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Featured, from left: J.J. Flores, Vice Chair of Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and representing Chorizo de San Manuel; Gus García, Executive Director, Edinburg Economic Development Corporation; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; and Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing & Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce. The Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council, presented a $10,000 contribution to the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce to help cover expenses for Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg barbecue cook-off, which takes place on Saturday, July 1, 2017, at H-E-B Park. The national-level barbecue competition will occur on the second day of the annual two-day event, which kicks off Friday evening, June 30, 2017 as part of the city’s Fourth of July festivities. “This event is great for Edinburg. It gives area residents a family-friendly event with entertainment for all,” said Gus García, Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC. “It also brings in so many visitors from outside the region and they too will get to enjoy this amazing venue. H-E-B Park has become a trending spot for the hottest events coming to the Valley and it’s right here in Edinburg. It’s such a versatile park and it’s great seeing it being used in so many different ways.” On Friday, music fans will be able to purchase tickets ($30 apiece) for a major concert, to begin at 6 p.m. at the outdoor amphitheater, that will feature two of Edinburg’s many talented musical performers – Matt and the Herdsman (http://www.mattandtheherdsmen.com), and Southern Ashes (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAshesMusic/) – followed by two national headline groups: Los Lonely Boys LosLonelyBoys.com and then the Eli Young Band (http://www.cmt.com/artists/eli-young-band).

Photograph By JENNIFER CABRERA

Featured promoting Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg (Friday, June 30, 2017 and Saturday, July 1, 2017) during the Edinburg City Council meeting held on Tuesday, June 20, 2017, are, from left, front row: Marty Martin, Immediate Past Chairman of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, representing Rio Valley Realty; Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce; Alex Ríos, Chair-Elect, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, representing Kids College Learning Center and the Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg; and J.J. Flores, Vice Chair of Special Events, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, and representing Chorizo de San Manuel. Back row, from left: City Councilmember David Torres; City Councilmember Richard Molina; Mayor Richard García; and City Councilmember Homer Jasso, Jr. With more than 1,000 people from outside of the Valley anticipated to show up for the upcoming Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg barbecue cook-off, which takes place on Saturday, July 1, 2017 – along with several thousand more in attendance from the city and the Valley – the community will continue to sizzle as a Destination City, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced. Adding to the wow factor for residents and visitors, the gathering for the first time will be held at the recently-opened H-E-B Park, located at 1616 S. Raul Longoria Road, which boasts a $16.8+ million, 9,735-seat professional soccer stadium as part of the 37-acre site, a sprawling park with all amenities, an amphitheater with a capacity of 2,000 people, well-lighted parking, and security and medical personnel for major gatherings (http://www.hebparkrgv.com). Now entering its 12th year, Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg will provide $30,000 in cash prizes, with the top winner in the day-long barbecue competition that will be held all day Saturday to take home $2,000, and qualify for other nationally-sanctioned competitions later this year.

Photograph By RONNIE LARRALDE

Featured, from left: Ringo Garza, drums/vocals, Jojo Garza, bass guitar/vocals, and Henry Garza, guitar/vocals, of Los Lonely Boys, an American rock power trio of brothers from San Angelo, Texas, who play a style of music they call “Texican Rock n’ Roll,” combining elements of rock and roll, Texas blues, brown-eyed soul, country, and Tejano. They will perform from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2017 at the amphitheater of H-E-B Park in Edinburg as part of the two-day Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg, which includes the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation as a major sponsor of the annual event. Their debut single, “Heaven”, was a number-one hit on the Billboard adult contemporary chart and reached the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2004. In 2009, they signed to Austin-based indie label, Playing in Traffic Records, and released an EP, “1969” and three albums under their LonelyTone imprint, Keep On Giving: Acoustic Live!, Rockpango, and their newest release, Revelation. The performances start earlier that evening, with Edinburg country music bands Southern Ashes kicking off the concert at 6 p.m., followed by Matt and the Herdsmen.

