Beautifully situated in the rich Rio Grande Valley area, Pharr has long been an influence on the modernization of lower South Texas, offering abundant natural resources and natural beauty, and a "down-home" attitude that makes the community an enjoyable place to visit - or to live.
With a healthy economy and steady growth, Pharr is the hub of produce for the Rio Grande Valley and a major gateway for NAFTA-oriented businesses. But things weren't always so mellow for this South Texas city. A little more than a century ago, the Rio Grande Valley was considered the frontier, and offered about as many challenges as it did opportunities.
From a Mexican revolution just across the border to indian and bandit raids, the region surrounding Pharr has often been in political, social and cultural turmoil. But as the 20th century dawned, residents of the Valley were thinking more of commerce than political influence, and so the region began to take on an agriculture identity and attracted investors and pioneers from other parts of the country.
Founded by the Pharr brothers of Louisiana in the early 1900s, the community was built around the growing sugar cane industry.
Pharr is strategically located in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, only minutes from the Mexico border. But because of its close proximity to McAllen, the community had more than just a little rocky start. There were lawsuits and land battles as rivalry between surrounding communities mounted, each in a bid for economic dominance in South Texas. But eventually the community developed its own personality and financial base - one that has persevered to modern times.
Winter Texans flock to Pharr each year because of its friendly people and lush, sub-tropical environment. And as the economy benefited from these annual visitors, the community embraced the overall concept of being a "home away from home" to Americans who escaped the colder climes of their native states and sought a place where winter wasn't a worry and where life is always good and rewarding. Pharr seems to be that perfect place.
Area attractions include the Smitty's Jukebox Museum, where visitors relive old memories with an extraordinary collection of old juke boxes. Among the treasures are a patented wind-up Edison Victrola, the first Wurlitzer Model P10 from 1934, all the way up to the most modern compact disc player.
The Ye Old Clock Museum is also located in Pharr, a fine collection of old clocks from around the world.
If you enjoy enjoy birding, butterfly watching, and wildlife? There are numerous wildlife preserves nearby, including Bentsen State Park and the new Edinburg Scenic Wetland Trails & Birds Park. And, the 2,000-acre Santa Ana Wildlife Refuge is just minutes away from Pharr. In addition to beautiful native wildlife, plants, and over 500 documented species of birds and more than 300 butterfly species, the refuge is home to many endangered animals, such as ocelots and jaguarundi. Enjoy a tram tour excursion.
Annual Events include the Winter Citrus and Vegetable Show, celebrated for more than a half century, held the first week of each December, in the Pharr International Convention Center. The show features scores of citrus and vegetables that are harvested, prepared, and displayed by local 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA) Chapter members.
Every March, fine artists from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Valley participate in the Annual Benefit Fine Arts Show and Sale. Visitors view original works in oil, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, wood carving, weaving, and photography, all highlighted by a live auction, benefiting a local charitable organization.