the concrete floor. Weeknights at Alhambra are perfect for the laid back folk who want to relax, sip sangria and nosh on small plates of garlicky shrimp, tabbouleh made with quinoa and chocolate pâté. Top off your luxurious evening by enjoying a hookah. Those who want to break in new dance shoes should head out to Alhambra on a Thursday night when it gets jam-packed for Aché de Barrio, a live salsa band, and watch the beautiful people. [ANS]

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Pepe De La Fuente stands on the grounds of Pepe’s On The River, one of the Valley’s most beloved hangouts, this past December. The restaurant and bar was devastated by Rio Grande floodwaters in summer 2010.

pepe’s on the river Pepe de la Fuente is selling Pepe’s on the River, the landmark outdoor restaurant his family has owned for decades. It’s the end of an era for the restaurant, which first opened in 1964; before that, it was the private boat ramp and barbecue locale for the De la Fuente family. But De la Fuente says there’s not much else he can do with it. In August 2010, torrential rains pounded the Valley. The Rio Grande swelled, and Pepe’s, which hangs over the river in far south Mission near Anzald-

uas Park, was completely submerged. The restaurant closed, and De la Fuente hasn’t found a new renter to renovate and reopen it. In past years, Winter Texans visitors would fill the outdoor patio, drinking beer and dancing to country and Spanish music until the crack of 8 p.m., if things got particularly wild. These days, you’ll find a chained gate and a sign that says “For Sale by Owner.” You can still sort of see the thatched roof in the distance near Old Military Highway,

if you strain to look through the overgrown brush. De la Fuente says he and his family have farmed that piece of property since 1938. His dad bought it in 1950. Despite the history, the 87-year-old says he’s not wistful about losing it. “I just want to do something with it,” he says. “Do you want to buy it?” If you do, you can call him at (956) 424-5216. Maybe you can reopen the restaurant. Legions of Winter Texans and Valleyites would thank you for it. [ZQ]

ROOSEVELT’S AT 7

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If you’re a regular at Roosevelt’s at 7, you may have noticed a key element of their patio has gone missing. The canopy over Roosevelt’s customers was torn away by high winds last month. It should be replaced soon. Until then, though, you’ll have a great view of our big Texas sky and palms swaying in the breeze. Hexagonal wooden tables with backless wooden stools fill the patio, and leaf-embossed ceramic planters serve as centerpieces and ashtrays on a select few. The lunch and early evening (Happy Hour) crowds are as varied as Roosevelt’s selection of beer. From young business professionals to soccer moms to college students, everyone seems

to feel welcome at the restaurant and bar. Music is kept low, so conversation over an appetizer and beer flows easily. The sun can be a bit harsh out on Roosevelt’s patio, but there is a fan in each corner to keep the air moving. It’s a comfortable place to dine al fresco, and the place is casual enough that you can nosh on prosciutto-wrapped asparagus with goat cheese with your elbows firmly planted on the table. When the sun sets though, you’ll be lucky to find a place to sit. Nights on Roosevelt’s patio are louder, packed and fun. And if you get tired of standing around drinking, challenge someone to a dart game. [ANS]


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MAMA’S PIZZERIA

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If you don’t mind navigating through a dark subdivision on the outskirts of La Joya, one of the Valley’s best outdoor drinking opportunities awaits you. Once you wind your way down to Rancho El Charco, which really isn’t too far off Expressway 83, you find a massive outdoor patio overlooking the beautiful 115-acre Walker Lake. You can hear the music booming as you approach, mostly regional and tejano-style remixes played by an on-stage DJ. The great part about this place is that even the indoor sections feel outdoorsy. They have a central restaurant and bar, called Boca Paila,

but there are so many massive open windows that the wind blows right through it. There’s also a deck that circles the place, so when you’ve had your fill of beers and seafood, you can take your date or family on a quiet leisurely stroll around the edges. You’re still in the rural county here, so expect more cowboy hats and less designer fashions, but hey, you wouldn’t be drinking and eating outdoors if you weren’t into that kind of thing, right? Unfortunately, Boca Paila has closed for the summer. The restaurant will reopen in the fall when the weather cools down. [ANS]

