Fresh on the Border: Pharr Celebrates 10th Annual Start of the Produce Season and Avocado Festival
Nearly 7,000 thousand people attend inaugural Avocado Festival
Traditional Cutting of the Fruit – Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D., and special guests including Texas State Senators Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa and Mayor of Reynosa Carlos Victor Peña Ortiz, Chairman of the Pharr International Bridge Board Edgar Delgadillo and board members, and other dignitaries participate in the ceremonial cutting of the fruit.
Avocado Festival – A mother and her son enjoy the festivities at the City of Pharr’s inaugural Avocado Festival.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 25, 2023
Pharr, Texas – As part of its Fresh on the Border initiative, the City of Pharr recently celebrated its 10th Annual Start of the Produce Season and its inaugural Avocado Festival. These events are part of the city’s focus on the importance of the produce industry for both the industry stakeholders and the families of the City of Pharr and the Rio Grande Valley.
The events kicked off with City of Pharr officials and Pharr International Bridge leaders celebrating the start of the 2023-2024 Produce Season by welcoming guests to this year’s themed event “Making History” which celebrated the event’s 10th year and featured an array of brightly displayed fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to the 2nd Annual “A Taste of Trade” where local restaurants and businesses showcased delectable offerings crafted with the very produce that crosses our bridge. The event was attended by elected officials, dignitaries, produce growers, importers, distributors, and consumers representing the United States and Mexico.
The Pharr International Bridge (PIB) continues to be the #1 bridge for produce crossings in the nation, with over 60% of all produce from Mexico crossing through Pharr. This is distributed to our local, regional and national supermarkets as we are the logistics produce gateway for America. The bridge also has a long-standing legacy in the produce industry encompassing both the distribution and supply chains.
“Each year, millions of pounds of produce, worth over $6 billion, cross the Pharr International Bridge, traveling from the East Coast and Midwest to the other parts of the country, and ultimately wind up in other countries, and we are so proud of that,” said Pharr Mayor Ambrosio Hernandez, M.D. “As our demand continues to increase, we have been working diligently with many partners to ensure that our bridge continues to have the infrastructure, resources, and funding to meet our future needs,” continued Mayor Hernandez. “In addition, we are proud to have recently launched new initiatives, such as our inaugural Avocado Festival, which celebrates the importance of produce to our city, our region, and our nation,” he added.
The yearly average of produce shipments from Mexico to the U.S. through Pharr is 200,000, ranking this bustling border crossing as the number 1 in the nation for fresh produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables including avocados, pineapples, mangoes, tomatoes, carrots, and more make their way through the bridge every day.
“We are proud to highlight the vital role and economic impact produce has on both sides of our border and these events bring more knowledge and understanding of their importance to our region,” Hernandez added. “Everyone loves avocados, and as one of the staples of the Superbowl, many are not aware just how many of their avocados cross through our bridge to their grocery stores and eventually to their tables, that is why our new Avocado Festival is so important, it brings more awareness,’ he said. “We had a great event with a whopping 7,000 attendees participating in the festivities,” stated Hernandez.
The first-ever Avocado Festival, which was hosted in partnership with the Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce, is part of our Fresh on the Border featured events that celebrate and recognize the monumental achievements of the Pharr International Bridge and the communities it serves.
“The Greater Pharr Chamber of Commerce is profoundly grateful to all the people who attended the 1st Annual Avocado Festival,” said Sonia Falcon, Treasurer of the Pharr Greater Chamber of Commerce. “We remain committed to our great City of Pharr and its businesses and citizens,” continued Falcon. “The Avocado Festival highlighted the importance of our Pharr International Bridge and its role in crossing 80% of the total volume of fresh avocados from Mexico into Texas to feed America,” she added.
The event featured avocado-themed contests, savory food vendors, lucha libre, vendors, and a performance by a Selena tribute band that brought the iconic Tex-Mex sounds to life.
“The chamber would like to thank all our sponsors and the great leaders at the City of Pharr, the Pharr International Bridge, and the Pharr EDC for believing in our vision,” stated Falcon, “We are already planning the 2nd Annual Avocado Festival for 2024. Looking forward to seeing all of you next year!”
The City of Pharr will continue highlighting Fresh on the Border initiatives and is thankful for a great turnout at both events which goes to show the vitality of the produce industry and the Pharr International Bridge.
10th Annual Start of the Produce Season
Inaugural Avocado Festival