Deep In the Heart

San Antonio, Texas, home of the Alamo, will play host this year to the American Water Works Association's (AWWA) annual conference and exhibition (ACE06), from June 11 through 15. ACE06 isn't going to be just any conference; the 57,000-member-strong association is celebrating 125 years as the largest organization of water quality professionals in the world, and the association has a big party planned to mark the occasion. Fiesta 125 kicks off at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 11. Just a short walk away from the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, in the plazas of La Villita, site of the city's first settlement, the party will be patterned after the famous festival, A Night In Old San Antonio, which is celebrated every year to commemorate Texas's independence from Mexico.

ACE06 is an opportunity not to be missed. There will be more than 500 exhibitors showcasing their best and newest technology. The professional program features more than 98 sessions with over 570 presentations scheduled that will cover the work of more than 1,000 experts. There are eight facility tours scheduled throughout the show, and there will be networking opportunities the likes of which only come along once a year (you might even catch a member of the Water & Wastewater Products staff wandering around the exhibition floor).

The opening general session begins at 9 a.m. on Monday, June 12, and AWWA president Andrew Richardson will welcome attendees before officially opening the show.

Sights, Sounds, Tastes
San Antonio is now the eighth largest city in the United States. The city is an amalgam of diverse sights and sounds that reflect the deep cultural roots established when Texas was still a part of Mexico. There's a touch of the old, dusty San Antonio still alive and well among the bustle of the thriving city. Catholic masses are still held celebrated weekly at the San Fernando Cathedral, which was constructed in 1731 by a group of Canary Islanders who came to live in San Antonio at the request of King Philip V of Spain. And don't forget, San Antonio is also home to the Alamo, site of the one of the most pivotal and legendary battles in the Texas war for independence.

After a full day of talking shop at ACE06, venture out into San Antonio and explore the myriad places where you can relax and get ready for another day. The famous River Walk on the banks of the San Antonio River flows through downtown, and, conveniently, runs right into the convention center, and it's just a short walk away from the Alamo. You can hop on a boat for a short tour of the river, eat at one of the many restaurants that line the River Walk, or just take a stroll along the path and wander into the shops or explore the River Center Mall. Whether it's seeing the sites, soaking up the culture, or just sitting outside on a River Walk patio, there's bound to be something in San Antonio to help you rest and recharge for the next day of ACE06 -- it's sure to be a busy one.

For more information about AWWA or ACE06, visit www.awwa.org .

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