Who We Are
Sombrero Festival is a Brownsville original. Founded in 1986 to enhance the spirit of Charro Days, Sombrero Festival is now the largest event in Cameron County, TX and benefits multiple non-profit organizations and causes throughout the community. The festival is held in Washington Park in downtown Brownsville opening the last Thursday of February each year during the annual Charro Days holiday. We are a family friendly event catering to multiple generations with food, music, and fun for everyone. We offer events and rides for kids, and entertainment and events for everyone from Millennials to the Greatest Generation.
Sombrero Festival is a 501 (c)(4) non-profit corporation. Our officers and board members are all volunteers, and Sombrero Festival makes donations to local non-profit groups who volunteer time at the annual event. Over the last several years volunteer groups have included Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews, University and College groups, High School and Jr. High organizations and athletic teams, Local Fraternal Organizations, Civic Organizations, Junior Service Leagues, and other non-profit festival groups. Non-profit groups such as Rotary Clubs, the Brownsville Fire Fighters Association, and local churches also setup booths at the event and sell food items as a way of raising money for their non-profit causes. Additionally, Sombrero Festival makes contributions which support Recreation, Beautification, Tourism, and Higher Education in the area. Organizations which have received donations have included Hooked for Life-Kids Gone Fish’n, South Padre Island Walk for Women, STARS (South Texas Academic Rising Scholars), the Brownsville Museum of Fine Art, and others. The largest recent donation was made to the City of Brownsville in $90,000.00 worth of improvements to Washington Park.
Our average annual attendance is approximately 50,000 and we maintain low general admission prices relative to the entertainment lineup while also offering free admission times to ensure everyone in our community has an opportunity to attend. Children 12 and under are admitted free when accompanied by an adult on Fridays & Saturdays.
Sombrero Festival provides the best marketing venue during Charro Days. Our 3 day event attracts a large cross-segment of the regional population and tourists who plan their stay to coincide with the local holiday by featuring well-known Hispanic Artists, local music, up and coming musicians from across the state, and great classic rock, country, and cover bands. We also offer unique food-booths, popular events such as the Jalapeno Eating Contest, Waiters Race, Grito Contest, Charro Days Classic 5K run, Tortilla Frisbee Toss, Hat Stack Relay, and the only Charro Bean cookoff we know of, Frijolympics. As Sombrero Festival grows we continue to add fun events and opportunities for participation. We now offer a Sombrero Festival membership which includes mixers between September and January each year, an Annual Costume Gala held in mid-February and a Kayak Fun Race held in the resaca at Cobbleheads in February each year before festival weekend, and we’re excited at new opportunities still to come!