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Pasadena, Texas

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Pasadena in Texas.

 

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Pasadena is a city in the U.S. state of Texas within the Houston–Sugar Land–Baytown metropolitan area. It is the second-largest city in Harris County, 17th-largest in Texas, and 162nd largest in the United States. The area was founded in 1893 by John H. Burnett of Galveston. Burnett named the area after Pasadena, California because he thought the vegetation was similar.

Culture

The city has several museums, including the Pasadena Historical Museum, the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center. Pasadena also has a community theater,an annual rodeo and the Pasadena Philharmonic. The city's newspaper is the Pasadena Citizen

Because of its location near the refineries that dot the nearby ship channel, Pasadena has been dubbed by locals with the nickname "Stinkadena." Another reason for the name may be the large sewage treatment plant located along State Highway 225 that links Houston to Pasadena. Another nickname, "Pasa-get-down-dena", was coined in the mid-1980s by 97 Rock's morning DJ, Moby in the Morning. Several country music songs have been recorded with "Pasa-get-down-dena" as the title including Kenefick on their album "Hard Road."

Gilley's and Urban Cowboy

John Travolta, Debra Winger and other actors came to the city to film the 1980 hit movie Urban Cowboy, which depicted life and young love in Pasadena. The film centered on the city's honky-tonk bar Gilley's, which was co-owned by country music star Mickey Gilley. In 1989 Gilley's suffered an arson fire that gutted the interior, but the building's shell was still standing until 2006 when it was demolished by the Pasadena Independent School District, its current owner. Only the old sound recording studio remains. Gilley still resides in Pasadena.

Strawberry Festival

The Galveston Hurricane of 1900 caused many people to resettle in Pasadena. Clara Barton of the American Red Cross purchased 1.5 million strawberry plants and sent them to Pasadena to help victims of the flood get back on their feet. By the 1930s those crops had flourished so much that Pasadena was claiming the title of Strawberry Capital of the World. At its height, the city's strawberry growers shipped as many as 28 train carloads of strawberries each day. To honor that history, the city still holds an annual Pasadena Strawberry Festival. Strawberry Road stretches through much of the city near where the old strawberry crops grew. Attendance at the annual Strawberry Festival was 56,000 in 2008.

Pasadena Philharmonic Society and Orchestra

Pasadena Philharmonic Society and Orchestra is a combination of two groups. The Society is composed of members of the local community that support the fine arts and classical music. The Orchestra is composed of local music educators, musicians, college students and selected high school students. The Orchestra presented its first performance in the fall of 1982. The Philharmonic has presented performances ever since.

Parks and recreation

Local residents have access to tennis courts, soccer fields, jogging tracks, walking tracks, picnic tables, family gathering pavilions at Pasadena's 47 parks, 5 swimming pools, and 5 game room buildings, museum, recreation center, 15 tennis courts and 21 ball fields.

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) is a 2,500 acres (1,000 ha) preserve on the western shore of Galveston Bay in Pasadena. It is the only remnant of this region's original eco-systems: coastal tallgrass prairie, bottomland forest and bayou. A diversity of plant life has taken root here, including bottomland hardwoods. Hundreds of species of wildlife thrive in the narrow wooded streams and scattered lakes, ponds and marshes. Armand Bayou also is a breeding and nursery ground for many finfish and shellfish and a haven for rarely seen species such as bobcats and owls.

As of 2010 ABNC has been designated as one of five preserves under the Texas Coastal Preserve Program of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

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