General Info & History
BorderFest had its beginnings in 1976 when a committee from the Hidalgo Chamber of Commerce set out to celebrate American Bicentennial by commemorating the local border culture, the international setting, and the unique community spirit. The first attempt drew 500 people; 36 years later there were 89,928 in attendance.
Now celebrated each year on the first weekend in March, BorderFest is a four-day-plus extravaganza staged by the non-profit BorderFest Association, with more than 122 committee chairmen and co-chairmen, and over 1,000 enthusiastic volunteers. An enlightened leadership, a sympathetic city administration, many business supporters, and a proud citizenry have now brought BorderFest to its 37th year. Named by its festival peers as the best in Texas 9 years in a row and the International Festival and Event Association honored BorderFest as the best of its kind in the world in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and again in 2012. As a non-profit, the celebration donates between $50,000 and $60,000 in scholarships to area youth, and assists community organizations in raising money for their own causes. Over the years BorderFest has transformed into a totally global event that celebrates a different country each year. Entertainment and exhibits from these countries provide greater experiences and educational opportunities as the borders are expanded and BorderFest raises its bar of Excellence.
Last year, BorderFest “Celebrated Hawaii”, with twenty tented stage and entertainment areas filled with more than 100 performing groups for all ages and tastes, for families, for young people and for seniors. Everyone had a great time with singing, dancing, arts & crafts, day and nightly illuminated parades, kids’ activities, a sea of food of all kinds, a full carnival and continuous family fun – all the things that makes the Rio Grande Valley such a special place, and BorderFest such a memorable experience.
• More than 20 Entertainment Areas
• 100′s of Entertainers
• Budweiser BorderFest Grand Parade
• 3 Illuminated Parades
• Action 4 News British Stage
• Cocina Kraft
• Double Decker Bus on Display
• Harry Potter Magician
• Knights and Princesses Puppet Show
• Country Music
• Tejano Legends
• HEBuddy Friends & Kids Club
• World Stage
• Strolling Acts
• Ventriloquist & Magicians
• Wild about Monkeys
• and much more!
Goals and Objectives
The goals and objectives of the BorderFest Association are to showcase the variety and diversity of South Texas, a heritage that flavors the food, the fun, the language and the lives of residents and visitors alike, to provide entertainment, enjoyment, education, diversion and a rewarding and memorable experience to fans, local residents, Rio Grande Valleyites, families, kids, seniors, and visitors of all ages from all over the state and the nation.
BorderFest 2013 strategic goals:
- Increase advance ticket sales.
- Maintain 2012 attendance.
- Expand the educational experience for schools K-8th Grade through a Curriculum Program focusing on the country BorderFest celebrates each year.
- Enhance the BorderFest website and add a .com address in addition to the .org address to aid in increasing the number of direct hits.
- Streamline the volunteer registration pracess througha computerized software program.
- Increase sponsorship ROI.
- Create cross promotions between sponsors.
- Provide sponsors an opportunity to showcase their products.
- Create excitement and awareness of BorderFest parades by assuring quality, safety and memorable experiences for both parade participants and parade viewers.
- Provide the ultimate experience for all that attend BorderFest.
- Create excitement and BorderFest anticipation by further enhancing the country BorderFest celebrates each year through displays, art and crafts, education and entertainment from that country.