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McAllen Around the World


The best way to understand culture is to experience it first hand through food, music, history, and art. MXLAN is a 5-day festival where traditions rarely seen outside interior Mexico take place alongside modern artists and revelers honoring their cultural roots. MXLAN took place at the McAllen Convention Center from July 24 – 28, 2019. It was an experience to ignite people spirit of adventure, revelry, and kinship. McAllen welcomed visitors from across the country and throughout Mexico for this cultural experience.


Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the abolition of slavery in the United States. McAllen Juneteenth celebrations recognized the historical and cultural contributions of African-Americans to the city, capping off with a symbolic “Freedom Walk” and a tribute ceremony for Mrs. Gene Stroud, the oldest living alumnus of the first African-American school in McAllen.


Standing 37-feet tall and dressed the part, the tallest Catrina in the United States was unveiled overlooking Oval Park at the McAllen Convention Center for the inaugural Tecate Catrina Music Fest, embracing Mexican cultures on a larger scale. La Catrina, the female skeleton that has become symbolic with the Day of the Dead, was on display for all to see during the festival as musicians performed all week.


Mayor Darling and Reynosa Mayor Maki Dominguez hosted International Security Officials from around the globe as part of U.S. Department of State Exchange Program, Towards a More Safe and Secure World Initiative. McAllen welcomed the international visitors with a discussion on cross-border cooperation, regarding combatting crime, as well as immigration and economic issues that affect both cities and why working together is key to make the binational McAllen-Reynosa metropolitan area, which boasts a combined population of nearly 1.52 million more a safe and secure.



With the amazing McAllen Holiday Parade and the arrival of FRIO!, McAllen has established itself as a major holiday destination. State Rep. Bobby Guerra presented and important message from Governor Abbot and the Texas legislature, which officially recognized McAllen as “the South Pole of Texas”. The South Pole of Texas allows families to revel in the spirit of Christmas in McAllen, providing families in McAllen, the Rio Grande Valley and beyond lasting memories.



A South Korea delegation visited McAllen for a series of planned meetings and ceremonies in continuation of an extended collaboration between McAllen, Jinju, and IFEA (International Festivals and Events Association) Asia toward exchanges in festivals and events from both communities. This partnership will help expand awareness and publicity of the McAllen Holiday Parade, exchange ideas, and bring a bit of the world home to McAllen.

mcallen day in mexico city / mcallen day in monterrey

The City of McAllen delegation geared up for its annual McAllen Day in Mexico City and Monterrey. City government, Chamber of Commerce, and La Plaza Mall delegates were instrumental in promoting the city’s amenities and shopping opportunities. Both events feature from a fashion show to an expo featuring local tourism businesses. The trips give City leaders to set up appointments with key players who are able to influence travel plans of Mexican tourists heading to McAllen.



For the second year in a row, the City of McAllen held the international cultural celebration, Fiesta de Palmas. Held at the McAllen Convention Center September 21st and 22nd at the McAllen Convention Center, attracting over ___ attendees.
The weekend-long cultural and historical event included live music from local and international acts, vibrant dance performances, a variety of international cuisine, and an eclectic array of cultural activities for guests to participate in. Residents from all over the Rio Grande Valley took part in this special event.



The City of McAllen joined with Temple Emanuel, a McAllen synagogue, in hosting the first annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony at the McAllen Public Library. The event was free and open to all ages and faiths, and featured spiritual and educational elements. City officials proclaimed May 23, 2019 as Holocaust Remembrance Day in McAllen. “It is important for all of us, people of all faiths and races, to remember the Holocaust, because it shook the foundations of modern civilization,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling.  “Its unprecedented character and horror will always hold universal meaning.  We must vow to never forget this sin against humanity. This ceremony will help spread the message that in McAllen, we have not forgotten.”



McAllen International Airport, the busiest airport in the Rio Grande Valley, announced new nonstop flight to Phoenix, Arizona through Allegiant Air beginning October 2019. This route will enhance westward connectivity for our community as well as offer affordable, non-stop service to a key business and tourist destination. McAllen International Airport has a huge impact in our economy. Its commercial and general aviation activity generates over $632 million in total economic output, and creates over 7,200 jobs, generating over $231 million in payroll. This year, $16,680,726 in federal grants were secured to complete the Runway 14-32 & Taxiway A Safety Improvements Project, which is a 5-year project which will convert an existing drainage detention facility and irrigation system from an exposed system to an underground system. The project also includes the replacement of two existing drainage outfalls beneath the airport’s runway and taxiway.



