Brownsville offers the best of both worlds with the unique blend of two cultures, languages, and histories that are fully alive anywhere you go. This historically and culturally rich community embraces life with all the exotic music, flavors, festivals, performing arts, museums, shows, and variety in shopping.
Regardless of the time of year, Brownsville always has some kind of exciting parade, festival, show, or event. Every February Brownsville and Matamoros come together to celebrate the Charro Days Fiesta, an event that focuses on the intermingling of two cultures through vibrant parades, folkloric dancing, mariachi music, delicious foods, and contests that showcase our rich culture. In March the annual Air Fiesta showcases vintage and military aircraft soaring through Brownsville’s skies, an exhilarating event organized by the Commemorative Air Force Rio Grande Valley Wing.
The Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts works to promote, strengthen, and reinvigorate our community through the performing arts by hosting special, world-class musical concerts throughout the year. The Latin Jazz Festival is their signature event and one that really excites the community. The university and performing arts schools and academies in the valley, have a wide range of recitals and showcases throughout the year from the Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker, to musical concerts featuring Gospel, Classical, Blues, Flamenco, and Rock-n-Roll artists.
Brownsville also prides itself in the quality museums and historical sites throughout the city. The Brownsville Historical Association is committed to preserve, educate, and promote the history, heritage, and cultural arts of the city through exhibitions, educational programs, publications, cultural events, and archival collections. With 62 years of service, BHA is dedicated to serving the community and creating opportunities for every resident to learn about, participate with, and come to an appreciation of the connection between our history and cultural art. Brownsville’s historical heritage complex includes many sites that continue to attract tourism to the heart of Historic Downtown Brownsville. Some of the most popular sites include the Stillman House, which is considered a Texas Historical Marker listed on the National Register of Historic Places and which was also the home of Charles Stillman founder of Brownsville, the Heritage Resource Center, and The Historic Brownsville Museum, a beautiful showcase of Spanish colonial revival architecture constructed in 1928.
In 2006 the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art opened a new 17,000 square-foot building with conservation and exhibition facilities in the heart of the Mitte Cultural District of Brownsville. The Museum occupies a prime location at the head of a nine-mile hike and bike trail leading to the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Site. The Brownsville Museum of Fine Art is the only institute in deepest south Texas dedicated exclusively to the advancement of the visual arts. Through many active programs of exhibitions, classes for children and adults, and special events, the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts is able to strengthen the community through art. In 2005 the Children’s Museum of Brownsville opened its doors to the community, providing a place where children of all ages can enthusiastically embrace educational opportunities through hands-on creative and interactive exhibits, workshops, and special events.
Brownsville’s vision for further development is vast and continuous. Next on the list is the state-of-the-art 1,200- seat Capitol Theatre Restoration Project in downtown Brownsville. The unity behind this movement, led by The Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts, shows the community’s endeavor to restore and revitalize downtown to a cultural and entertainment district. The coalition between the City of Brownsville, museums, schools, and businesses sets Brownsville apart as a city that unites its passions and forces to revitalize and bring the community closer. This real performing arts theatre would host the worlds’ best artists, bring back the cinema as it was before, and be the anchor to the downtown entertainment district.
Brownsville’s proximity to Mexico allows people to experience a whole new country within minutes, just a leap across the border to our sister city, Matamoros. Like Brownsville, Matamoros is also full of museums and historical sites like Casamata, Plaza Hidalgo, the City Hall, and the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of Refuge, which was constructed in 1825. Matamoros also offers exquisite dining options and the famous “Mercado,” which is a five block long pedestrian street in the center of Matamoros where people can shop and find all kinds of authentic handcrafts from pottery and jewelry to boots, handbags, traditional clothing, and lots more.