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The City of Peñitas will host the third annual Peñitas White Wing Festival Saturday, Sept. 22, combining several major events into a day full of activities, including a 5K Run, a cook-off competition, a car show, kids carnival and many hours of fun with music provided by 15 live bands.

Homer Tijerina, president of the Peñitas White Wing Festival non-profit, which puts on the annual event, said headliners for the event include the musical group The Hometown Boys, a Tejano-Norteño group, and Ram Herrera, a Tejano performer. Sons of the Rio Grande will bring country music to the festival grounds, while several other groups will perform throughout the day, including the three La Joya ISD high school mariachi groups – Mariachi Los Coyotes, Mariachi Sol ad Mariachi Los Lobos. Their conjunto counterparts will also perform: Conjunto Los Diamantes, Conjunto Sol and Conjunto La Tradicion.

The music will begin at 11:40 a.m. and continue until midnight at Liberty Blvd. on the east side of Walmart.

Some 65 vendors have booked the event, including arts and crafts, face painting and food vendors.

Registration is still open for the car show, which will offer 16 divisions and a $100 grand prize and trophy. The entry fee is $25 for competitive, or $10 for show and shine, non-competitive category.

A trail ride will also be offered. For those who don’t want to bring their horses for the ride, wagon rides will be offered. The cost for the trail ride is $15 for riders, or $10 for the wagon ride. The cost is $5 for children age 10 and under. The fee includes a meal and beverages.

The cook-off starts early – about 7 a.m. – and runs all day with six classes or divisions, including fajitas, pan de campo, beans, beef ribs, pork ribs and – of course – white wing (must be grilled). Prizes include a $300 overall grand prize, $150 reserve grand champion and $50 for the best campsite, plus plaques – and “braggin’ rights,” of course! Registration is $225 per team.

Registration for the 5K run will begin at 7 a.m., Saturday at Veterans Memorial Park in Peñitas, and the race begins at 8 a.m. The registration fee is $12 for adults and $6 for all students with student ID. T-shirts go to the first 100 participants. Medals will be awarded in 14 divisions.

The kids carnival will include five mechanical rides, four moon jumps, a video game trailer and a mechanical bull.

Admission to the festival is free – and so is the parking. For more information, call 581-3345.

Members of the Peñitas White Wing Festival board of directors include Homer Tijerina, president; Javier Loya, vice-president; Becky Villarreal, treasurer; Ana Cantu, secretary; Carmen Ramirez, Tina Cedillo, Irma Tijerina, Cindy Cerda, Tomas Cedillo, Felix Farias, Ticho Tijerina and Ana Loya, members.

Proceeds from the festival help the committee put on other events for the community, including a Halloween Festival and the annual Christmas Posada and Toy Giveaway.

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