Saturday, April 19, 2014
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Brownsville organizations to host three-day event

This weekend Brownsville is jammed packed with outdoor celebrations of literacy, the Earth and music.

Tonight through Sunday is Brownsville EarthFest 2012, which is hosting a multitude of installations at different locations near downtown as Earth Day falls on Sunday this year. In a separate event, this Saturday is the long-time community staple from the Brownsville Literacy Center: the 14th annual Symphony in the Park concert.


Brownsville EarthFest 2012 has brought together the city of Brownsville, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts and the Rio Bravo Wildlife Institute to host the three-day event.

This year the literacy center’s annual fundraiser will be at Washington Park instead of its usual location on the University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College campus. Park grounds open at 5:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m.

The center is marking its 26th anniversary of service as a United Way agency this year with the “Chanclas and Tchaikovsky” program.

Victor Rivera, director of the Brownsville Literacy Center, said the concert’s proceeds are crucial because they make for one-third of the non-profit’s annual budget.

“It is our major fundraiser for the center,” he said.

The Valley Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestro Peter Dabrowski, will travel from McAllen to perform.

Families are encouraged to arrive early and bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics to enjoy before and during the performance.

UTB-TSC early childhood education students will supervise activities they created for “Play Day at Symphony” to welcome any young music lovers in the audience.

Organizers said new for this year is the “Taste of Symphony” VIP tent and a “bucket” auction.

The VIP tent will feature food from restaurants throughout Brownsville and South Padre Island, Rivera said. The auction, rather than the standard setup where bidders sign and name prices, is more of a drawing, he said. Individuals may purchase several tick-ets at a time that will then be dropped into a bucket to be drawn from for prizes.

Rivera said the center’s three major programs are centered around English as a Second Language education. There are on-site ESL classes, a mobile lab that offers the same programming for those without transportation and a family literacy class where mothers learn along with their children, ages 3 through 4, as the youths receive pre-literacy education.

The non-profit said it serves more than 1,000 students annually and continues to look for more instructors and volunteers to aid in its mission.

Tickets for the Symphony in the Park concert are $8 for ages 13 and above, $4 for children 12 and under; and free for children 3 and under. Entrance to the “Taste of Symphony” VIP tent is $50.

Seniors receive a $2 discount per ticket. Credit cards are accepted.

To purchase tickets, call 956-542-8080, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or visit




  • Brownsville EarthFest: Love Re-Evolution from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the Lincoln Park amphitheatre
  • Brownsville EarthFest: Border Block Party from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at Galeria 409 (Tickets are $10)


  • Brownsville EarthFest: No-Gas Parade from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. starting at Lincoln Park to downtown Market Square to Linear Park
  • Brownsville EarthFest: Kids No-Gas Parade contest is at 10 a.m. in downtown Market Square
  • Brownsville EarthFest: Healthy Kids Cookoff from 9 a.m. to noon at the Farmers Market in Linear Park
  • Brownsville EarthFest: EarthFest concert from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Farmers Market in Linear Park
  • Symphony in the Park: “Chanclas and Tchaikovsky” program fundraiser at Washington Park. Grounds open at 5:30 p.m. Concert is at 8 p.m. (Tickets are required.)
  • Brownsville EarthFest: UTB Rock N’ Beats from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on the university student union lawn.


  • Brownsville EarthFest: Love Re-Evolution from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Lincoln Park.

(Unless noted otherwise, all events are free.)