124th Washington Birthday Celebration Association [Annual]
The first celebration was a phenomenal success. Its success and popularity grew rapidly and in 1923 the Washington’s Birthday Celebration Association of Laredo, Inc. (WBCA™) received its state charter. In 1939, the Celebration featured its first Colonial Pageant, which featured thirteen young girls from Laredo, representing the thirteen original colonies. Charged with the overseeing of the annual celebration, the WBCA™ has continued its role as developer and leader ever since. Over the years, additional attractions and events have been added. Together, with its affiliate organizations, the WBCA™ now boasts a celebration calendar, which includes more than twenty-eight events and covers a period of four weeks. It attracts approximately 400,000 attendees annually and has a tremendous positive economic impact on the City.
George Washington’s Birthday Celebration Bridge Ceremony (January 22; Annual]
The Washington’s Birthday Celebration celebrates its 123rd year of activities to honor the birthday of President George Washington. Today, the celebration includes events throughout the city. Yearly, it is kicked off at the Rio Grande with an Abrazo (Hug) Ceremony which dates to 1898. The American and Mexican counterparts would gather at the bridge in the morning of January 22nd and the Americans would invite the Mexicans over into the downtown to celebrate. In 1920, the ceremony moved to the international bridge and in the 1940’s it garnished more official participation from ranking officials. Symbolically it is an Abrazo or embrace to signify the importance of mutual acceptance of two neighbors. Often, it is referred to as “Hands across the Border.”
George Washington’s Birthday Celebration Commander’s Reception [January 23; Annual]
This media reception previews the entire celebration, as well as welcoming the media, city and county officials, while giving a sneak peak of events, costumes and festival souvenirs to come.
George Washington’s Birthday Celebration Museum [January 24; Annual]
The Washington’s Birthday Celebration Museum features costumes, photos and exhibits related to the city’s 110- year-old fiesta honoring George Washington for his role in making the U.S. a welcome location for the many cultures that influenced Laredo’s heritage. The iconic La Posada Hotel hosts the museum with articles and effects along with costumes from the iconic Society of Martha Washington Pageant and Princess Pocahontas Pageant.
9th Annual Laredo Birding Festival (February; Annual)
Hosted at La Posada Hotel, 2020 saw over 168 birding enthusiasts discover green spaces and ranch land, as well as spotting green parakeets at St. Peter’s Plaza. This event includes lectures, “Bird’ ‘til you Drop field trips, kayaking, and the largest bird art contest in South Texas with over 400 entries. Guests include enthusiasts from 23 U.S. states, Texans and several from out of the country.
42nd Annual Laredo College Family Fun Fest and Musicale (February; Annual)
The Laredo College Musicale, sponsored by the college’s performing arts programs, special guests and performing artists. Decadent carnival favorites invoke feelings of merriment at this WBCA staple that dates back to 1988.
Princess Pocahontas Pageant and Ball (February; Annual)
While the George Washington’s Birthday Celebration shines its brightest light on the Father of Our Country, the festival lies deeply rooted in its first dignitary, the Native American Princess Pocahontas. The regal Indian maiden made her first appearance during the inaugural Washington’s Birthday Celebration when the Improved Order of the Red Men laid siege upon the old Laredo City Hall as part of a mock battle staged back in 1898. Princess Pocahontas served as a peacemaker between the tribe and the city. In gratitude, the mayor presented her with a key to the City of Laredo.
Now, Princess Pocahontas presides over a spectacular pageant that is as much a part of the Washington’s Birthday Celebration as it is homage to the Native American culture.
Youth Song & Dance Festival (February, Annual)
Talented youngsters show off their best dance moves, songs and routines.
WBCA Liberty Run (February 22, Annual)
This annual event is a two mile run that runs along the WBCA parade route, starting at the Grand Stands and finishing at The Outlet Shoppes at Laredo. Laredo’s warm climate allows for runners and walkers alike to enjoy a crisp February morning with a brisk run.
123rd WBCA Parade (February 22, Annual)
Since 1898, spectators have lined the streets of Laredo in anticipation of seeing the spectacular entries in the grandest parade of them all that completes the birthday celebration. The scene is no different today with thousands of people from all parts of Laredo and South Texas eagerly awaiting the majestic Clydesdale horses leading the Parade with a colorful array of elaborately decorated floats and marching bands with almost 200 entrants.
