Los Fresnos News

Festival Continues Long-Running Tradition

By Mike Villarreal

The Sombrero Festival, also known as Sombrero Fest, is a three-day event held in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. This festive celebration is a two-nation fiesta between Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas border cities. The Sombrero Festival features a jalapeno-eating contest, a 1-mile walk, a 5k run/walk, lots of music, activities, delicious food, and cooking contests. It is more than just a festival because money is raised for several charitable organizations.
Danny Loff founded The first Sombrero Festival in Brownsville, Texas 1986. It was a way to get everyone to enjoy the spirit of Charro Days and to make more activities available to the public. Did you know that back during President Obama’s campaign, he made a stop to enjoy the food and culture of the Sombrero Festival?

The Mr. Amigo Association is an organization that works for the friendly relationship between Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas. In 1967, the Mr. Amigo Association was established to help preserve the Charro Days and Sombrero Festival celebrations. The Sombrero Fest, which features popular rock, country, and Tejano performers, was added to the festivities in 1986 and is a three-day street party held at Washington Park. It’s interesting to note that the first president of the Mr. Amigo Association was Miguel Aleman Valdes, who was also a former president of Mexico.

In 1988-1989, while the NAFTA Agreement was being created, Congressman Solomon Ortiz awarded the Mr. Amigo Association with the Mr. Amigo Award for their role in promoting friendship between the United States and Mexico. The Mr. Amigo Review Award is now exhibited at the Library of Congress as a symbol of bi-national friendship between these two countries.

The event was held February 29th – March 2nd. Gates opened at 1 pm and were another example of how two nations can come together for three days of fun times, great food, and music to entertain people of all genres.
Photo from Sombrero Festival Facebook page