Laredo, Texas facts for kids
|City of Laredo|
|Nickname(s): "The Gateway City" and "The City Under Seven Flags"|
|Metropolitan area||Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area|
|• City||102.6 sq mi (265.7 km2)|
|• Land||101.1 sq mi (261.8 km2)|
|• Water||1.5 sq mi (3.9 km2)|
|• Metro||161.76 sq mi (418.96 km2)|
|Elevation||438 ft (137.2 m)|
|• City||244,731 (US: 81st)|
|• Metro||259,172 (US: 178th)|
|Time zone||CST (UTC−6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CST (UTC−5)|
|ZIP code||78040–78046, 78049|
|GNIS feature ID||1339633|
|Airport||Laredo International Airport KLRD (LRD)|
Laredo (// lə-RAY-doh; Spanish: [laˈɾeðo]) is the county seat of Webb County, Texas, United States, located on the north bank of the Rio Grande in South Texas, across from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. According to the 2010 census, the city population was 236,091, making it the tenth-most populous city in the state of Texas and third-most populated on the Mexico–United States border, after San Diego, California, and El Paso, Texas. Its metropolitan area is the 178th-largest in the U.S. and includes all of Webb County, with a population of 250,304. Laredo is also part of the cross-border Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area with an estimated population of 636,516.
Because Laredo is 95.6 percent Hispanic and Latino, it is one of the least ethnically diverse cities in the United States. When economic diversity, household diversity and social class diversity, are considered, Laredo is rated the 19th least diverse city overall out of the 313 largest cities in the nation.
Laredo's economy is based on international trade with Mexico. Most major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo. The city's location on the southern end of I-35 close to the manufacturers in northern Mexico promotes its vital role in trade between the two nations. Laredo International Airport is within the Laredo city limits, while the Quetzalcoatl International Airport is nearby in Nuevo Laredo on the Mexican side.
Laredo has the distinction of flying seven flags (the Flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande, which is now the flag of the city, in addition to the Six Flags of Texas). Founded in 1755, Laredo grew from a village to the capital of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande to the largest inland port on the Mexico–United States border. Today, it has four international bridges and one railway bridge.
Laredo has a professional soccer team, the Heat; baseball team, the Laredo Lemurs; and a women's full contact football team, the Laredo Roses. Texas A&M International University and Laredo Community College are located in Laredo.
The biggest festival, Washington's Birthday Celebration, is held during the later part of January and the majority of February, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists. The Jalapeño Festival, Border Beer Fest, Stockmen's Ball, Princess Pocahontas Pageant, Mr. South Texas Luncheon, an air show, and two major parades are all held in conjunction with the Washington's birthday events.
- Arts and culture
- Sister cities
- Images for kids
- See also: Timeline of Laredo, Texas
The European colonial settlement of Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was founded in 1755 by Don Tomás Sánchez while the area was part of the Nuevo Santander region in the Spanish colony of New Spain. Villa de San Agustin de Laredo was named after Laredo, Cantabria, Spain and in honor of Saint Augustine of Hippo. In 1840, Laredo was the capital of the independent Republic of the Rio Grande, set up in opposition to Antonio López de Santa Anna; it was brought back into Mexico by military force.
In 1846 during the Mexican–American War, the town was occupied by the Texas Rangers. After the war, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ceded the land to the United States. A referendum was taken in the town, which voted to petition the American military government in charge of the area to return the town to Mexico. When this petition was rejected, most of the population, who were Tejano and had been in the area for generations, moved across the river into Mexican territory, where they founded Nuevo Laredo. In 1849, the United States Army set up Fort McIntosh (originally Camp Crawford). Laredo was rechartered as a city in 1852.
Laredo is one of the oldest crossing points along the Mexico–United States border, and the nation's largest inland port of entry. In 2005, Laredo celebrated the 250th anniversary of its founding.
The origin of name of the original Spanish town of Laredo is unclear. Some scholars say the name stems from Glaretum which means "sandy, rocky place". Others state that Laredo stems from a Basque word meaning "beautiful pastures". Laredo might also stem from the Latin Larida which means gull.
