HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — The Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival is celebrating its 30th year. This year the festival takes place from Nov. 8 through 12 at the Harlingen Convention Center.

There are 75 tour guides hosting multiple field trips across the Valley and they are anticipating this year to be one of the biggest since the pandemic.

There are plenty of activities such as arts and crafts, in which children can participate.

“We do have a lot of great family-focused activities,” Janine Campbell, Legends of Conservation Gala Chairman, said. “We have essay contests and art contests that we issued out to local school districts to participate in. When you come to the trade show, it is free to the public. Starting Thursday through Sunday, you can see those pieces of art on display as well as the essays and the children’s nature nook which will have crafting activities for kids.”

With over 20 birds native to the Rio Grande Valley, many bird enthusiasts from around the world fly down to the RGV.

Both vendors and participants come from different parts of the world and contribute to the RGV economy. From hotels, restaurants, and any other expenses, different parts of the RGV also see an increase in their revenue.

The inaugural Legends of Conservation Gala will be held during the festival and the money raised will be donated to research and conservation efforts across the Valley.

“With over 500 participants, and all these tour guides, we bring approximately $2 million to the entire Rio Grande Valley, not just to Harlingen and the festival itself puts about $130,000 into expenses,” Campbell said.

The festival, which goes through Nov. 12, with a multitude of activities is held at the Harlingen Convention Center. Some field trips are still open and you can register by going to their website or in person at the convention center located at 701 Harlingen Heights Dr.