Welcome to the South Pole of Texas! McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, adds even more snow, ice, lights and fun as part of 40 days of Christmas celebration in McAllen

by Office of Communications | Aug 01, 2019


Welcome to the official South Pole of Texas in McAllen, Texas where families will be able to revel in the spirit of Christmas in McAllen in the newly announced attraction FRIO!™, a winter wonderland of frozen fun and delight with real snow activities. The family-friendly experience is joining and expanding the joy and magic of the international award-winning McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, by celebrating the city’s newly acquired designation,
The South Pole of Texas,” as this year’s parade theme.  As if that werenʼt enough, giant, illuminated holiday displays, Broadway shows will transform Oval Park and the MCAllen Performing Arts Center at the McAllen Convention Center into Santaʼs dazzling new winter home for Christmas.  


“Thanks to our amazing McAllen Holiday Parade, McAllen has established itself as a major holiday destination,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “With the arrival of FRIO!, we are taking the holidays to a whole new level this year. In addition to the snow-themed attractions, just a few of the exciting fun FRIO! offers includes ice skating under the stars, gingerbread decorating in a life-sized gingerbread house and of course, Santa Claus himself. All of this is surrounded by a cavalcade of beautiful holiday lights, providing families in McAllen, the Rio Grande Valley and beyond that will create lasting memories for the young and young at heart.”


FRIO! ™ will open to the public on Wednesday, November 27, 2019, the night before Thanksgiving and will run every day until Monday, January 6, 2020.  In addition to the icy cold fun above, some other FRIO! ™ features are Penguin Plunge, a two-story ice sledding hill; snowman building workshops; developing snowball throwing skills with real snow at Santa’s Snowball Toss; A CHRISTMAS STORY™ Escape Room and much, much more, all taking place inside of the McAllen Convention Center, 700 Convention Center Boulevard.  Group discounts will be available for school field trips or larger groups, company Christmas parties and more.  Sign up on the FRIO!™ website http://friomcallen.com for information on activities, competitions and for a chance to win tickets for you and the whole family to experience FRIO!™ this holiday season.


For the past five years, the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, has delighted audiences in McAllen and television viewers throughout the United States and Mexico with its creative and dazzling magical floats, soaring and captivating balloons, elite marching bands, an international roster of celebrities, stars and athletes who appear in the parade and new exciting additions each year that have not only helped the parade earn its Best Parade in the World, Best Parade in Texas and Best Event in Texas distinctions, but also, set the event apart from every other parade in Texas


“With the McAllen Holiday Parade, the largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas; FRIO! ™, a wonderland of frozen fun; and dazzling light displays, it is clear that McAllen really knows how to celebrate Christmas,” added Mayor Darling. “After a brief phone call with Santa Claus – he is, after all, the mayor of the North Pole – I told him that he was welcome to set-up shop in McAllen for the winter. That is why I am not only declaring that McAllen is the South Pole of Texas, but also, that it is the perfect theme for our magical McAllen Holiday Parade,” he concluded.


The leader of the great state of Texas seems to agree so as well, as Governor Greg Abbott sent his recognition and well-wishes to McAllen for its South Pole of Texas designation. 


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“Know ye that this official certificate is presented to the City of McAllen in honor of being recognized as The South Pole of Texas, under the laws of the State of Texas, with all rights, privileges and emoluments appertaining to said office, I grant this official recognition.” – State of Texas Governor’s Recognition


Parade organizers are already working on new ideas to top last year’s presentation, which opened with a first-time ever holiday musical pre-show Extravaganza, complete with an up-and-coming Latinx Disney star, local children’s choirs and mariachi and a fireworks display that punctuated the performance perfectly. 


“It has been our pleasure to work alongside with the City of McAllen to host the annual McAllen Holiday Parade over the past several years.  This is a premier event that captures the true essence of the holiday spirit.  As such, in 2018, we were elated to have H-E-B become the title sponsor of the McAllen Holiday Parade, a designation that we’re proud to carry forward once again this year,” said Tony Gonzalez, Director of Merchandising & Marketing for the Border Region of Texas for H-E-B.


VIP stadium seating tickets and parade route seats will soon be available.  Free seating, on a first-come, first serve basis will also be available along the one and a half mile parade route, all kicking off at 6:00 p.m. from McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2001 North Bicentennial Boulevard on Saturday, December 7, 2019.


Finally, as an added feature to all the activity taking place at the McAllen Convention Center, Oval Park will transform into Santa’s Circle, with giant, illuminated holiday and character displays that people will be able to walk into for photos or a magical experience unlike any other.  The displays will also debut on Wednesday, November 27 and run throughout the 40 days of Christmas in McAllen celebration and will be free for all to enjoy.  As an added attraction, the McAllen Performing Arts Center will showcase its holiday spirit with Broadway shows that include the Blue Man Group; The Nutcracker ; The Moscow Ballet: Russian Nutcracker; A Charlie Brown Christmas; The Valley Symphony Orchestra: A Touch of Frost; and The McAllen Wind Ensemble: Tinsel and Tutus, while Santa’s Circle will host the Lighting of the McAllen Christmas Tree and the Sunset Live: Winter Concert.


The McAllen Holiday Parade is presented by H-E-B.  Other proud sponsors who helped to bring the parade to the streets of McAllen were Bert Ogden & Fiesta Dealership, as well as Budweiser, Driscoll Health System and Reliant.   Other sponsors included: McAllen Public Utility; McAllen International Bridge System; Peña Eye Institute; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson; McAllen Chamber of Commerce; McAllen International Airport; Sprint; Metro by T-Mobile; IBC Bank; Doña Tota; AEP Texas Central; PepsiCo.; McAllen I.S.D.; McAllen Economic Development Corp.; Metro McAllen; 7-Eleven; Tres Lagos; Lacks; McAllen Recycling; Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Carollo Engineers; Palenque Group; KSA Engineers; Macy’s; University of Texas-RGV; BBVA Compass; South Texas College; Med-Care EMS; Favor Delivery; Plains Capital Bank; Ambetter Superior Healthplan; Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.; Texas Lottery; Chick-fil-A; Cigna HealthSpring; Halff Associates, Inc.; Melden & Hunt; S&B Infrastructure, Ltd.; and Juanita’s Foods.


Media partners for the event include: Telemundo 40 and TeleXitos; KGBT-Ch. 4 Valley Central and TV-Azteca; KRGV-Ch.5 and Somos del Valle; Entravision TV and radio stations, including home of Q 94.5 THE ROCK STATION FM; 107.9 MIX FM; La TriColor 99.5 FM; La Suavecita 101.1 FM and television stations FOX-South Texas, The Valley’s CW 212, UniMas and of course, Univision-Valle del Rio Grande; R Communications stations including, Digital 101.5, Super Tejano 102.1, La Ley 102.5, KURV-710 AM and La Lupe 89.1; Wild 104/KISS 106 and KTEX from IHeartRadio; Univision Radio, including KGBT LA JEFA 98.5 / RECUERDO, 96.1 / UNIVISION DEPORTES 1530 AM; Más Music Radio; Advance News-Journal; El Periódico, U.S.A.; Revista Expresión; and The Monitor.

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