In 1954, Laredo faced a devastating Rio Grande flood, when the water reached 61.35 feet, more than 10 feet higher than in the previous 1932 flood, which had also caused great damage. According to Laredo historian Jerry D. Thompson of Texas A&M International University, the 1954 flood was "the largest in ninety-one years and the second largest according to archeological records in the last three hundred years." Many were left homeless for a time because of the calamity. Former Webb County administrative Judge Mercurio Martinez, Jr., recalls that his father surveyed the depth of the water and advised residents to evacuate. Several downtown businesses had to remove their merchandise inventory or risk losing it to the rising waters. The flood caused the relocation of the Holding Institute. The international bridge was destroyed when it was struck by the floating railroad bridge, which had been hit by the debris of another bridge in Eagle Pass up the river. Photos of the flood by Teofilo Esquivel, Sr., are on the wall of a Danny's Restaurant on McPherson Avenue in Laredo.
In 2013, Laredo ranked tenth in Texas in the rate of violent crime, with 430.9 crimes per 100,000 inhabitants. Highest in ranking was Odessa, with 806.4 violent crimes per unit. The second most "dangerous city" was also in West Texas; Lubbock had 658 crimes per 100,000 persons. The other border cities of El Paso, McAllen, and Brownsville ranked 13th, 18th, and 24th, respectively. The city with the highest murder rate in Texas was Beaumont–Port Arthur, with a rating of 8.6, compared to Laredo's 1.5.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 102.6 square miles (265.7 km²), of which, 101.1 square miles (261.8 km²) of it is land and 1.5 square miles (3.9 km²) of it (1.37%) is covered by water.
Laredo is located on the west end of the Rio Grande Plains, south of the Edwards Plateau, west of the Coastal Plains, and east of the Mexican Mountains. The area consists of a few hills and flat land covered with grasses, oaks, and mesquite.
Bodies of water
Notable geographic features are the Rio Grande and Chacon Creek's man-made reservoir, Lake Casa Blanca, in Lake Casa Blanca International State Park. The lake is 371 acres (1.5 km2) of land and 1,650 acres (7 km2) of water. The six major creeks are Chacon Creek, San Ildefonso Creek, San Ygnacio Creek, Santa Isabel Creek, Sombrerillito Creek, and Zacate Creek, all of which drain into the Rio Grande. Several man-made reservoirs include the San Ildefonso Creek Lake (second-largest reservoir), and the Sombrerillito Creek Lake (third-largest reservoir).
|Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas||373,725||0 mi|
|Monclova, Coahuila||198,819||124 mi (200 km)|
|Monterrey, Nuevo León||4,080,329||125 mi (201 km)|
|Reynosa, Tamaulipas||589,466||130 mi (210 km)|
|Corpus Christi, Texas||305,215||131 mi (211 km)|
|San Antonio, Texas||1,927,407||154 mi (248 km)|
|Heroica Matamoros, Tamaulipas||449,815||167 mi (269 km)|
|Brownsville, Texas||183,046||170 mi (270 km)|
|Saltillo, Coahuila||709,671||181 mi (291 km)|
Laredo's climate is semiarid with hot temperatures in the summer and mild temperatures during the winter. The climate is considered to be hot semiarid (Köppen: BSh). Its weather is affected by the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains to the west, the Gulf of Mexico to the east, and the Chihuahuan Desert of Northern Mexico and West Texas. Moisture from the Pacific is cut off by the Mexican mountain range.
Because of its geographic location, Laredo's weather can range from long periods of heat to sudden, violent storms in a short period of time. Laredo winters are cold by South Texas standards: with average daytime highs around 66 °F (19 °C) and average overnight lows of 43 °F (6 °C), even though temperatures may easily reach 90 °F (32 °C) even during winter when the wind comes from the south. Although snowfall is rare in Laredo, it was recorded on Christmas morning 2004 and in February 2011.
Laredo experiences an average high temperature around 101 °F (38 °C), and an average low around 75 °F (24 °C) during summer, and 22 inches (560 mm) of rain per year. As Laredo sometimes undergoes drought, a water conservation ordinance was implemented in 2003.
