The 73rd Texas Citrus Fiesta kicked off on Jan. 16 with a product costume show at the Mission Community Center and is continuing through the month of January with several events to celebrate the citrus crops in the Rio Grande Valley.

“We’re having our 73rd annual Citrus Fiesta,” said Berta Filut, executive director for Texas Citrus Fiesta. “The reason we have this event is because we’re celebrating the bountiful citrus crop in the Rio Grande Valley.”

The crops in the RGV are not the most abundant but as Filut explained they are the sweetest and the best citrus in the United States.

“We have the sweetest fruit,” Filut said. “We don’t have the most abundance of fruit, California and Florida beats us that way but we have the perfect fertile soil conditions. We have the reddest grapefruits and it’s probably the reddest you’re going to find anywhere in the United States.”

Filut also said the RGV’s Star Ruby is such a deep pink it’s considered red.

The Royal Coronation of King Citrus and Queen Citriana will take place tomorrow at the Mission Neuhaus Center.

“All the girls vying for this title represent the communities in the Rio Grande Valley,” Filut said. “Each girl represents a product. For example McAllen has Citrus Palms so the girl dresses in a green dress like the color of the palm leaves.”

On Saturday, Jan. 30 the Parade of Oranges will march down Conway Street and also that day there will be Fun Fair Events, Vaquero Cook-Off, Parade Concessions, Citrus Youth Show Exhibit and a Fun Run.

“This is a sight where you’ll be surprised to find close to 100,000 people attend the parade,” Filut said. “We have so many entries that we have to stop it at 200 entries.”

One note on the parade is one of the categories requires that the floats be covered in citrus. The theme of the parade is Traveling Texas. People will have the opportunity to decorate their parade entry with anything one might find traveling through the state of Texas.

For more information on the Citrus Fiesta call 956-585-9724 or log on to www.texascitrusfiesta.net.