CHARRO DAYS. Charro Days is an annual four-day pre-Lenten celebration held in Brownsville in cooperation with Matamoros, Tamaulipas. The fiesta was organized in 1937 by the Brownsville Chamber of Commerce to recognize Mexican culture and was named Charro Days in honor of the charros, "dashing Mexican gentlemen cowboys." To encourage the wearing of regional costumes of Mexico, a booklet of patterns for Charro Days was issued in 1949. It features drawings of women's and men's traditional apparel from Michoacán, Oaxaca, Yucatán, and Chiapas, as well as other regions of the country. The china poblana dress and the charro suit are among the most popular costumes worn during Charro Days. The festival begins with the traditional Mexican grito (celebratory cry) at the Gateway International Bridge and with an exchange of words and gifts by the mayors of both cities. Since the earliest Charro Days fiesta, the celebrations have included parades complete with floats, as well as street dances, a rodeo, mariachi and marimba concerts, and ballet folklorico performances by school students. The festival has become very popular, and a Charro Days Fiesta organization has been established to oversee the extensive program, which includes several days of events.
Robert B. Vezzetti and Ruby A. Wooldridge, Brownsville: A Pictorial History (Virginia Beach, Virginia: Donning, 1982). With Furbelos and Buttons and Bows: Make Your Costume Now for Charro Days Fiesta (Brownsville, Texas: Brownsville Herald and the Printcraft Shop, 1949).