McALLEN — Radio personality Raul Brindis will serve as the grand marshal for the McAllen Holiday Parade on Saturday.
Brindis, a Houston-based radio host, will be at the forefront of the procession, the city announced Tuesday.
“Raul is an icon in the Latino media community and is beloved by his fans throughout the Univision Radio network,” said McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos. “He has a great affection for McAllen and our parade, having been a part of it every year since its inception. We’re glad to be able to bring him back as our 2022 MHP grand marshal, thanks to our great radio partner Univision Radio and KGBT-La Jefa.”
Having appeared in the McAllen parade a previous eight times, this will be Brindis’ first as grand marshal.
His program, El Show de Raul Brindis, airs weekday mornings on KLTN and UniMas in Houston. He has also made several television appearances on Despierta America, Don Francisco Presenta, Sabado Gigante, Nuestra Belleza Latina, and Festival del Mariachi.
The city expects about 265,000 people will attend Saturday’s parade, an estimate that is based on ticket sales and previous attendance, according to Xochitl Mora, McAllen’s director of communications.
“There is a formula based on crowd density and parade length utilized by the City of McAllen that helps determine the amount of people in the crowd,” Mora wrote in an email. “That and ticket distribution provides final attendance.”
In 2021, the city reported about 265,000 people attended the parade — the highest number of attendees in the parade’s nearly 10-year history. The previous parade, in 2019, had approximately 260,000 attendees, according to a report from city staff.
The city did not have in-person attendance for its parade in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. That year, the city broadcast its parade.
To accommodate growing attendance, the city has continued to add infrastructure “including grandstand and bleacher seating options, portable restrooms and light towers, as well as personnel and security to ensure that everyone who attends has a great, positive and safe guest experience,” Mora said.
To help people get to and from the parade site, the city will be offering free shuttle rides from the South Texas College campus — on Pecan Boulevard and 29th Street — to the drop off/pick-up point on the corner of Quince Avenue and 23rd Street.
The shuttle rides will begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday and run every 10 minutes until midnight. Wheelchairs, walkers, strollers and service dogs will be allowed on board.
But even before arriving at STC, residents and visitors should be wary of road closures around the area.
Minor closures will begin at noon Friday with the closure of Tamarack and Quince avenues from 23rd Street to Bicentennial Boulevard.
At 5 a.m. on Saturday, the city will then start closing off Bicentennial between La Vista Avenue and Pecan Boulevard. Then at 10 a.m., it will close another section of the street between Pecan Boulevard and Hackberry Avenue.
Next, at noon, Bicentennial between Hackberry and Business 83 will be closed off.
At 1 p.m., east/west traffic on Pecan Boulevard and Business 83 will be closed off between 23rd and 16th streets.
Then at 3 p.m. the last and final closure will be the shut down of 23rd Street and the remainder of Bicentennial Boulevard to all southbound traffic.
WHERE TO WATCH
If you’re not going to be among the thousands of people lining Bicentennial Boulevard or seated at McAllen Memorial Veterans Stadium — not to worry. You can catch a livestream of the festivities on the city’s website and on its official YouTube channel: @CityofMcAllen.
The parade will also be broadcast on the MCN Spectrum Cable Channel 1300.
The live broadcast will begin at 4:30 p.m. with a pre-show. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.