Come join the city of Pharr and celebrate with a 500 YEARS OF HISTORY IN AMERICA LITERARY FESTIVAL on May 22 from 4 to 10 p.m., beginning at the Centennial Park by Pharr City Hall on Cage Blvd. where three flags and a City Proclamation will be carried by horseback riders to the historical Kiwanis building at 300 W. Park Ave.

The background for this national five-year initiative called “500 Years of History in America” came about when school children and youth in California were asked the question “who named America?” and most of them did not know. Energized with a passion that our future appreciation and knowledge of history would only be continued if our American youth understood and appreciated their heritage, this initiative was created.

Each year a state is featured, and this year that state is TEXAS. So our focus will be “TEXAS: The Cultural Capitols of America! And We Did It With Horsepower!” Pharr will be one of 50 other Texas cities who will be featuring a festival of this nature.

At 4 p.m., a Flag raising ceremony and a boom of a cannon will mark the kickoff of this event, with a brief ceremony that includes a welcome by Mayor Leo “Polo” Palacios, nostalgic and historical vignettes delivered by Reyes Vela and Yvonne Perez, local historians, and music by Ramirez Elementary student musicians.

From 5 to 7 p.m. the celebration will extend to Aster and West Park Ave. where a “Circle the Wagons” will be in full swing in old Western style for food, fun and entertainment for the whole family. Texas chili and cornbread along with Trail ride cobblers and other good things to eat will be available for purchase. An Open Market will offer a wide array of items to browse and buy. Music and South Texas style cultural events will provide lots of fun, and the history of Texas will come alive for the evening on West Park Ave. in Pharr.

At 7 p.m. a Literary Festival will commence in the small Theater inside the Pharr Literacy Project building at 203 W. Park Ave. where poetry, creative writing and essays will highlight the works of both aspiring and published writers, and will also feature three local published authors, Steven Schneider, Chuy Ramirez and Carlos Flores with Book Signings and Readings.

The evening will close with opportunities for others to present their poems, short stories and other creative writing with an open mic time.

For more info., please contact the Pharr Literacy Project Director, Elva Michal, at 956-783-7746.