The Laredo Energy Arena is hosting the 10th annual sister cities festival this weekend, an event that represents Mexican culture without anyone having to go across the border. "Or maybe aren't as adventurous enough to go south of the border. This brings Mexico to them." Director of the Laredo Convention and Visitors Bureau, Blasita Lopez says there are two main reasons that make this a great event. "You get that cultural experience that you really can't find anywhere else. This is a very unique event in that sense." The other being the economic impact this festival has on the gateway city. "They're here for a minimum of 4 to 5 nights. That means they're staying in our hotels. They're eating in our restaurants." And in their down time, they're enjoying what the gateway city has to offer. "They're doing shopping in between the show and leaving money in the community." One of the vendors we spoke to said she's enjoyed Laredo because of the friendly people. "It's very different than Mexico, but we like it here because they are also Mexican people and we can talk to them and they know the place because they have family there." She says introducing her product to the people of Laredo brings a smile to her face along with the hopes of getting it sold here permanently. "They make a face like 'oh it's delicious' and I like that because it's our product like our little son because this is our business."