The McAllen Holiday Parade – the largest single-day event in the Rio Grande Valley that drew more than an estimated 200,000 people -- had an economic impact of $11.9 million in immediate, identifiable benefits to the region, according to a study conducted by the University of Texas Pan American.
According to the analysis, presented during the City Commission workshop, $8.7 million was injected into the local economy in consumer spending and operating expenditures. What’s more, hundreds of thousands of viewers were able to watch the inaugural parade live on several TV channels and countless more enjoyed the event via social media.
The total event cost for the McAllen Holiday Parade, Tamale Fest, Candlelight Posada and the Kids Fun Run was $757,614.28 some of which included production, floats, balloons, advertising and celebrity fees. Of that amount, $369,093 was brought in through sponsorships and revenue. Actual city dollars spent on the parade events added up to $388,521.28. In addition, there was $475,431.76 in one-time infrastructure costs for utility relocations and permitting.
In addition to the $11.9 million economic impact, there was $573,236 in tax revenue generated from the parade activities according to the UTPA study.
“The objective of the parade was to boost civic pride, foster awareness of our city as a premiere travel destination and to enhance the quality of life. We definitely accomplished our goals,” said Assistant City Manager Joe Vera. “I appreciate the residents' interests in the parade, and want to thank all the hard-working volunteers, sponsors and city employees that turned out for the festivities.”
Attendance grew from an estimated 25,000 for the previous Christmas Parade to more than 200,000 people in 2014, according to parade expert Barry Kern who attended the McAllen event and is involved with producing the Mardi Gras Parade and other worldwide parades annually. The McAllen Holiday Parade attracted thousands of visitors from around South Texas and Mexico to the City of McAllen.
The McAllen Holiday Parade was held Dec. 6, 2014 and aired live on the McAllen Cable Network, KGBT-TV, Univision and carried online by local networks. The parade was also televised in Corpus Christi and Laredo and Televisa in Monterrey broadcast the event in Northern Mexico for additional international viewers.
Economic Analysis of Event Impact:
- Attendance: over 200,000
- Broadcast Reach: 1,000,000 persons
- Media Value: $1,000,000
- Total Economic Impact: $11,900,000