EDINBURG - The City of Edinburg held its third annual Cool City Celebration Saturday April 23.

Incorporating Earth Day, Arbor Day, World Book Day and marking the end of National Community Development Week, the event was an all-out salute to environmental conservation, health, and literacy. With a host of activities and over 30 booths, there was something for everyone at the celebration.

Kicking off the festivities was the 5K Walk-N-Rolla race to benefit the South Texas Juvenile Diabetes Association. At the same time, the Edinburg Police Department opened their kids’ bike rodeo, handing out free bicycle helmets to the first 200 children to participate in the biking obstacle course. Families also took part in a six-mile bike ride around city hall, and proud owners came out for the “Mutt Strut,” where they paraded their costumed canines.

At midday, the crowd gathered into the city auditorium for the awards ceremony and a raffle that included 100 children’s bikes. The city’s first “Trashion Show” also took center stage as the Boys & Girls Club and Edinburg Parks & Recreation debuted their best trash fashions.

Rounding out the holiday conglomeration, the city ceremonially planted a tree, gave away books provided by the Dustin Michael Sekula Memorial Library, and displayed student paintings around McIntyre Promenade for the public to enjoy. Kids had even more fun in a bounce house manned by the Edinburg Fire Department and a train ride that looped around the square.

All throughout, city representatives and vendors handed out freebies, spoke to passersby, and distributed information that ranged from proper tree pruning to reducing storm water contamination. For Ponciano Longoria, the Director of Engineering for the City of Edinburg and the event organizer, this was the heart of the entire celebration.

“The main accomplishment for this event is to promote the different departments, to promote the environment and keep the environment clean for sustainability…[and] to get kiddos and parents to go out there and do more activities,” Longoria said.

Walking around the promenade, with individuals carrying the small plants they received and children running around in new helmets, Longoria could count this year’s Cool City Celebration as a mission accomplished.