Odesa is a city straight from literature – an energetic, decadent boomtown. Its famous Potemkin Steps
sweep down to the Black Sea and Ukraine's biggest commercial port. Behind them, a cosmopolitan cast of characters makes merry among pastel neoclassical buildings lining a geometrical grid of leafy streets.
Immigrants from all over Europe were invited to make their fortune here when Odesa was founded in the late 18th century by Russia's Catherine the Great. These new inhabitants gave Russia's southern window on the world a singular, subversive nature.
As well as becoming a duty-free port, Odesa also attracted ordinary holidaymakers with its sunny climate and sandy beaches. True, the city's appearance grows tattier as you head south past half-empty sanatoriums towards its beachside nightclubs. However, this east–west crossroads makes up for that with sheer panache, and Odesans are known across the old USSR for being stylish, funny, savvy and not easily impressed.
Annual Events and Festivals
Cinco de Mayo Celebration
(First weekend of May): Mexico's Independence from France became official on "Cinco de Mayo!" Odessa celebrates "Cinco de Mayo" with a variety of festivals
. Begin the holiday with a parade and an all day fiesta hosted by LULAC and the Basin Barrio Lions Clubs. Another exciting event to experience during the holiday is "Fiesta West Texas". This three-day event is held at the Ector County Coliseum and provides fun for all ages. Enjoy a carnival, live entertainment, authentic food booths and the experience of traditional Mexican customs.
Permian Basin Fair & Exposition
(Beginning the Friday after Labor Day): The Permian Basin's largest annual event; Nine fun-filled days
, featuring live entertainment, livestock show, great food, petting zoo, carnival, arts and crafts and much more.
SandHills Stock Show and Rodeo
(first week in January): This annual January schedule makes this event one of the first rodeos on the PRCA circuit. Cowboys & cowgirls compete for top prizes. The only stock show strictly dedicated to the Hereford breed
. Other activities include: Quarter horse show, rodeo, dances and a Tex-Mex barrel race to round out the weeklong event. Held at the Ector County Coliseum.