|Climate data for Laredo, Texas (1981−2010 normals, extremes 1965–present)|
|Record high °F (°C)||95
|Average high °F (°C)||67.0
|Average low °F (°C)||46.1
|Record low °F (°C)||19
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.90
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||5.9||5.3||4.4||4.2||5.3||5.1||4.8||5.1||6.7||4.4||4.3||5.6||61.1|
Texas Almanac: 1850–2010
As of the 2010, Laredo is the 81st-most populous city in the United States and the 10th-largest in Texas. According to the 2010 census there were 236,091 inhabitants in the city.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the racial composition of Laredo was:
- Whites: 87.7%
- Black or African American: 0.5%
- Native American: 0.4%
- Asian: 0.6%
- Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 0.00%
- Two or more races: 1.5%
- other races 9.3%
Ethnically, the city was:
- Hispanic or Latino (of any race) – 95.6%
According to respondents' self-identification on the 2010 Census, the vast majority of Laredo's population is ethnically Hispanic (of any race), with 95.6%. Some 4.4% of the population was not Hispanic/Latino (3.4% non-Hispanic White, 0.2% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 0.6% non-Hispanic Asian, 0.1% from some other race (non-Hispanic), and 0.1% of two or more races (non-Hispanic).
In the 2005 estimate, there were 99,675 males and 108,112 females. The average household contained 3.69 occupants. The population density was 2,250.5 people per square mile (868.9/km²).
Of the 60,816 households, 56,247 or 92.5% were occupied: 33,832 were owner-occupied units and 22,415 were renter-occupied units. About 62.0% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 14.7% were not families. Around 12.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.69 and the average family size was 4.18.
The city's population is distributed as 35.5% under the age of 18, 11.4% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $32,019, and for a family was $32,577. The per capita income for the city was $12,269; 29.2% of families were below the poverty line.
A study released in 2015 by the Martin Prosperity Institute of the University of Toronto in Canada showed Laredo as the most "economically segregated" smaller metro area in the United States. The wealthy tend to congregate in enclaves and gated communities, such as Plantation, Regency, Lakeside, Winfield, and Alexander Estates. Most of the poor inhabit neighborhoods known for overall and longstanding poverty, particularly in the southern portion of the city. Mayor Pete Saenz, however, said development is underway downtown and in The Heights neighborhood, once the city's most affluent residential area. There are no de facto Anglo and African-American neighborhoods. The second and third cities cited in the study are Jackson, Tennessee, and El Paso, Texas.
In 2016, Laredo was ranked the safest city in Texas for motorists and the 14th safest nationally. Its average annual car insurance rate is $1,515.76; the average years between accidents is 11.7. Detroit, Michigan, ranked the most dangerous city for motorists.
Arts and culture
The Washington's Birthday Celebration (WBCA) is a month-long event that celebrates George Washington's Birthday. It is the largest annual celebration of its kind in the United States, with 400,000 attendees. It was founded in 1898 by the Improved Order of Red Men, local chapter Yaqui Tribe Jamboozie is held in late January in downtown Laredo as part of the Washington Birthday Celebrations. Similar to New Orleans' Mardi Gras, the Jamboozie is a colorful event, with many people dressed in beads, masks, and flamboyant outfits.
The month of March is observed in honor of the Mexican-American labor organizer Cesar Chavez. A march, organized by the local League of United Latin American Citizens, is held downtown the last Saturday morning of March to remember Chavez for United Farm Workers, which in the 1960s and 1970s organized migrant laborers to obtain improved working conditions.
Republic of the Rio Grande Capitol Building Museum is located in the downtown historical district next to the historic La Posada Hotel. What was once the Capitol building now showcases memorabilia from the short lived Republic of the Rio Grande. It displays pictures, books, and furniture from the 19th century Laredo area, and offers guided tours for school-age children and adults year-round. Because of this Republic, Laredo had flown seven flags instead of the traditional Six Flags over Texas.
The Laredo Center for the Arts is located in downtown Laredo. The building houses three galleries: the Goodman Gallery, the Laredo Art League Gallery and the Lilia G. Martinez Gallery. The Center for the Arts, located in the former City Hall offices known as "The Mercado", displays regional artwork and provides community events for children and adults. The Laredo Little Theater provides Laredo with live stage performances. The theater also hosts comedians.
Imaginarium of South Texas (formerly Laredo Children's Museum), located in Mall del Norte, provides a hands-on experience with science, technology, and art for Laredo's youth. A second museum is planned on the Texas A&M International University campus.
The Nuevo Santander Museum Complex is composed of restored buildings of Fort McIntosh, a historical collection of photographs of the fort, the main guardhouse, which contains World War I (1914–1918) memorabilia, and a science and technology museum.
