Gateway to the South
Rancho La Lomita, site of the La Lomita Mission, once was a wild, frontier land. A Spanish Land Grant settlement, the ranch provided a chance for the Spanish government to expand their influence on the frontier, and proved to be the founding grounds for what is now the City of Mission.
More than two hundred years ago, the Spanish government began settling a vast area stretching from Panuco River in Tampico, Mexico, to the Nueces River in present-day Corpus Christi. In 1762 King Carlos III of Spain, at the suggestion of the Viceroy of Mexico, ordered a just and equal division of the territory.
Settlers farmed and raised cattle, and paid tribute to their Christian faith as they crowded into the Mission each week to worship, praise and give thanks for their life in the New World.
Modern Mission is a community of about 50,000, part of the McAllen Metropolitan District. Once the heart of the Texas citrus industry, Mission has become a favorite destination for many of the seasonal visitors who winter in South Texas. Mission is also rapidly developing into a major manufacturing and commercial center in Hidalgo County,
The Texas Citrus Fiesta is held in late January and early February each year. With over 65 years of tradition, the Fiesta ushers in each new year with pomp and elegance, fun and frivolity to celebrate the importance of the citrus industry in the Valley economy. The highlight is the coronation of Queen Citriana and King Citrus with beautiful Valley girls, representing various organizations and cities, vying for the coveted title of Queen.
The product style show, at which lovely models wear costumes made entirely from dried Valley fruits and vegetables, is a tribute to the creative talents of those who design and make the elaborate apparel. The Parade of Oranges, with numerous floats, bands, city and Fiesta dignitaries, attract thousands of spectators. The three full days of festivities also include a carnival, Texas BBQ, live music, various ethnic foods, arts and crafts displays, and educational fun fair.