Port Mansfield Holds First Deer Festival

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PORT MANSFIELD – A few years back the residents of Port Mansfield found themselves surrounded by deer. They recently decided to have a festival to show appreciation for the animals.

The deer have been in the area so long that they don’t mind the people.

“When we moved here, they just stayed and never went away. They’re all over the place,” resident Sandra Garza said. “But it’s nice to have them around.”

Marsha Visar, with the Chamber of Commerce, considers the creatures their neighbors. The city put together the first deer festival in December.

“So we wanted to invite all our neighbors in the RGV to help us feed the deer and let them experience their beauty,” Visar said.

The deer did not hesitate to get their chance to nibble on the food.

People didn’t have to bring the feed themselves. Booths were set up where people could purchase corn.

“It’s a community service. I mean, you know, everybody’s coming over. It’s going to be fun, bring business to Port Mansfield. We need it,” resident Ruben Garza said.

“We have to take care of them and give them something to eat,” Visar said.

Garza said the deer will eat out of the visitor’s hand. “While they’re eating, just pet them. Just don’t grab their horns and shake them because they don’t like that,” he advised.

One woman brought her family out, including her 5-year-old son. “I hope my son likes it,” she said.

It is still important to note to visitors the deer are still wild animals and they need to be on alert as they explore the area.

“I think most people like having them,” Visar said. “There’s a few where they’ll eat your flowers, so you can’t really grow a lot of flowers or vegetables, unless you have a tall fence.”

One man said as long as the city continues the festival, people will continue to come to see the deer.

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