McALLEN — The 10th annual McAllen Holiday Parade marched its way into the hearts of thousands of spectators Saturday at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Balloons representing everyone from Leonardo of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to Shrek, to Mighty Mouse floated through the stadium to the delight of children and families in attendance. Parade floats also proved impressive in their designs.
This year’s parade has taken the efforts of about 2,700 volunteers and participants, putting in a total of about 18,900 hours to prepare for showtime. McAllen Assistant City Manager and parade Executive Producer Joe Vera attributed volunteerism and a strong sense of civic engagement and pride as to why the parade has grown in participation each year.
UTRGV’s first-ever head football coach, Travis Bush, served as this year’s parade Grand Marshal, with the UTRGV Marching Band also serving as this year’s lead step-off band during the parade.
Celebrity hosts of the 2023 presentation of the parade included Mario Lopez and Linda Tovar for the English-language broadcast and Julian Gil for the Spanish-language broadcast. Other celebrities in attendance included Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl Legends Tony Hill, Michael Irvin and Drew Pearson and Telemundo celebrities Myrka Dellanos, Giselle Blondet and Veronica Bastos, co-hosts of “La Mesa Caliente” and 2020 Miss Universe Andrea Meza.