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, 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.
The 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.
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.
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