from the office of State Senator Judith Zaffirini

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Larkin Tackett
(512) 463-0121
January 10, 2006

SENATOR ZAFFIRINI EXTENDS INVITATION TO THE 109th WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION IN LAREDO

(AUSTIN) - From the Lieutenant Governor's Reception Room at the Capitol today, Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, welcomed approximately 75 Laredoans and extended an open invitation for Texans to come enjoy the hospitality of her hometown of Laredo during the 109th Annual Washington's Birthday Celebration. The event gives Laredoans an opportunity to share their culture and traditions with friends from across the state.

George Washington once said, "Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all." This is the essence of the Washington's Birthday Celebration of Laredo. By honoring the city's connection with Mexico and celebrating Laredo's unique culture, the event works to observe good faith and justice toward its neighbor to the south as well as cultivating peace and harmony with all.

Founded in 1898, Washington's Birthday Celebration is the largest celebration of its kind in the United States. Cumulatively, its events attract nearly 500,000 residents and visitors. This year's festivities will extend 103 days, beginning on Nov. 9, 2005, with the unveiling of the Washington's Birthday Celebration Association Poster and ending on Feb. 19 with the H.E.B. Fireworks Extravaganza.

"The celebration comprises parties and pageantry, including parades, a carnival, an air show, fireworks, live concerts and much more," Senator Zaffirini said. "There is truly is something for everyone."

Joining the senator at the reception were Laredoans Robert H. Summers, who will portray George Washington; and Mary Elizabeth Reynolds Kazen, who will portray Martha Washington in an intricately designed colonial dress. Dignitaries attending the reception included Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; Railroad Commission Chair Elizabeth Jones; Senator Gonzalo Barrientos, D-Austin; and Senator Juan Hinojosa, D-Mission.

Fourth in seniority in the 31-member Texas Senate, Senator Zaffirini has won more than 530 awards and honors for her legislative, professional and civic accomplishments.

Last session Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst appointed her Vice Chair of the Senate Finance Committee and to the Appropriations Conference Committee that wrote the state's $139.4 billion budget for 2006-07. He also appointed her to the Senate Committees on Education, Health and Human Services, and International Relations and Trade. She chaired the work group that wrote the $49.9 billion budget for Article II, health and human services, of the appropriations bill. Throughout her work, the senator keeps her hometown in her heart.

"Washington's Birthday Celebration is a spectacular event you won't want to miss," said Senator Zaffirini. "So please join us in Laredo. You are all welcome in our great city."

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