While many people dream of going on vacation to an exotic destination, Valley residents will be able to enjoy four fun filled days at the Jamaica themed BorderFest this weekend.

The celebration will begin on Thursday and run thru Sunday and will feature concerts, food, carnivals, cultural events, artisans and reggae music. BorderFest will be held in the Dodge Arena parking lot and grounds and will have over 20 stages and entertainment with over 100 performing acts.

In its 33rd year, BorderFest is celebrating Jamaica’s customs, color, charm and charisma of the island.

“This year we are really excited because we are going to bring a taste of something really neat to South Texas,” said Mayor John David Franz of the City of Hidalgo.

The festivities will begin with the “Abrazo” where community leaders from Hidalgo and Reynosa meet on the bridge.

“We do this to renew our commitment, to work together and strength our bond and friendship,” Franz said.

This year, The New Kids on the Block are set to headline this year’s BorderFest along with Trace Adkins and Newsboys. Other concerts include Cerrito, Charro, Bianca y Locura, Texas Variety Band, The Tejas Brothers and Ramon Ayala y sus Bravos to name a few.

This year’s U.S. and Mexico Ambassadors of Goodwill are Gilberto Gless and Raul De Molina.

The H-E-B Food Court will be serving “A taste of foods from around the world” along with local favorites such as brisket, nachos, turkey legs, funnel cakes, corn dogs and tacos.

Cocina Kraft will have Dr. Ida H. Garza, a nutritionist, demonstrating healthy cooking and food sculptor Jim Victor will be sculpting food throughout the four day festivity.

Family fun includes the Farrow Shows Carnival, The HEBuddy Kids Club activities which will include: Guitar Hero competition, Pirate dress up, contests, prizes and children’s finger printing.

Visitiors will be able to enjoy a Caribbean high dive show featuring springboard and tower diving and The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, which will also be on display.

The fun will continue with two parades — The Budwiser BorderFest Grand parade will take place on Saturday, March 7 at 10 a.m. The Illuminated parade will run from Friday, March 6 to Sunday March 8.

For car and truck enthusiast, O’Reilly’s Auto Parts will be sponsoring the South Texas Mopar Club car and Truck show.

BorderFest gate admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children under 10 years old.

For more information go to www.borderfest.org or call 843-2286.