The McAllen Centennial Celebration held in October 2004 which commemorated the City’s founding in 1904 was an overwhelming success! The celebration included a festival at Archer Park featuring 100 years of history, music, art and birthday cake for over 7,000 attendees and a festive evening gala with guests in period costumes and awards for city founding families.
At the conclusion of the event, the Centennial Committee (comprised of members from Oldtimer's Club, Futuro McAllen and Leadership McAllen) discussed the creation of a citywide festival with a vision of creating
an event that would celebrate the unique cultures and vibrant history of McAllen and Deep South Texas.
With the support of the City of McAllen, the founding festival committee members who were appointed by Mayor Richard F. Cortez began to plan the event. The mission was to combine several highly successful events into
one fun and festive weekend filled with history, art and cultural exhibits, entertainment typical of our area and good old-fashioned “fun” for the entire family. The event was entitled “PalmFest” as an indication of our region as for many years our city has been known as the “City of Palms”.
PalmFest International Folklife Celebration made its debut October 2006 at the McAllen Civic Center grounds with "partners" consisting of not for profit and service organizations providing the various attractions. The festival drew about 15,000 attendees that year and PalmFest then changed venue to the new McAllen Convention Center grounds in 2007. The festival has virtually doubled attendance each year since then with attendance exceeding 40,000 for the two day family friendly event!
The PalmFest volunteer board, its partners, committee and stakeholders will continue to strive to continue to delight its audiences with the anticipation of continued growth and success year after year!