Loving Laredo

The Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant & Ball Wows South Texas Region

By Jake Gaines
Photography By Greg Harrison

When you think of a party, think of South Texas, why don’t you? The memorable party this year was Laredo’s festive Washington’s birthday celebration and debutante ball. Cocktails were poured, champagne was popped and hors d’oeuvres were passed as thousands of Laredo’s most esteemed denizens arrived en masse. They were there to celebrate the decades-old tradition in the South Texas region for The Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant & Ball that continues to thrive and grow more popular every year.

The Colonial Ball, where the girls in grand dresses debuted was held in the city’s Civic Center. It is part of a citywide festival of Washington’s Birthday Celebration, which takes place each year near the first US president’s special holiday. Not only does The Society of Martha Washington helps Laredo present an image of “racial and national harmony” by working in conjunction with the Princess Pocahontas Council and the Abrazo Children 2013 (Edward Maddox, Isabella Gibson, Maria Resendez and Emilio Lerma), but also boasts attendees who are notables from all over Texas.

In addition to its philanthropic aspect, the organization chooses two prominent members of Laredo society to don costumes to portray President George and Martha Dandridge Washington. This year President George and Martha Washington were portrayed by Tad Deutsch as George and Niti Volpe as Martha. The debutantes and their escorts who are presented have family in the Society or are invited guests. Membership into the Society is exclusive, yet there are no racial or ethnic discriminations and Laredo’s elite consists of bi-cultural residents. Margaret H. Jones Hopson is the 2013 President of The Society of Martha Washington and she and all the committees worked tirelessly to produce this year’s extravaganza.

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