THE RIVERSIDE CLUB 214 E. CHIMNEY ROAD, MISSION (956) 581-1033 | ONTHERIVER.NET

The Rio Grande’s warm breezes sweep through The Riverside Club’s wooden patio as its serene waters sparkle in the afternoon sunlight. A pair of Winter Texans who have extended their Valley stay take in the riverside view on this recent Thursday. They enjoy a lunch of nachos and margaritas on the patio’s wooden benches. The Mexican shore is just across the river, but the conflict and danger are nowhere to be seen. Instead, jet skies and boats float by the border oasis. To the left of the

patio is a sprawling green meadow area dotted with palm trees and hibiscus. Birders and nature lovers will enjoy the sights and sounds of various South Texas species. Hurricane Alex left the Riverside Club flooded last year after the storm’s rains caused the river to overflow, but after a series of renovations, the border hangout looks as good as new. Sundays, country fans can dance the night away on the outdoor dance floor overlooking the river. [CO]

vintage room

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An orange and blue glow shines through the large window overlooking the Vintage Room’s patio as gaggles of friends laugh over the pulsating beats of a house band. With wooden floors and cushioned leather chairs, the outdoor/indoor area doesn’t feel like your average patio. The upscale furniture and tiled ceiling make the patio seem more indoors than outdoors. But the steel fence enclosing the outer-wall gives party-goers front row seats to the bustling 17th Street crowd outside. The area is an escape from the large crowd gyrating inside to Top 40 hits. Complete with a small bar of its own, the patio makes for the perfect spot to chill and watch the bevy of stiletto heels and giant belt buckles that walk by. [CO]

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REPUBLIC RIO GRANDE OF THE

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Gourmet dishes and colorful cocktails sit atop the cream-colored tablecloths, which cover the tables on the Republic of Rio Grande’s patio. Couples smile and bob their heads to salsa beats as small lanterns, Christmas lights and a flame-lit fountain illuminate the restaurant’s outdoor area. Lush vines cover the brick walls of the mission-like building, bringing an almost jungle-like atmosphere to the patio. The hotspot is the perfect romantic destination for lovers and friends seeking an intimate setting for dinner, wine and music. However, seating is limited, so you and your date may want to get there early before all the tables are taken. [CO]

more great patios

frida’s

pizza rustica

Like a breath of fresh air in the middle of cramped 17th Street, Frida’s lively courtyard lies nestled between two in-door areas.

1123 W. BUSINESS 83, MCALLEN

2005 WEST NOLANA, MCALLEN

Pizza Rustica’s cozy patio is a laidback alternative to its sophisticated next-door neighbor House. Wine.

Formerly home to Agave Blue and Amberjack’s, this lovely patio will soon re-open as a new Kohnami location.

209 SOUTH 17TH ST., MCALLEN

VALLEY INTERNATIONAL POETRY FESTIVAL APRIL 29 | CARINOS, McALLEN PHOTOS BY BRANDON R. GARCIA

LEFT Olivia Gatwood CENTER Sarah E. Williams RIGHT Ken Jones

kohnami


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 CONCERT RECAP  MAY 7

Randy Rogers Band STORY BY TAMI CUPPLES | PHOTO BY JOEL MARTINEZ

Randy Rogers Band got love in the Rio Grande Valley … times 2,400. The concert May 7, with guests Wade Bowen and Whiskeydick, was a record crowd for the Texas Country Live series at Las Palmas Race Park in Mission. Previous attendance records were 2,300 persons for Fowler Fest last summer and Gary Allan a few years ago. Exceptions to the attendance record, according to event promoter Arnaldo “Nano” Ramirez, were Willie Nelson in February 2010 with 3,600 and Jason Aldean with 5,500. Beer lines barely crawled as fans stocked up before the start of the band’s set. RRB took the stage after 10 p.m. to a vivacious crowd. Lead singer Rogers said simply: “It’s Friday night. Hello!” Twenty-two songs followed. Older favorites “One More Goodbye,” “In My Arms Instead,” “Lost and Found” and “Kiss Me in the Dark” intermingled with tunes from the band’s August 2010 release, Burning the Day, including “Looking for You So Long,” “Steal You Away,” “Last Last Chance,” “Too Late for Goodbye” and “Interstate.” Rogers named an unofficial sponsor for the evening. “Here’s to Bud Light beer for being tasty and also for making people look better than they do,” he said. Ramirez said they’re working to bring RRB back to Las Palmas in October or November of this year.


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HUUM PAX

APRIL 28 DOGGIE’S, McALLEN

PHOTOS BY JOEL MARTINEZ

GUITAR FESTIVAL

APRIL 27 | UTPA, EDINBURG

PHOTO BY JOEL MARTINEZ

Noe Garcia, winner of the 2010 UTPA Guitar Competition


F R I DAY, MAY 13 , 20 11 | THE M ON I TO R

BLUES ON THE HILL

MAY 7 | HARLINGEN

PHOTOS BY SHAWN MUNGUIA/ VALLEY BARGAIN BOOK

ABOVE Southern Train BELOW Evelyn Rubio BOTTOM LEFT Del Grosso BOTTOM RIGHT Sax Dawgs

FESTIVA .THEM ON ITOR.COM

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Festiva (May 13, 2011)  

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