For over 80 years, Brownsville has celebrated its bi-national traditions and culture at its
annual Charro Days Fiesta. In late February, the schools close, and the whole community
comes alive for a week of fun and festivities. It kicks off with a joyful “El Grito” and a
spectacular folk-style street dance called the Baile del Sol.
The party, which began in 1938 as an antidote to the Great Depression, is steeped in
tradition. The community came together for the very first Charro Days to celebrate what
made Brownsville unique: its location on the border with Mexico and the rich cultural
heritage enjoyed by its residents.
From the first celebration, Brownsville residents and visitors dressed in Mexico’s traditional
costumes and honored the Mexican cowboys — the Charros — who were heroes of the
Elegant costume balls, street parties, and fireworks were popular back then and still
contribute to lively Charro Days celebrations. Today, ties between the sister cities are
celebrated each year with “Hands Across the Border.”
The whole week offers other significant events such as carnival rides, a costume ball, an art
contest, and authentic food cook-offs. A particularly poignant moment is when the Mr.
Amigo Association recognizes a Mexican citizen whose life and work emulate the true spirit
of friendship between the U.S. & Mexico.
On the last Thursday in February, the pinnacle launches with the annual Sombrero Festival
and three parades, featuring local schools performing traditional Mexican folk dances.
Late February is a magical time of year to be in Brownsville. You don’t want to miss this
annual “one-of-a-kind” holiday.