Published Jan/Feb 2007

ost of us will recognize George Washington’s birthday by shopping a Presidents Day sale at the local mall. If we’re lucky, there may be a day off school or work in it for us. In truth, the majority of Americans do not think about our country’s first president–born on Feb. 22, 1732 in Virginia–after completing elementary school social studies class.

Laredo, Texas is different.

What’s billed as the country’s largest event to celebrate Washington’s birthday is held in Laredo. Citizens there have honored our founding father for 110 years, but the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association received its charter in 1923. The following year, the celebration held its first Colonial Pageant that featured 13 young women from Laredo, representing the original Colonies. The party has grown over the years to include 28 events, including a parade, air show, Jalapeno Festival, Comedy Jam for George and much more.

The celebration was founded in 1898 by the Society of Red Men, a fraternal organization comprised of prominent citizens of Mexican and American ancestry. The committee wanted a traditionally patriotic holiday to celebrate the best of all cultures that influence Laredo.

The birthday celebration runs from Jan. 18 to Feb. 18. Festival organizers estimate 400,000 people annually attend the event.

For more information, click on www.wbcalaredo.org or call (965) 722-0589.

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