Laredo is a town in the autonomous community of Cantabria. According to the 2008 census (INE), the municipality has a population of 12,648 inhabitants. In addition to Laredo, the municipality includes the villages of La Arenosa, El Callejo, Las Cárcobas, Las Casillas, La Pesquera, Tarrueza and Villante. Except from the last two, the other villages had been physically integrated into Laredo.
Located between the cities of Santander and Bilbao, Laredo is known in the region and nationally for "La Salvé", its 5 km long beach (7 km at high tide) and for the historic part of town dating back to Roman times. Its festivities in August are also well known due to the main event that occurs every year on the last Friday of August, known as la batalla de flores (the battle of the flowers), during which large floats entirely covered with flowers and petals are paraded along the central streets.
In Laredo (and many other cities in Spain) it is tradition for a group of men to parade a giant sardine through town at the end of carnival. At the end of this ritual, called "Entierro de la Sardina" (burial of the sardine), the sardine is burned on the beach after a fireworks display.