Mercedes refers to itself as "Queen City of the Valley" or "La Reina del Valle." One of the oldest towns in the Rio Grande Valley, it celebrated its centennial in 2007. The original town site was two miles east of the present site. It was named Lonsboro by Lon C. Hill, who had been active in bringing St. Louis and New York financiers to the area to look into land and irrigation possibilities. The present site in southern Hidalgo County was part of the Capisallo Ranch.
Today, Mercedes is a center for agriculture and varied industries, and it is well known for custom-made boots. The city's proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and Mexico offer abundant recreational opportunities.
The Fleet S. Lentz Native Plant Display features more than 100 native shrubs and trees. On the Mercedes Civic Center grounds, 530 E. Second St.
Events include the Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show & Rodeo—among the top 10 shows in the state—held the second week in March.
Mercedes is home to the Rio Grande Valley Premium Outlet Mall. 5001 E. U.S. 83. 956/565-3900. www.premiumoutlets.com/riograndevalley.