Local businesses less busy with virtual Charro Days events
With the pandemic forcing an 84-year-old tradition in Brownsville to go online, city streets aren’t as busy – and it’s affecting the local economy.
The last week of February every year is typically a big money maker for Brownsville’s small businesses due to Charro Days, which began as a result of the Great Depression.
"Some businessmen got together. And they were led by Mr. Kenneth Faxon to come up with an idea ‘how can we stimulate the economy?,'" Charro Days Fiesta President Henry LeVrier said.
With the pandemic impacting the economy once again, organizers did what they could to keep it going.
"In lieu of that what we have done is we have turned to virtual events to give the community something to keep Charro Days in mind. The Charro Days spirit must live on," LeVrier said.
The pandemic has hampered business.
From 2013 to 2020, the city of Brownsville averaged just over $3 million for the months of January and March through December.
The month of February averaged over one million more – likely thanks to the 10 days of festivities around Charro Days.
"We draw many visitors from out of town - from out of state. So of course that has a tremendous economic impact," LeVrier said. "We're hoping that next year we can go back to normal and start having our traditional in person events and invite the people again to come visit us. Because it's going to be a very special year because it's going to be Charro Days Fiesta 85th anniversary."
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