The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center Planetarium is located on the Texas A&M International University campus. The Planetarium surrounds audiences in a dome with an accurate image of the night sky showing all the motions and cycles of the Sun, Moon, planets, and constellations in the sky.
The Joe A. Guerra Laredo Public Library was first housed on the second floor of the City Hall, now known as the Market Hall, in 1916. In 1974, the Laredo Public Library moved to the historic Bruni Plaza in downtown Laredo. In 1993, the citizens of Laredo approved the construction of a new main library at McPherson and Calton roads, which opened on February 1, 1998. On July 22, 2016, the structure was named in honor of Joe A. Guerra, a former member of the Laredo City Council known for his support for the library and a personal passion for reading. Council member Roque Vela, who first proposed that the structure be named for Guerra, described the former councilman, who died in 2010, as "someone I looked up to for his unwavering commitment to public service. I am especially proud to know that the library and reading were passions of Mr. Guerra." The Laredo Public Library, which still uses the Dewey Decimal Classification system, has a 60,000 sq ft (6,000 m2). main library and two branches. The main library is located in central Laredo; the Bruni Plaza Branch is located downtown east of Washington Street, and the Santo Niño Branch is located in south Laredo.
Two new libraries opened in 2014, one in northwest Laredo, the Fasken Library on March 14, and another in the south sometime in July.
The city is populated with both adult and family entertainment, such as bars, nightclubs, sports fields, movie theaters, family restaurants, and other entertainment venues.
Around the Springfield area, several restaurant/bars have set up residence. Some of these places include Agave Azul, Cosmos, Old No.2 and Lima Sol. This area has proven to be especially popular with the college crowd.
Churches and architecture
Most of Laredo's architecture is of Spanish Colonial, American, and Mexican flavor. Most of Laredo's Spanish Colonial style buildings are located in downtown Laredo. More modern American architecture can be seen along Interstate Highway 35 as well as in the downtown area.
Heavily Roman Catholic in church affiliation, Laredo has impressive houses of worship. The oldest congregation, now San Agustin Cathedral, on the downtown historic plaza, dates to the founding of the city in 1755. The striking building we see today was begun in 1871. Our Lady of Guadalupe is an imposing structure in Romanesque Revival Lombard (North Italian) style. It was designed by Leo M. J. Dielmann of San Antonio, a popular architect of Catholic buildings, and built for a Mexican-American and Hispanic congregation in the inner-city, at San Jorge Avenue and Callaghan St. Dielmann was commissioned by Church authorities to design churches for similar congregations in Houston and San Antonio. He also did the San Agustin parish school, and may have had a hand in the San Agustin church itself.
Other Catholic churches of note include Blessed Sacrament and Christ the King, both in the Heights neighborhood, St. John Neumann Church at Hillside Road and Springfield Avenue, San Martin de Porres at 1704 Sandman Street near the municipal water tower, and the large St. Patrick Catholic Church on Del Mar Boulevard, founded in 1970 and renovated in 2009. The Catholic diocese office, the headquarters of Bishop James Tamayo, is located on Corpus Christi Street north of Guadalupe Street. San Luis Rey Catholic Church at the intersection of Sanders and San Jose opened on September 16, 1951. Outside is a flowered prayer shrine. The congregation of the Church of the Redeemer, at the intersection of Main and Garcia streets downtown, observed its centennial on August 29, 2009. Its building is another work by Leo M.J. Dielmann.
Both the First United Methodist Church, in 1949, and the Christ Church Episcopal, were designed by Henry Steinbomer, a popular and prolific San Antonio architect who is credited with more than 100 churches and related buildings during the 1940s and 50s, from the Lower Rio Grande Valley mostly in South and West Texas, from the Sacred Heart Cathedral in San Angelo to Union Church in Monterrey, Mexico.
The homeless and other indigent are served downtown through Bethany House, established in 1982 by Roman Catholic priest Father Charles M. McNaboe (1929–1996).