Courtesy Photograph

Featured, from left are the members of the Eli Young Band: Chris Thompson, drums: Mike Eli, vocals/guitar; James Young, lead guitar; and Jon Jones, bass guitar. The Eli Young Band (EYB) is the final act scheduled to headline the two-day Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg on Friday, June 30, 2o17, with the country music stars set to come on stage at the amphitheater at H-E-B Park beginning at 10 p.m. EYB’s hit singles have been awarded Billboard’s #1 Country Song of the Year and ACM (Academy of Country Music) Song of the Year, in addition to garnering EYB numerous nominations from GRAMMY (https://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards), CMA (Country Music Association), CMT (Country Music Television), and Teen Choice Awards. They have performed on NBC’s TODAY, Conan, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel Live! and Fox & Friends. The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation is a major sponsor the Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg.

Courtesy Photograph

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Edinburg EDC announces Texas Cook ‘Em, to be held June 30/July 1, 2017 at H-E-B Park, will help promote community as a major “Destination City”

By DAVID A. DÍAZ
Legislativemedia@aol.com

With more than 1,000 people from outside of the Valley anticipated to show up for the upcoming Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg barbecue cook-off, which takes place on Saturday, July 1, 2017, the community will continue to sizzle as a Destination City, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation has announced.

The national-level barbecue competition will occur on the second day of the annual two-day event, which kicks off Friday evening, June 30, 2017 as part of the city’s Fourth of July festivities.

Adding to the wow factor for residents and visitors, the gathering for the first time will be held at the recently-opened H-E-B Park, located at 1616 S. Raúl Longoria Road, which boasts a $16.8+ million, 9,735-seat professional soccer stadium as part of the 37-acre site, a sprawling park with all amenities, an amphitheater with a capacity of 2,000 people, well-lighted parking, and security and medical personnel for major gatherings (http://www.hebparkrgv.com).

Now entering its 12th year, Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg will provide $30,000 in cash prizes, with the top winner in the day-long barbecue competition that will be held all day Saturday to take home $2,000, and qualify for other nationally-sanctioned competitions later this year.

“This event is great for Edinburg. It gives area residents a family-friendly event with entertainment for all,” said Gus García, Executive Director of the Edinburg EDC, which is the jobs-creation arm of the Edinburg Mayor and Edinburg City Council. “It also brings in so many visitors from outside the region and they too will get to enjoy this amazing venue. H-E-B Park has become a trending spot for the hottest events coming to the Valley and it’s right here in Edinburg. It’s such a versatile park and it’s great seeing it being used in so many different ways.”

The Edinburg EDC is a major financial sponsor ($10,000 contribution) for the two-day event, along with the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, the Edinburg Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, and L&F Distributors. Each of those entities provided at least $5,000 in financial and other help and resources.

The Edinburg EDC Board of Directors includes Mayor Richard García as President, Harvey Rodríguez, Jr. as Vice President, Elías Longoria, Jr. as Secretary/Treasurer, and Richard Rupert and Dr. Peter Dabrowski as Members. Mayor Richard García and Edinburg EDC Executive Director Gus García are not related.

MUSIC PERFORMANCES, MAJOR FIREWORKS DISPLAY ON FRIDAY

On Friday, music fans will be able to purchase tickets ($30 apiece) for a major concert, to begin at 6 p.m. at the outdoor amphitheater, that will feature two of Edinburg’s many talented musical performers – Matt and the Herdsman (http://www.mattandtheherdsmen.com), and Southern Ashes (https://www.facebook.com/SouthernAshesMusic/) – followed by two national headline groups: Los Lonely Boys LosLonelyBoys.com and then the Eli Young Band (http://www.cmt.com/artists/eli-young-band).

Los Lonely Boys will begin their set around 8:30 p.m., followed by Eli Young Band at 10 p.m.

Tickets for the concert on Friday evening may be bought in advance online (www.hebparkrgv.com) or at the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, 602 West University Drive (phone: 956/383-4974), or if tickets are still available, they may be purchased the evening of the concert at the gate.

