Date: Friday July 07, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Get Ready, Set, Shop. . .
15th annual Sister Cities event promises variety, continue later hours
The Laredo International Sister Cities Festival (LISCF) readies for its 15th run and the event promises more variety of products and continued later shopping hours for opening day, Friday, July 7.
What started over a decade ago with 48 booths and barely covering half of the Civic Center Ballroom has blossomed to fill every inch of the Laredo Energy Arena now in its fifteenth year. The free-admission event will again feature nearly 200 exhibit booth spaces and occupy the entire LEA from July 7- 9, 2017 and this year’s special guest of honor will be the State of Coahuila, MX.
In an effort to commemorate the second decade of the Festival and to highlight the participants that have made it a success over the last 14 years, the event has developed an award honoring its exhibitors. This year, a recognition will be presented to the State of Coahuila and the artisans in attendance that represent wares and items authentic to that state. The artisans from the region of Coahuila have a history of attending the event annually. This year, they will feature them at a special section on the main exhibit floor of the LEA, and in addition, they will also offer cultural performances highlighting this region of the country. Last year, the City of Laredo recognized the State of Queretaro with the honor and in prior festivals Estado de Mexico, San Luis Potosi and Nuevo Leon received similar recognitions.
The Festival will feature an expanded line up of stage performances and sponsors. Falcon Bank, AT&T with a Wi-Fi Lounge, IBC, Luis Estrada- State Farm Insurance, Tequila Destinguido, TurisMed and Hospital Mexico Americano are all supporting the festival through their contributions as sponsors of the event.
Also on display this year, participants can expect performances from visiting dance groups from throughout Mexico to set the tone throughout the first and second day of the event. And to close out the three-day event, Sunday’s performances will include Laredo’s home-grown talent with some of the best groups and lively performers on stage throughout the afternoon. Those currently scheduled to take the stage live are Elitekore Crew from Urban Street Dance Studio; Patsy Quintero and Elvis impersonator Luis Salazar.
The hours of operation are:
• Friday, July 7: Opening Ceremony @ 10:00 a.m.; Expo: 11:00 – 8:00 p.m.
• Saturday, July 8: Expo 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
• Sunday, July 9: Expo 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
The event begins with a splendid bilingual opening ceremony and ribbon-cutting at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 7. The LEA is transformed over the three-day event to hold such exotic items as beautiful artisan produced and hand crafted wooden furniture, leather goods, jewelry, pottery and home goods and accessories, clothing for the whole family and food from across the Mexican republic. Consumable products include spices, rubs, nopales, cheese, candy, honey, tortillas, tostadas, and salsas among those that can be eaten. Health and beauty options include shampoos, conditioners, sprays, lotions and soaps, all hand crafted by artisans in small “talleres” or shops, many times made out of their homes or municipally sponsored creation spaces from their place of origin. In years past these products have been brought in from and represent a myriad of regions in Mexico including the states of: Aguascalientes; Guanajuato; Mexico City; San Luis Potosi; Coahuila; Estado de Mexico; Jalisco; Morelos; Nayarit; Nuevo Leon; Oaxaca; Puebla; and Queretaro.
“This event is such a big deal for our collective community. I get real positive feedback about how Laredoans look forward to the event year after year, and have gotten similar feedback from visitors too. Our exhibitors also tell us how much they enjoy being a part of the event. I invite everyone back again, help us to maintain our attendance breaking record from last year with over 23,000 that came through the doors in the three days,” said Blasita J. Lopez, Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau Director.
Information on the Sister Cities Festival may be obtained by calling the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau at 956.795.2200 or 800.361.3360 or by logging onto www.visitlaredo.com.
The Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau is the official destination marketing organization of the city of Laredo. It promotes the use of tourism services including the local hotel and lodging, restaurants and attractions.