National Register of Historic Places sites
- Barrio Azteca Historic District
- Fort McIntosh
- San Augustin de Laredo Historic District
- Hamilton Hotel, architects Atlee B. Ayers and Robert Ayers
- U.S. Post Office, Court House, and Custom House
- Webb County Courthouse, finished 1909 to designs in the Beaux-Arts style by renowned architect Alfred Giles
List of the tallest buildings
|Rank||Building Name||Height||Floors||Year Built|
|01||Hamilton Hotel||150 ft (46 m)||12||1923|
|02||San Agustin Cathedral||141 ft (43 m)||N/A||1872|
|03||Rio Grande Plaza||–||15||1975|
|04||Holiday Inn Laredo||–||14||1984|
|05||Laredo National Bank||–||10||1926|
|06||Senior Citizens Home||–||8||–|
|07||Laredo Medical Center||–||7||1999|
Laredo in multimedia
Film and television
Streets of Laredo is a 1949 western film starring William Holden, Macdonald Carey and William Bendix as three outlaws who rescue a young girl, played by Mona Freeman. When they become separated, two reluctantly become Texas Rangers, while the third continues on a life of crime.
In the 1957 Christmas episode entitled "Laredo" of NBC's western series, Tales of Wells Fargo, series character Jim Hardie (Dale Robertson) must track gunrunners across the United States/Mexican border, a quest which keeps him from spending the holiday with friends in Laredo as he had intended. The episode stars Henry Rowland, Rodolfo Hoyos, Jr., Karl Swenson and Pierre Watkin.
In 1958, ABC aired the second episode, "Ambush in Laredo", of the 17-part miniseries, Texas John Slaughter starring Tom Tryon, with Robert Middleton, Chris Alcaide and Judson Pratt, broadcast as part of Walt Disney Presents.
The 1959 western film, Gunmen from Laredo, stars Robert Knapp, Walter Coy, Paul Birch, and Ron Hayes in the story of a man seeking revenge for the murder of his wife. He winds up in prison on a false murder charge, but the marshal allows him to escape to pursue the man who killed his wife.
In the episode "Cactus Lady" (February 21, 1961) of the NBC western television series, Laramie, it is revealed that series regular Jess Harper, played by Robert Fuller, had been nearly hanged by mistake in the border city of Laredo c. 1870 because of the McCanles gang, played by Arthur Hunnicutt, L. Q. Jones, Harry Dean Stanton and Anita Sands. In the storyline, the gang arrives suddenly in Laramie.
From 1965 to 1967, NBC aired an hour-long western television series entitled, Laredo, with the actors Philip Carey, William Smith, Peter Brown and Neville Brand. A spin-off of The Virginian, Laredo, with elements of comedy, focuses on Texas Rangers in the border country. It is available on DVD.Laredo was also broadcast on weekdays on the Encore Westerns Channel, having filled the time slot previously occupied by double episodes of the ABC/Warner Bros. series, Lawman, which also co-stars Peter Brown.
The 1983 film Eddie Macon's Run, based on a James McLendon novel, features John Schneider as Eddie Macon, who is wrongly convicted of mostly minor crimes. While performing at a prison rodeo in Huntsville, Texas, he escapes and heads for Laredo, where he hopes to join his family in Mexico. Carl "Buster" Marzack (Kirk Douglas) is a cop in hot pursuit of Eddie. Without transportation, Eddie journeys on foot. He ends up in the woods, where he is nearly killed. He meets Jilly Buck (Lee Purcell), a bored rich girl who agrees to help him.
Lone Star is a 1996 American mystery film written and directed by John Sayles and set in a small town in Texas. The ensemble cast features Chris Cooper, Kris Kristofferson, Matthew McConaughey and Elizabeth Peña and deals with a sheriff's investigation into the murder of one of his predecessors. The movie was filmed in Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Laredo.
The 2011 series, Bordertown: Laredo, is a 10-episode documentary on the Arts and Entertainment Network based on the work of the narcotics unit of the Laredo Police Department.
Laredo is a city that has been the subject of several songs in popular culture. One of the most popular songs is the "Streets of Laredo", originally known as "A Cowboy's Lament" and written by Frank H. Maynard, who lived mostly in Colorado. It has been recorded by artists such as Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Waylon Jennings, John Cale, Roy Rogers and Prefab Sprout (who also made a lyrical reference to Laredo in an early song, Cue Fanfare), and is even featured in a Charlie's Angels episode ("Pretty Angels all in a Row", Season 2, Episode 3). On October 28, 1958, in the episode "The Ghost" of the ABC/WB western series, Sugarfoot, the "The Streets of Laredo" is performed by the child actor Tommy Rettig.