1st Annual Super Chica Fest Celebrating International Women’s Day (February 26)
Pan American Courts hosts pop-up market supporting local women-owned businesses celebrating chicas.
The Awakening of the Galactic Frontera (April 9)
Live music and Art Showcase between several venues over the course of 9 hours.
Founders Day Celebration (April 23)
An annual luncheon honors the descendants of Laredo’s founder, Don Tomás Sánchez and all of the founding families of our unique border community.
Regional Indie Film Festival (April 28)
Located on the 2nd floor of an 1881’s colonial building foster creative processes such as art, photography, artists, musicians, filmmakers, burlesque, fashion designers, contortionist, belly dancers on the weekly roster.
Movies on the Patio Series @ Villa Antigua Border Heritage Museum (October; Annual)
Evenings dedicated to vintage film under the stars celebrating horror and everything macabre.
Cinco de Mayo (May 31; Annual)
Downtown celebration at Plaza San Agustin with Folkloric ballet and Mexican Gastronomy.
5th Annual Bike Laredo Ride of Silence (May 16)
As part of National Bike Month, the Laredo Cycling Association and the City of Laredo, invite cycling enthusiasts to come together in an eight-mile, silent bike ride in honor of cyclists who have been injured or lost their lives while on the road.
Rock and Roll Glow Bike Ride (May 31)
Laredo cyclists light up downtown Laredo with their bikes adorned in colorful lights for the Rock and Glow Bike Ride at Cultura Beer Garden.
Fourth of July Picnic @ Tres Laredos Park(July 4th; Annual)
A celebration picnic with water slides, train rides, music and food followed by fireworks in conjunction with adjacent Outlet Mall with parades, karaoke, chess and dance competitions.
Laredo College Summer Stock Theater (June; Annual)
The Guadalupe and Lilia Martinez Fine Arts Center opens the curtains for a summer series of plays.
21st Annual Jamboozie (November; Annual)
Right near the Mexican border downtown is a vibrant, fun-filled party for those who couldn’t make the trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Downtown Laredo is packed with international music performers, lively dancing, delectable food and wildly colorful costumes.
El Grito de Independencia (September 16; Annual)
Every year on the Mexican Independence Day, the Mexican and U.S. Consulates celebrate with a reception in honor including a posada, fireworks, food and dance with chants of “Viva Mexico” or “Viva De Independencia” at La Posada Hotel and entertainment ensues at St. Agustin Plaza.
Laredo Fall Fun Fest (October 27; Annual)
Presented by Laredo Community College, the annual Family Fun Fest and Musicale packs culture and an abundance of activities for all ages to enjoy. Colorful costumes, wild dance performances, live music and carnival food.
The Annual Dia de los Muertos Dia de los Muertos; November 2; Annual)
The Annual Dia de los Muertos Cultural Celebration during Late ‘til Eight features and alter exhibit, art, food, musical and dance performances, hand on-art workshops, art exhibits, and short films. San Bernardo adds to the mix with their festivities.
2nd Annual Concha Fest Laredo (November 23)
Frontera Beer & Wine Garden celebrates everything inspired by the Concha! Food, contests, music, art, etc.
MONTHLY | SEASONALLY
Laredo Main Street’s El Centro de Laredo Farmers Market (Third Saturday Each Month)
El Centro de Laredo Farmers Market, the only certified Farmers Market in Laredo, takes place every third Saturday of the month at the Veterans Memorial Jarvis Plaza.
Midtown Block Party (Second Saturdays)
Pan American Courts host live music, local vendors of Hecho a Mano and Food Trucks to serve the hungry.
Late ‘Til Eight (First Friday each month; no summer)
Monthly art walk that celebrates the rich history of art and architecture in Laredo by showcasing regional artists’ visual and performing arts in sites throughout the historic downtown core.
Laredo Border Slam and Writing Workshops (Twice Monthly and Regionals)
Laredo’s only spoken word competition in addition to hosting writing workshops and weekly sessions.
11th Annual Laredo Theater Guild International Class on Stage® and Summer Musicals (Spring | Fall)
The selection and timing of the Class on Stage® series productions are selected in coordination with participating school districts. Free performances are provided for students through gracious partnerships. Summer musicals are professional quality, all out performances with live music, dancing and fun beyond imagination.
The Laredo Philharmonic Concert Season
The Phil is in its 40th anniversary season and is influenced by all genres of orchestral music, specializing in presenting theme based seasons alternate four concerts which alternate between Laredo College and TAMIU.