A rattlesnake made its way across the U.S.-Mexico border from Texas recently. But this wasn’t an ordinary snake -- it was a serpent crafted from bicycles.
Austin Bike Zoo, a non-profit organization that owns the 80-foot, 6-bicycle rattlesnake, organized the second annual international parade in order to strengthen ties with their nearby neighbors in Mexico.
Texas residents and school-age children of Presidio, led by their rattlesnake mascot, rode their bikes from the border town of Presidio to Ojinaga, Mexico, using the international bridge. School-age children who participated wore monarch butterfly costumes, crafted in school, while others rode butterfly bikes -- complete with wings -- that were also designed by Austin Bike Zoo.
The group of U.S. citizens was welcomed by border officiers after they crossed the international bridge, according to KVUE-TV. Austin Bike Zoo bikers stayed at the Mexican Consulate for the night, so they could visit Ojinaga schools the next day.
"We started doing these cross-border parades into Mexico strictly for fun, but we enjoy bringing some positive attention to this particularly friendly and slow-paced area of the border that is unjustly viewed as hostile and dangerous," Austin Bike Zoo officials told Big Bend Now.
Ojinaga has been in the news of late for its connection to Mexican General Manuel Moreno Avina, who is currently being tried -- along with 29 of his soldiers -- for a number of horrific crimes, including charges of torture, homicide and drug trafficking. Avina arrived in Ojinaga in spring 2008 and wreaked havoc on the small town until military investigators were alerted to the crimes in August 2009.
The parade drew a large crowd in Presidio, and upon its arrival in Ojinaga's town square, when children climbed onto some of the colorful bikes and joined the parade.
Petra Uranga spotted the colorful bicycles crossing the border and brought her grandchildren to join the crowd of onlookers. "We needed this," she told KVUE.
Check out a video of last year's parade below.