This year McAllen opened its first all-inclusive Miracle Field in the Rio Grande Valley. The new field – funded in part by an HEB Tournaments of Champions Grant worth $150,000 – features a turf surface built to accommodate wheelchairs and other equipment. The Miracle Field was the final component of the new McAllen Youth Baseball Complex inaugurated last year.
The City’s Retail and Business Development department began an initiative that allows local businesses that fall within certain sections of McAllen an opportunity to apply for a grant to beautify their storefronts with art, landscaping, lighting, and other repairs and improvements to enhance the building’s appearance. The goal is to stimulate and improve the physical, economic, and cultural vitality of some of McAllen’s most visible areas. As the city continues its northward growth, the corridors for this revitalization program are mostly within the center or south part of the city.
  • Texas Reuse Conference
  • Completion of North McAllen Reuse Water Project
  • Complete transaction for the acquisition of an additional 3,000 ac-ft of surface water rights from HCID # 1
  • Commence Construction of South and North Water Treatment Plant Upgrade and SCADA Replacement Project
  • Commence Construction of the Sprague Road Sewer Phase I Project
  • Commence Construction on the North Wastewater Treatment Plant Electrical Generator and SCADA Improvement Project
  • Commence coordination of construction activities related to planned water and wastewater line installation in South-east McAllen.
Jessie Urbina placed 1st in the Grapple Competition at the TPWA Equipment RoadEO on October 26, 2019 in Harlingen, TX and Marcos De Leon placed 2nd in the Backhoe Competition. Jessie Urbina works for the Brush Department @ Public Works and Marcos De Leon is a supervisor for the Drainage Department @ Public Works. We appreciate their service to Public Works and competitive drive while competing at the TPWA Equipment RoadEO.
McAllen reported to the State of Texas the 2019 Annual Crime in Report as the lowest crime data the city has seen in the last 35 years. This report continues the recorded 10th consecutive annual decrease for the city of McAllen. In 2019, McAllen’s population stood at 154,044 with a crime volume of 3,735 and a crime rate of 2,363. These numbers represent a 6.1% decrease in the crime volume and an 8.1% decrease in the crime rate. Advanced technology tools, along with continued work of the diligent police officers, account for successful efforts to prevent and reduce criminal activity. The McAllen Police Department continues to use advanced statistical resources to collect information, analyze crime trends, and to plan strategic operations.
This year the McAllen Fire Department had important accolades and milestones. The fire Department saw the reconstruction of Fire Station #2. The new Fire Station doubles in size of the original 3,700-aquare-foot station and features expanded quarters for housing up to eight firefighters at a time, along with one front line fire truck and one reserve fire truck. McAllen Fire Department also received 3 new engine companies and a new Rescue Truck. This year, the Department was awarded a $404,000 Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) federal grant by FEMA. The grant provides direct funding to help increase the number of trained firefighters for the City.

IDEA - IDEA Los Encinos is the newest IDEA campus located in South McAllen, serving the parents, families, and students of McAllen. Current grade levels include PK-2 and 6-7, with 526 students currently enrolled. 

STC – In Fall of 2019, South Texas College began the process of selecting and enrolling students into its Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Its accrediting agencies, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the Texas Board of Nursing to begin the BSN by spring 2020 have approved the program.

A&M – December 13, 2019 was a major milestone for Texas A&M’s McAllen campus. Two students became the first graduates of the Texas A&M Higher Education Center at McAllen -- Both majored in Public Health and graduated early due to credits obtained before college.


Purchasing: The City of McAllen Purchasing Department has earned the 2019 Annual Achievement of Excellence in Procurement Award. This award recognizes organizational excellence in public and non-profit procurement. This is the second time the Purchasing Department has received this award; winning its first recognition in 2018. The City of McAllen is only one of 48 agencies in Texas and one of only 67 cities in the U.S. and Canada to receive this award. Additionally, McAllen’s Purchasing Director Gerardo Noriega, has earned the Certified Professional Public Buyer designation, after through accreditation and testing. This achievement is recognized throughout the world and signifies thorough knowledge and competency of public procurement.

MCN: The City’s very own McAllen Cable Network unveiled its new studio.

  • $3.5 Billions – Total Taxable Sales; highest in the region
  • $69.3 Millions – Sales Tax Revenue; highest in the region
  • $34.6 Millions to General Fund
  • $17.3 Million to Property Tax Reduction
  • $17.3 Millions to Economic Development
  • $989,893 Millions – Mixed Beverage Tax Revenue – Highest in the Region
  • $176 Millions – Construction Permit Totals for 2018

MILLIONS - Sales Tax Revenue

MILLIONS to Property Tax Reduction
MILLIONS - Mixed Beverage Tax Revenue
MILLIONS - Construction Permit Totals for 2018



Women’s Day Luncheon

Public Works Hero Driver



Current List



A Public Works Hero Driver

City of McAllen