During the break between the performances by Los Lonely Boys and the Eli Young Band, a major fireworks display will take place to celebrate the United States’ Independence Day, also known as the Fourth of July, which commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence 241 years ago on July 4, 1776.

On Friday, visitors who do not purchase tickets for the concert are still able to get into the park for free, beginning at 5 p.m., to enjoy the fireworks display, purchase goods and refreshments from 20 vendors, and participate in free rides for children.

WORLD-CLASS BARBECUE COMPETITION, MORE MUSIC ON SATURDAY

On Saturday, there will be a general admittance fee of $5 per person to enter the H-E-B Park, with children age 10 and younger who are accompanied by adults allowed to come in for free, allowing them access to the barbecue competition and other activities, with more musical performances throughout Saturday.

In addition to the barbecue cook-off on Saturday, July 1, music will be taking place in the parking lot with performances by Draft (noon), Lauren Corzine (1 p.m.) (https://www.reverbnation.com/laurencorzine), Sueno Tejano (3 p.m.) and Yard Dawgz (5 p.m.)

For a separate fee of $20, Killer Queen, a tribute band to the former British rock band Queen, will take place in the amphitheater at 8 p.m.

During both days of the event, food and drinks will be available for purchase.

TEXAS COOK ‘EM IS BIG BUSINESS FOR ECONOMY

During the Tuesday, June 20, 2017 public meeting of the Edinburg City Council, leaders with the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce addressed the elected city officials and the public with a key update of the scheduled festivities.

“I wanted to give you the great news that for the past 11 years – this will be our 12th year – Texas Cook ‘Em has brought many people together for family fun and competition. This year will be the same, but it will be bigger and better,” reported Alex Ríos, Chair-Elect, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, representing Kids College Learning Center and the Office of State Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg.

“Already signed up we have more than 85 teams which are coming from Laredo, Austin, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, and we have been booking our hotels,” Ríos continued. “We are excited that these people are coming even before our local competitors have registered for the event. We are looking about 150 cooking teams which will be on site (at H-E-B Park) for $30,000 in cash prizes. They are taking this competition very seriously.”

The economic impact is big business, too, from out-of-town visitors and their families.

“Based on last year’s numbers, when we had 130 teams, usually made up of five people per team, meaning there were more than 500 individuals competing at the cook-off,” said Ronnie Larralde, Director of Marketing & Special Events for the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

“About 60 percent of those teams are from the Rio Grande Valley and South Texas, and the remaining 40 percent come from further north,” Larralde said. “We have run economic impact studies with Fiesta Edinburg, but not so far for Cook ‘Em.

“But we are at the point that we will begin making those studies,” he added. “We can pull from ticket sales where these teams are coming from. We also can tell you that many the teams are buying their fresh meat here in Edinburg for the event. Our hotels, our restaurants, shopping centers are frequented by the visiting teams and their families as well, so it does have a big economic impact.”

Larralde used that historical data which to provide the conservative estimate that more than 1,000 visitors from out of the Valley will be in town for Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg.

Edinburg EDC’s Executive Director Gus García agreed on the financial and public relations benefits to all citizens of Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg and dozens of other special events set to be held at H-E-B Park.

“These type of events continue to put Edinburg on the map. While here, visitors are able to explore Edinburg and see all it has to offer. People hear about these larger events coming to Edinburg and we welcome all visitor with open arms,” Gus García noted.

He added that major happenings such as the barbecue cook-off generate enthusiasm for local residents.

“People are excited about all the new events being held here in Edinburg at H-E-B Park. Visitors from all across the Rio Grande Valley and even from outside the area are coming to Edinburg for soccer games, yoga events, festivals, concerts and now most recently this cook-off,” he illustrated.

FAMILY-FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT

Letty González, President, Edinburg Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the family-friendly orientation of Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg.

