When: Tue., Jan. 14, 7 p.m. 2014
The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. The festival lasts an entire month and coincides with George Washington's birthday. For more than a century the city's coming-out celebrations have involved intricate paeans to America's colonial past. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create. The Washington Celebration has managed to persevere and even flourish, thanks in large part to the Mexican American girls who carry this gilded tradition on their young shoulders.