Most of city of Pasadena is served by the Pasadena Independent School District, although a portion of eastern section of the city is served by Deer Park Independent School District and a small portion of the southern sector is served by Clear Creek Independent School District and La Porte Independent School District. Pasadena is also supported by University of Houston–Clear Lake San Jacinto College.
The city of Pasadena manages 15 tennis courts and a total of 43 parks, in addition to several baseball fields. The parks include over 14 miles of trails, four Youth Recreation Centers, an Adaptive Recreation center, three pools for Swimming or Aquatics, a Dog Park, a golf course, an Historical Museum, and a Senior Citizen Center. The city has several museums, including the Pasadena Historical Museum, the Bay Area Museum and Armand Bayou Nature Center, as well as a community theater, Pasadena is also home to the Armand Bayou Nature Center. The center is a 2,500 acre preserve located on the western shore of Galveston Bay. It is the only remnant of this region’s original eco-systems: coastal tallgrass prairie, bottomland forest and bayou. Armand Bayou also is a breeding ground for many species of finfish and shellfish and a safe habitat for bobcats and owls.
Pasadena gained notoriety in the early 1080s with the release of the hit movie, “Urban Cowboy.” John Travolta, Debra Winger, Scott Glenn, and other actors filmed the movie’s scenes of love and life in the area. Much of the film’s action centered around Pasadena’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 destroyed the majority of the building, including the mechanical bull used in the film. Except for the old sound recording studio, the remainder of the building was demolished by the Pasadena Independent School District, its current owner, in 2006.
The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 decimated the Pasadena area. The storm had estimated winds of 140 mph (220 km/h) at landfall, making it a Category 4 storm on today’s Saffir–Simpson scale. The hurricane resulted in a death toll estimated between 6,000 and 12,000 people. To support victims of the hurricane to survive financially, Clara Barton of the American Red Cross purchased 1.5 million strawberry plants and shipped them to Pasadena. By the 1930s, the resulting strawberry crops had prospered to the extent that Pasadena had claimed the title of “Strawberry Capital of the World.” Since 1974, Pasadena has held an annual Strawberry Festival in honor of this special part of the city’s history. The three-day event provides live musical entertainment, strawberries, food for purchase, arts and crafts, carnival rides, specialty acts, historical demonstrations, children’s games and entertainment, a beauty pageant, various cook-offs, mud volleyball, and the World’s Largest Strawberry Shortcake contest.
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