“We also want to mention there are many children’s activities, which is a big part of our package. With the city’s and Edinburg EDC’s help, many of these things would not be possible,” González said. “It is a great event for our businesses, too. Our meat markets are stocking up on their meats for the competition because last year they ran out.”

She also encouraged residents to volunteer to serve as judges for the competition, which will include steaks – the showpiece meat for the cook-off – but also chicken, ribs and brisket.

“We need many judges, so whoever wants to judge, be sure to fast the day before because there is going to be plenty of food needed to be judged,” González added.

Residents may contact the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce at 956/383-4974 if they wish to serve as a judge for the cook-off.

This year, more than 130 teams will battle it out for the Rio Grande Valley’s biggest BBQ purse of $30,000 and a year’s worth of bragging rights.

Texas Cook ‘Em – High Steaks in Edinburg is sanctioned by the International Barbeque Cookers Association (http://ibcabbq.org) and Steak Cookoff Association (https://www.steakcookoffs.com).

Texas Cook’Em – High Steaks in Edinburg will feature chicken, pork spare ribs, brisket and the prestigious rib-eye steak.

ELI YOUNG BAND

Eli Young Band kicked off summer with brand new music, marking their first single on The Valory Music Co. and continuing their evolution with Big Machine Label Group. Their refreshing Saltwater Gospel is quickly making waves with airplay at Country radio nationwide and across Sirius XM’s The Highway and No Shoes Radio.

With soul-cleansing lyrics and a catchy melodic flow, Saltwater Gospel is destined to follow the impressive trajectory of EYB’s previous platinum and multi-platinum chart-toppers: Drunk Last Night, Even If It Breaks Your Heart, and Crazy Girl (platinum certification represents one million songs sold).

Their last album, 10,000 TOWNS, ranked #1 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart, landed a coveted Top 5 spot on the Billboard 200 and claimed the top spot on the iTunes Country Albums chart.

EYB’s hit singles have been awarded Billboard’s #1 Country Song of the Year and ACM (Academy of Country Music) Song of the Year, in addition to garnering EYB numerous nominations from GRAMMY (https://www.grammy.org/recording-academy/awards), CMA (Country Music Association), CMT (Country Music Television), and Teen Choice Awards. They have performed on NBC’S TODAY, Conan, Late Show With David Letterman, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Live! and Fox and Friends.

The talented foursome has toured with Toby Keith, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw, Jason Aldean, Darius Rucker and Dave Matthews Band. They are currently debuting music for fans at festivals across the country and recording a new album with producers Ross Copperman and Jeremy Stover in Nashville.

LOS LONELY BOYS

Lots of musicians compare their careers to roller-coaster rides, but Los Lonely Boys have had so many close-your-eyes-and-hang-on moments in the 14 years since they recorded their self-titled debut, they should buy an amusement park.

The story of how the Garza brothers – vocalist/guitarist Henry, bassist/vocalist Jojo, and drummer/ vocalist Ringo – rode their bluesy “Texican rock” sound from San Angelo, Texas, to worldwide fame is one of rock’s great Cinderella tales. But the story of how they’ve persevered in the face of subsequent challenges is just as compelling.

In 2013, they canceled 43 shows and paused work on their last album, Revelation, after Henry was seriously hurt when he fell from a stage in Los Angeles. A couple of years previously, vocal cord nodules had forced Jojo to stop singing for months. And in 2015, their mother passed away. Their strong brotherly bond helped them through those rough spots – just as it did when they made the hard decision to step out from under their father’s musical leadership and form their own band after performing with him since childhood. The desire to follow their musical muse still drives them today, according to Jojo.

“There is no rest for those who are chosen to be musicians,” he says. “Ideas for songs are constant. We are being charged with what will be spread through our songs. We want to make music that brings people together.”

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Ronnie Larralde contributed to this article. For more information on the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the City of Edinburg, please log on to http://edinburgedc.com or to http://www.facebook.com/edinburgedc

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