City officials and community leaders gathered May 1 for a ceremony and ribbon-cutting to formally dedicate the Harlingen Convention Center. Attendees had a chance to tour the building and a community open house was on the schedule for the evening.
Mariachis entertained guests upon arrival. A color guard made up of officers from the Harlingen police and fire departments started the ceremony. Harlingen school district students then led the pledge of allegiance.
Harlingen Mayor Chris Boswell and other dignitaries made brief remarks before opening the doors to the public.
The $16.7-million center offers a variety of configurations to host events of different types. The main ballroom can seat about 1,500 people in a concert setting. It may also be divided into smaller venues for company meetings or private celebrations.
Names of rooms in the center reflect some of the Rio Grande Valley specialty birds, such as Great Kiskadee, Green Jay and Oriole.
Construction will begin this week on a $25-million, five-story Hilton Garden Inn with 150 rooms adjacent to the convention center.