Laredo (pronounced /ləreɪdoʊ/ lə-ray-doh; Spanish: [laɾeðo]) 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 3rd largest on the United States-Mexican border, after San Diego, California and El Paso, Texas. Laredo is part of the Laredo-Nuevo Laredo Metropolitan Area with an estimate population of 636,516. Laredo's economy is based on international trade with Mexico. Most major transportation companies have a facility in Laredo. Laredo's location along the southern end of I-35 close to the manufacturers in North Mexico promotes its vital role in trade between the United States and Mexico.
Laredo has the distinction of flying seven flags (the Flag of the Republic of the Rio Grande in addition to the Six Flags of Texas). Founded in 1755, Laredo grew from a villa to the capital of the brief Republic of the Rio Grande to the largest inland port on the United States-Mexican Border. Today, it has four international bridges and one railway bridge. Laredo's weather is semi-arid during the summer and mild during the winter.
Laredo International Airport is within the Laredo city limits, while the Quetzalcoatl International Airport is nearby in Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. The city has two professional sports teams: the Bucks and Heat. Texas A&M International University and Laredo Community College call Laredo home. The biggest festival, Washington's Birthday Celebration is held during February all month long, attracting hundreds of thousands of tourists. The Jalapeño Festival, 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 birthday events.