One of the many activities that we enjoy here in the Valley is scrounging around the flea markets. Don-Wes, located between Donna & Weslaco on Business Hwy 83 is one of the largest and our favourite.
It may seem strange to find a crowd of pedestrians in the middle of a traffic-congested highway, but that’s what you’ll see on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
There are two markets directly across from each other that attract locals and Winter Texans from all over the Rio Grande Valley.
On the south side of the expressway is the Original Farmers Market, a 5 1/2 acre produce-based bazaar.
It’s huge and offers all kinds of fresh citrus, melons and vegetables – all very reasonably priced. It’s not uncommon for Winter Texans to stock up on 50# bags of onions, oranges and grapefruits to take back up north with them when they leave in the Spring.
Most of the Winter Texans don’t arrive until after the first of the year so it’s not as busy right now. On any day the market is open, parking spots
are so hard to come by that some shoppers walk up to a half-mile to reach the market.
The vendors are, as always, very friendly. It’s pretty quiet down here during the summer months so they are always happy to see us back.
One of my big purchases for the day was some Watkins Pepper. My Dad use to sell Watkins products and I don’t think I’ve ever used any other kind of pepper. When I handed the lady a $50 bill she said “Oh! It’s wonderful to know the Winter Texans are back. During the summer we’re lucky if we see a $20!”
For years, Winter Texans pumped as much as $329 million into the Valley, making the industry one of the region's biggest economic engines, according to a 2001 study by the University of Texas-Pan American.
By the winter of 2007-2008, the economic impact on the Valley was measured at $606 million, according to the most recent UTPA study.
Lots of treasures to be found . . . clothing & accessories, jewelry, books, antiques & collectibles, Tupperware, Avon and Watkins products.
The Cowboy can usually be found outdoors with more vendors selling everything from toys to tools:
The two markets have been in operation at the same location for more than 25 years. On the north side is the Don-Wes Flea Market, a 30-acre flea market .
All kinds of food and refreshments. You can enjoy a nice cold beer from the air conditioned restaurant ‘It’s 5 o’clock somewhere’ or partake of the lo-cal funnel cakes, ice cream or some mini-donuts.
Down here a Texas dozen is 15!
Many different forms of entertainment
Including live entertainment and it’s not unusual to see many people enjoying themselves on the dance floor in the outdoor gazebo.
It always amazes me the number of different license plates that we see at the variety of activities that we attend.
People from all over!
If you can’t find it here . . . . you don’t need it!