From 1959 to 1972, the six-member singing group, The Rondels dominated the musical scene in Laredo. Carlos Saenz Landin, the lead singer, left the group to work for the Dallas Independent School District but years later returned to Laredo. Lead guitarist Humberto Donovan served in the United States Marine Corps. The late Roberto Alonzo played the bass guitar. Sammy Ibarra, played the keyboard and composed the song, “Lo Mucho Que Te Quiero (The More I Love You).” He subsequently became a pastor. Singer Noe Adolfo Esparza pursued a college career and became a supervisor for Southwestern Bell Telephone Company. As of 2017, he was still performing with the oldies group, Los Fabulosos in Laredo. Joe Lee Vera served in the United States Navy and played drums for The Rondels. Several of Vera's brothers were drummers too. The Rondels packed the Laredo Civic Center Auditorium. Two other songs characteristic of the group are “Ya-Ya” and “All Night Worker.” With their disbanding, Juan Cisneros of Laredo recalls that The Rondels "left a large void that will never be forgotten."
Another popular song is "Laredo" by country music star Chris Cagle, who sings about Laredo having a positive influence on his significant other.
Ranked at the top of the charts in 1978 in several countries in Europe is Baccara's "The Devil Sent You to Laredo".
"Laredo" is a song from the album Infinite Arms, released by Band of Horses in 2010.
"Laredo Tornado" is a track from Electric Light Orchestra's 1974 concept album Eldorado. It uses the idea of missing the 'happy hunting grounds' of Laredo as a metaphor for the protagonist's loss of his dream-world.
Joe Ely has a song and album entitled "Letter to Laredo".
Lake Casa Blanca
Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, located on Loop 20, contains a 1,680-acre (7 km2) artificial lake along with cooking out, camping, picnicking, lake swimming, skiing, boating, and mountain biking. The most popular recreational use of the lake is fishing. A boat ramp and fishing pier is available on the eastern side of the lake. The lake is a popular destination for winter Texans. The park was operated by the City of Laredo and Webb County before it was acquired by the state in 1990 and opened in March 1991.
Laredo has three 18-hole golf courses: the Laredo Country Club, the Casa Blanca Golf Course. and Laredo's newset course Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course. The Laredo Country Club is an 18-hole private course that features 7,125 yards (6,515 m) of golf. The golf course has a rating of 74.6, a slope rating of 133, and has a par of 72. The country club was designed by Joseph S. Finger and was opened in 1983. The Casa Blanca Golf Course is an 18-hole course that features 6,590 yards (6,030 m) of golf. The golf course has a rating of 72.5, a slope rating of 125, and has a par of 72. The golf course was designed by Leon Howard and was opened in 1967. The Max A. Mandel Municipal Golf Course is an 18-hole course that features 7,200 yards (6,600 m) of golf. The golf course has a par of 72. The golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II Golf Course Architects and was opened in 2012.
Parks, recreational centers, plazas, and baseball fields
The City of Laredo owns eight recreational centers, thirty-four developed parks, twenty-two undeveloped parks or under construction, five baseball fields, and four plazas. The parks total area is 618 acres (2.50 km2).
David B. Barkley Plaza
A memorial honoring the forty-one Hispanic soldiers who have received the Medal of Honor was built in Laredo, Texas in 2002. The plaza was named after the only Laredo Medal of Honor recipient David B. Barkley. The David B. Barkley Plaza has a bronze statue of David B. Barkley and an American flag measuring 100 ft by 50 ft and is 308 ft tall making it the tallest flagpole in the United States. The memorial is located at .
City of Laredo Shiloh Trail
Relatively new to Laredoans, this mountain bike trail is approximately 4 miles of single-track dirt trails, widening occasionally to double-track. Some technical parts make this trail challenging, but not impossible for beginners who can briefly walk their bikes before getting on their way again. Thorned shrubs and cacti encompass bikers, so be careful! The trail is well-marked and improvements continue to be seen as the months go by. The trail is located off Shiloh Road at the end of Livingston Road.
During the month of July, Laredo sponsors the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival, which was founded in 2003. The festival is an international business, trade, tourism, and cultural expo. All of Laredo's sister cities are invited to participate. In 2004, the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival received the best overall Program award from the Sister Cities International. The following list is of Laredo's sister cities and friendship cities:
Images for kids
Tom DeLay, the Republican House Majority Leader from 2003 to 2006, was born in Laredo.
Laredo, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.