City of McAllen News

McAllen Convention Center to Host IFEA Convention for Second Consecutive Year

by Office of Communications | Oct 09, 2023

The City of McAllen is proudly hosting the 66th Annual International Festival and Events Association (IFEA) Convention, Expo & Retreat for the second year in a row. This marks the second time in the IFEA's history that the organization has chosen to return to a city consecutively, a testament to this welcoming community, setting the perfect stage for celebrating the power of festivals and events.

The 66th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, presented by Clover, is scheduled for October 9 to 11, 2023, in the beautiful city of McAllen, Texas. This global event promises to be an inspiring celebration of the remarkable influence of festivals and events in driving positive change within communities.

“I am so excited to once again welcome festival and event industry leaders from all over the world to the wonderful city of McAllen, where they will celebrate and experience the rich and vibrant culture that is a part of all of the events hosted here in McAllen,” said City of McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos.

Aside from local McAllen festivals and events, such as McAllen Holiday Parade, Quinta Mazatlán Monarch Festival, and the McAllen Marathon that will be part of the convention experience, festival and event representatives from around the country and the world will be here, as well, including the Tournament of Roses; Kentucky Derby Festival; (Indianapolis) 500 Festival; Philadelphia Flower Festival; Rotterdam (The Netherlands) Festivals; National Cherry Blossom Festival and Parade; Sun Fest; Jinju (South Korea) Lantern Festival; Memphis in May Festival; Fiesta San Antonio; Des Moines Arts Festival; Portland Rose Festival; Beale Street Music Festival; and the Fiesta Bowl, to name a few. Representatives from as close as McAllen to as far away as from Australia; Brazil; Canada; Mexico; Netherlands; New Zealand; South Africa; Taiwan; and Thailand, will also be attending the convention.

Festivals and events possess an extraordinary capacity to bring about transformation on various levels, from individuals to entire communities. They are catalysts for lasting impact, fostering economic growth, boosting tourism, and driving social and environmental progress. This year's convention will explore the multifaceted ways in which festivals and events create lasting ripples of change.

The event features an impressive lineup of speakers and presenters, including leading innovators in the festivals and events industry. Participants will also gain fresh perspectives from professionals in various fields who will share their insights on harnessing the transformative potential of festivals and events.

“Thanks to IFEA, member organizations have been able to not only learn from the best of the best, but also share ideas that will help them in planning and managing their festivals and events into premier productions that their communities can be proud of,” said Joe Vera, Assistant City Manager for the City of McAllen and IFEA World Board Member.

“The festivals and events that are celebrated around the world reflect the best of our cities, our people and our values.  Aside from being economic generators for our cities, festivals and events bring families, friends and strangers together.  The presentations and sessions at the annual IFEA conference give us the tools, knowledge and ideas to do that even better.  I encourage festivals and events, as well as vendors from throughout the Rio Grande Valley, Texas and the United States and Mexico to come be a part of this special conference taking place right here in McAllen this year,” Vera concluded.

The convention will culminate with the IFEA Awards Luncheon, where the City of McAllen has earned nominations in numerous categories, including the McAllen Holiday Parade, a five-time winner of the prestigious Best Parade in the World Award, and the rare designation of the IFEA World Festival & Event City, an honor granted to only a select few cities worldwide.

For more information about the 66th Annual IFEA Convention, Expo & Retreat, please visit  Media inquiries and interview requests for event organizers and key participants can be directed to Joe Garcia at or (956) 681-3800.



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