Laredo Celebrates 18th Annual Sister Cities Festival
Latin American Countries and the Mexican States represented within 198 booths
11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Laredo, March 20, 2022 – Sister Cities Festival is back. Details and preparations are ongoing for the 18th-anniversary edition of the Laredo International Sister Cities Festival (LISCF) slated for July 15-17, 2022 at the Sames Auto Arena. Latin America and Mexican states will be represented in the setup over the three-day event period on the floor and concourse of the arena.
The 3-day event attracted more than 25,000 attendees in 2019. The City of Laredo and the Convention and Visitors Bureau invite the community, surrounding cities, and anyone across Texas to come to experience the family fun, artistic, bi-cultural, and free event.
On stage this year includes performances from Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico; and to close out the three-day event, Sunday’s performances will include Laredo’s home-grown talent with some of the best and quirkiest groups on stage throughout the afternoon.
“We are looking forward to welcome locals and visitors alike to the Sames Auto Arena, after a two year hiatus, for our traditional and wonderful Sister Cities Festival, where they will find Mexican offerings of food, jewelry, clothing, furniture and other goods. Those attending the event will also have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of performances and cultural representations during the entertainment portion and enjoy the unique ambiance.,” stated Aileen Ramos, Director of the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The hours of operation for the 2022 event are:
- Friday, July 15: @ 10:00 a.m.
- Friday and Saturday, July 15 & 16: 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday, July 17: 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Sames Auto Arena Clear Bag Policy will be in effect.
It kicks off with a bilingual opening ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, July 15. The Sames Auto Arena is transformed over the three-day event to hold such exotic items as beautiful artisan produced and handcrafted furniture, jewelry, and clothing. Carne seca, tortillas, and candies are a few of the items that one can sample, along with products for sale such as rebozos, linen gowns, leather goods, wool sarapes and a variety of other clothes and accessories grace some of the hundreds of exhibits set up on the arena floor and concourse.
Recognizing the importance of the Festival and the opportunity for exposure in the U.S. market, many Sister Cities have always attended in full regalia and bring in delegations that include the exhibitors and their government leaders, this year from: Aguascalientes, Coahuila, Estado de Mexico, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Nayarit, Nuevo Leon, Oaxaca, Puebla, San Luis Potosi, and Tamaulipas.
Festival history and background: The festival has grown from 48 vendors its first year at the Laredo Civic Center to nearly 200 this year. The first event was held at the former Civic Center ballroom in January 2003 and consisted of booths that encircled the perimeter of the room and every year since then festival has grown. In 2005 the festival had 97 booths set up, taking up the entire space and in 2006, the event filled the ballroom and spilled into an overflow tent that was set up to accommodate a total of 120 exhibitors that attended that year.
After the festival outgrew the venue, the Arena became the place of choice in 2010 with 179 exhibitors that year and it has been for the past ten years.
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.
Additionally, the Convention and Visitors Bureau also announced the Sister Cities Online Shop with over 200 products from different states in Mexico. The Laredo Sister Cities Online Shop is a virtual store where exhibitors from the Laredo Sister Cities Festival can exhibit and sell throughout the year. This helps promote Laredo as a port of entry and a supply center for handicrafts, silverware, textiles and handmade products. You can visit the shop by logging on to www.Laredosistercities.com–MexicoMagicHands . The states of Mexico represented are currently artisans from Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca, Puebla, Valle de México and Nuevo León.
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 hotels and lodging service providers.