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Special Collections & University Archives: Charro Days (Brownsville)

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Charro Days Research Guide


This research guide is intended to provide a brief overview of the annual Charro Days festival held in Brownsville. Researchers may find it useful to finding primary and secondary sources among our collections to aid them. It also includes links to external resources for further inquiry.


Charro Days is an annual festival that takes place in late February in Brownsville, Texas. The first Charro Days was celebrated in February 1938 as a means by local businessmen to spur the economy and tourism by commemorating Mexican heritage on both sides of the Rio Grande. "Charro" refers to the Mexican gentleman or cowboy dressed elegantly and traditionally. The celebrations, including Mr. Amigo and Sombrero Festival, last for several days and visitors and residents dress for the occasion.

Charro Days Image Gallery

Young girl in goat-drawn buggy, Charro Days, 1939

BROWNSVILLE HISTORY HARVEST 2014. A photograph of a girl in a carriage during the 1939 Charro Days celebration in Brownsville. The carriage has a goat attached to it.

Cisneros Ruiz Family Photo, Charro Days, 1951

BROWNSVILLE HISTORY HARVEST 2014. Cisneros Ruiz (Charro Days), 1951

Charro Days festival portrait of Cisneros Ruiz family taken in Matamoros, Mexico.

Ford Lockett, Charro Days, 1939

BROWNSVILLE HISTORY HARVEST 2014. Ford Lockett, 1939 - 1993

Ford Lee Lockett (4, left) and Perry Steele on Hays Street for Charro Days.

Ford and Isabel Lockett, Charro Days, 1939

BROWNSVILLE HISTORY HARVEST 2014. Ford Lockett, 1939 - 1993

Ford Lee Lockett (4, left) and his mother Isabel for Charro Days; taken in 1939; in Brownsville, Texas. 4.7" x 3.5"

Newspaper clipping

Américo Paredes, Chelo Silva and Mario Mendoza sing at Charro Days 1942

Newspaper clipping, Valley Morning Star, Harlingen, Texas · Wednesday, February 04, 1942

Charro Days Organizations

Charro Days Fiesta logo

Charro Days, Inc. was established January 22, 1958 as a domestic nonprofit corporation in Brownsville, TX. The corporation was formed for education purposes and dedicated to the goodwill and information in the U.S. regarding Mexico and other Latin American countries.

Mr. Amigo Association logoThe Mr. Amigo Association operates as a 501(c)3 non-profit in Brownsville, TX with a mission "to celebrate the shared culture, friendship, and family that unite the border cities of Brownsville, Texas and Matamoros, Mexico." Originally established by the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce in an effort to promote relations between the United States and Mexico, Mr. Amigo honors the unique relationship of the two border cities Brownsville and Matamoros. Each year a Mexican citizen who exemplifies this bi-national friendship is invited to serve as "Mr. Amigo".

The Mr. Amigo Association was incorporated in early 1964 and former Miguel Aleman, former President of Mexico, was honored as the first Mr. Amigo in October of that year. In 1969, the Mr. Amigo celebration officially became part of Brownsville's annual Charro Days festivities.


Sombrero Festival logo

Established in 1985, Sombrero Festival operates as a 501(c)4 non-profit corporation civic organization with the purpose providing an enhanced opportunity for Brownsville residents to participate in Charro Days festivities by providing a venue for music and vendors across the community with the goal of donating proceeds to local tourism, beautification, and recreational projects. The three-day event attracts upwards of 50K attendees for music shows, unique food-booths, and popular events like a Jalapeno Eating Contest, Waiters Race, Grito Contest, Charro Days Classic 5K run, Tortilla Frisbee Toss, Hat Stack Relay, and the Frijolympics charro bean cookoff. 


External Resources


The research guides compiled by UTRGV staff and students are intended to assist patrons who are embarking upon new research endeavors. Our goal is to expand their knowledge of the types of resources available on a given topic, including books, archival materials, and websites. In so doing, our compilers have taken care to include collections, digital items, and resources that may be accessed not only through UTRGV but also via other institutions, repositories, and websites.

We wholeheartedly respect the research interests of others. Therefore, please contact us if you wish to submit a resource for consideration, or if you have a question about or an issue with a specific cited resource.

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