Local Church Keeps Charro Days Tradition Alive

Abundant Life Church hosts Paso Libre. Photo: Tony Vindell/LFN

by Tony Vindell/LFN

The 2019 Charro Days Fiesta in Brownsville is now over, but a local church is keeping the old tradition alive by having its own celebration.

While many people were recovering from the four day fiesta that included three parades, dances and the many activities at the Sombrero Fest, a church in Los Fresnos held a Celebration of Amistad Paso Libre, or a Friendship Celebration Free Pass.

Chris Edge, pastor at the Abundant Life Church, said back in the old days, the Gateway International Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic during the International Parade as a gesture of friendship between the United States and Mexico and the sister cities of Brownsvillle and Matamoros.

Their church’s Paso Libre is a symbolic gesture to bring the memory back of how things were decades ago.

Church members, or anyone else for that matter, are allowed to donate such things as clothes, furniture appliances and even bicycles and drop the items inside the church hallway.

Whoever wants to pick up a thing or two on the way out is welcome to do so and no questions are asked.

That is the old idea about having the Friendship Celebration.

Edge said this is the second time they have the Paso Libre event and the first time they have had a Christian- based band playing during the event.

The singer with the five-man Mas Que Vencedores conjunto-styled band exhorted the audience to choose good over evil and to reject anything that can be detrimental to their lives.

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