Showcasing a variety of South Texas boot makers

EDINBURG — The community is invited to celebrate Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Museum of South Texas History (“MOSTHistory”).

This 28-year-old event showcases pioneer, ranching and indigenous heritage and culture. The Rio Grande Valley’s boot industry heritage will be featured this year with displays from Coronado Boots, Rios of Mercedes, Moran Boots and Mandujano Western Boots.

The performance tent will be swaying as live bands, folklórico dancers and other talents perform. Edinburg North High School Mariachi Oro will kick off the festivities, followed by music legend Josie Lozano and then the Rio Grande Valley GIT-R-DONE Bluegrass Band. Local folklórico groups will liven the day with dance routines by Conceptos Entidad Dancística, Grupo Folklórico Juveníl de Palmview and the revered Edinburg Folklórico Dance Team. Next, it will be your turn to perform as you and a partner learn to dance South Texas style with a free lesson by Rollie’s Country Dance. Finally, put on your dancing boots, and cut a rug to the musical stylings of the Texas Sweethearts and Pepe Maldonado y su Conjunto.

New this year, the Kid’s Q’in It Up Cook-Off will be held in the museum’s north parking lot where the next generation of pit masters will compete for trophies and prizes. Visitors to the museum that day will be randomly asked to serve as judges, and the award ceremony that will take place on the main stage is sure to please. The grand finale will be a pie eating contest with pies supplied by Why Not Pies.

Be sure to bring cash to sample the menu of food that will not disappoint. Q’in It Up BBQ will be serving its famous fajita tacos and pulled pork sliders. Emmanuel Banquets will return with its traditional guisados en olla de barro tacos and tacos de trompo. E&B Elotes will have a bounty of snacks including roasted corn, corn in a cup, mango en flor, cocos en vaso and fresas con crema. Other favorites include pozole, homemade cornbread and free chili samples served straight from a chuck wagon. Leave room for sweet snacks including raspas, funnel fingers, aguas frescas, pies made from scratch and pan dulce.

The backbone of Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day is all of the wonderful demonstrators, family activities and vendors representing traditional homestead skills. Free activities this year include an animal track matching game, event scavenger hunt, children’s paper crafts, butter churning, costumed re-enactors, roping, coffee grinding, cotton gin, knot tying, pony rides, cowboy cooking, sewing and rock petroglyph painting.

Children and adults alike will find learning about our South Texas home enjoyable. Activities, information and demonstrations are being provided by the UTRGV CHAPS program, the East Foundation and Texas Wildlife Association and Bee Strong Honey. Discover native animals from the Gladys Porter Zoo, survivalist skills, native plants from the Texas Master Naturalist program and bust out your imaginations at the children’s book readings by author Patty York Raymond.

Guests exploring the museum will see demonstrations of beeswax candle making, knitting, leather crafts, wood carving, wood burning, basket weaving, cro-hooking, English paper piecing, native flutes, clay plot throwing, rótulo painting, traditional healing methods, miniature models, homemade soaps, loom weaving, drop spindle spinning, treadle spinning, cotton carding, shearing and weaving.

Vendors will be offering homemade soaps, handmade ceramic jewelry by Maricela Verastegui, embroidered jewelry by Cinco Hearts Wildflowers, flower headbands by Love, Caroline O., handmade jewelry by Zahir Designs and face painting by J.R.O.’s Renegade Art. Don’t forget to visit the Museum Store for gifts. Finally, bring cash. The closest ATM is two blocks away.

The annual Pioneer & Ranching Crafts Day event is included in the regular museum admission.