SpaceX Starbase participates at the City of Brownsville’s Charro Days Parade, Elon Musk attends Sombrero Fest!

SpaceX Starbase participates at the City of Brownsville’s Charro Days Parade, Elon Musk attends Sombrero Fest!

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SpaceX founder Elon Musk participated at the City of Brownsville's ‘Charro Days Fiesta’ celebrations in South Texas, where he is developing the Starship launch system at the Starbase facility located in Boca Chica Village. SpaceX’s spaceflight activities are increasing tourism in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) region and inspiring people globally to look at the stars and believe in an exciting future for humanity.

Boca Chica Beach is around 30-minutes away from Brownsville, along the border with Mexico. The city shares culture and friendship with Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Since 1938 the border cities celebrate their international friendship with a week-long Charro Days Fiesta celebration that includes a set of parades that take place at historic downtown Brownsville on Elizabeth Street. The parades are filled with Mexican folklore and music. The events are sponsored by dozens of local companies and organizations that play a major role in the RGV community. The private aerospace company participated at the annual celebrations for the first time and became a sponsor of the 2022 Charro Days Fiesta. Brownsville is hometown of TESMANIAN journalist Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo, she attended multiple events to report the story. 

On February 26, SpaceX participated at the parade with a unique float that featured one of Starship’s methane-fueled Raptor engines, while Musk enjoyed the festivities at ‘Sombrero Fest’ with his youngest son. SpaceX employees appeared at the parade playing maracas on a float with giant STARBASE letters, similar to the sign in front of the rocket-ship factory at Boca Chica. The Raptor caught spectators curiosity and attention from afar because it was releasing ‘smoke’ and a beautiful ‘Señorita’ (lady) was dancing next to it with a traditional Mexican dress. The float featured a screen that played a video of Starship flights as it cruised down Elizabeth Street in front of the ‘Gran Mercado’ (great market). Watch the video below! 

Musk was not on the SpaceX parade float likely due to security reasons. However, he did join the celebrations by attending ‘Sombrero Fest.’ It is a public outdoor festival that celebrates Texas and Mexico cultures with live music, children’s amusement rides, market booths that sale items ‘Hecho en Mexico,’ and lots of delicious food stands. People dress in cowboy and charro attire to dance the night away and make new friends. Musk was seen eating Mexican food at Sombrero Fest. Local residents were happy to see him eating a ‘spiro papa’ (spiral potato on a stick) while carrying his youngest son. SpaceX sponsored the children’s amusement rides at Sombrero Fest and provided free rides for all kids for a couple days. There was even a NASA Space Shuttle ride that caught everyone's attention, pictured below.

SpaceX’s participation comes after Brownsville Independent School District (BISD) students visited Starbase on February 8th to create a ‘Thank You’ video that officially invited Musk to the Charro Days festivities. Students from Stell Middle School danced in front of SpaceX’s STARBASE sign in folkloric attire and held posters to thank him for his generosity. The Musk Foundation has donated millions of dollars to multiple school districts in South Texas to support education ever since the company started spaceflight activities. The students showed their gratitude by inviting him to the Charro Days Fiesta with support from BISD Superintendent Dr. Rene Gutiérrez, Dance Teacher Ms. Amber Joleen Ramos, and Brownsville District 2 Commissioner Jessica Tetreau. TESMANIAN supported the students' efforts by creating the video to invite Mr. Musk to the celebrations via Twitter. At the 2022 Starship update presentation, Musk was asked by a local RGV reporter if he had seen the video of the BISD students inviting him to Charro Days and whether he would join the community’s festivities –“I will be there!” he said. Musk is certainly a man of his word, he showed up and sponsored the festivities. 

The local Tesla dealership was also a partial sponsor. Tesla employee Patty De Leon @Pattydl04 drove the BISD Stell Middle School students to the parade. The teenagers are very happy that SpaceX participated this year. –“Seeing that SpaceX and Elon Musk took the time to come out, celebrate, and be involved in the traditions we have here in Brownsville is amazing!” BISD teacher Ms. Ramos @JoleenAmber told TESMANIAN. “They heard our message and truly delivered. This is something remarkable that will not only impact my students but children everywhere for generations to come. This is really a mark in history that will not be forgotten,” she said. One of the students had the opportunity to greet Musk at Sombrero Fest when he bought a taco from their family's food stand, video linked below. Some of the students provided comments for Elon Musk to read, pictured below.  

BISD Stell Middle School student comments provided by Ms. Joleen Ramos. Source:  





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About the Author

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn Janeidy Arevalo

Evelyn J. Arevalo joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover news as a Space Journalist and SpaceX Starbase Texas Correspondent. Evelyn is specialized in rocketry and space exploration. The main topics she covers are SpaceX and NASA.

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