The grand opening of the McAllen Heritage Center took place last week as part of their “coming out” festivities. Visitors and members of the community got to enjoy a walk through the heritage center and celebrated with refreshments. A commemorative gift was given to guests.

Generous donations have been given from McAllen residents who want the history of the city preserved. The MHC will hold permanent and temporary exhibits including Carl Seale’s art and a replica of the first train to pull into the city of McAllen.

The McAllen Heritage Center opened its doors in June 2008 and the number of visitors to the center have been growing steadily. Visitors as far from Spain have come to the heritage center.

“It is wonderful to see something come from nothing to where we are at,” said MHC president Elva Cerda.

Cerda said it is important in helping preserve McAllen’s heritage and said the center is an important part of McAllen’s history.

The heritage center is currently working on children’s educational programs and storytelling sessions. They are also working in a video series were visitors will be able to speak about what they remember of the history of McAllen. They hope the video series will become a part of their collection where people will be able to buy them. A Traveling Trunks exhibit aimed at educators will allow them to share the history of McAllen to their students is also in the works.

Dr. Nedra S. Kinerk, first vice president of The McAllen Heritage Center Founding Board, said having the doors open to the Heritage Center is a dream come true.

“This has been a dream since we did the centennial in 2004, and our dream was to have the Historic Preservation Council, to have a big festival for McAllen and to have a Heritage Center of McAllen’s history.”

The McAllen Heritage Center is located on 301 South Main Street and is open Tuesday through Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.