Thanks to its partnership with Telemundo 40, the McAllen Holiday Parade, the largest illuminated and helium balloon holiday parade in Texas, will help bring the McAllen Christmas spirit to a national Hispanic audience in the top 25 markets for TeleXitos, a Spanish-language network channel owned by the Telemundo Station Group. The network will air the multiple international-award winning parade on Christmas Eve, Sunday, December 24, 2017, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m., central time.
“The McAllen Holiday Parade brought smiles to the over a quarter of a million people who sat in the stadium and lined the parade route to see the colorful, dazzling illuminated floats, larger-than-life character balloons, international celebrities and marching bands,” said City of McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “The young, and the young at heart, flocked to see ‘The Magic of Christmas’ brought to life in this year’s parade. ”
Echoing that sentiment was Jose Flores, President & General Manager of KTLM Telemundo 40, located in McAllen, Texas, who said, “We are excited to partner with the City of McAllen to bring the McAllen Holiday Parade’s Magic of Christmas to viewers all across the country through TeleXitos.” Telemundo 40 5 and 10 PM news anchors Carlos Sanchez and Ana Cecilia Mendez will serve as co-hosts for the broadcast.
Indeed the parade’s theme, “The Magic of Christmas,” was expressed through one-of-a-kind animated and lighted floats that included an underwater sea world, a Christmas carnival, Mexican cultural icons such as calaveras, lotería and piñatas, and even, aliens, Minions, Smurfs and Elf on a Shelf that were all part of the 50 lighted floats that traveled down the one and half mile parade route. While the floats featured a wattage power of 153,000 watts from just under five miles of rope light, the 40 giant inflated fan-favorite character balloons, included The Very Hungry Caterpiller, Mr. Potatoe Head, Humpty Dumpty, Olivia, the Octonaut Submarine and two ornaments that made their parade debut that evening, utilized 34,000 cubic feet of helium to keep them flying high throughout the parade.
However, the attraction for many of the parade attendees are the celebrity guests who are invited to be part of the parade, who join local elected officials on the various floats.
International luminaries of TV and film, as well as former and current star athletes, make up the star-studded line-up that had an appeal for everyone in the community. This year’s McAllen Holiday Parade Grand Marshal was four-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl Champion and former Dallas Cowboys running back, Tony Dorsett, who was joined by four-time Pro-Bowler, Super Bowl Champion and former wide receiver Tony Hall.
The Rio Grande Valley is Dallas Cowboys Country, so to add to that overwhelming appeal, current stand-out defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and star punt returner Ryan Switzer joined their legendary former team members. Rounding out the silver and blue enticement were four Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and the mascot Rowdy.
Rivaling the Cowboys with a strong fan turn-out was Dra. Ana Maria Polo, whose show,
“Caso Cerrado,” continues to rank number one in the Rio Grande Valley and was invited to attend the parade as a celebrity guest by Telemundo 40, the number one primetime network in the market. Fans were able to see the famed 20-year veteran TV personality on the Telemundo 40 float, as well as various locations thoughout McAllen.
“It was an honor to participate this year in the McAllen Holiday Parade and a beautiful experience for me to have had the oportunity to meet and share with such a beautiful audience,” said Dra. Ana Maria Polo, Host, “Caso Cerrado.” “I cannot describe the love and respect I felt from the city during my visit and I hope this will be the first of many more,” she concluded.
Other celebrity guests included: Julian Gil of “Republica Deportiva” and Karina Banda of “El Gordo y La Flaca,” appearing courtesy of Entravision; Guillermo of “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” who was making his second appearance at the parade thanks to local fans’ requests; and local child stars Manelly Zepeda and Noel Cabreza, who played the young version of Salma Hayek and Eugenio Derbez in the hit romantic comedy film “How To Be A Latin Lover.”
Aside from airing throughout the Rio Grande Valley, the parade will also air in the following Texas markets: Dallas; Houston; San Antonio; in Florida in West Palm Beach and Miami; in Arizona Phoenix and Tucson; in California in Bakersfield; Fresno; Los Angeles; Sacramento; Salinas/Monte Rey; San Diego; and San Francisco; and these other markets, including: Atlanta, GA; Alburquerque, NM; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT; Las Vegas, NV; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; and Salt Lake City, UT.
TeleXitos can be seen on Channel 1285 in the Rio Grande Valley. Check local listings for the TeleXitos channel to view the McAllen Holiday Parade on Sunday, December 24 on Christmas Eve.
In only three years, the McAllen Holiday Parade has already garnered 92 awards from various industry organizations, including being named Best New Event in its first year, and just this year, being named as both Best Parade in the World and Best Parade in Texas by the International Festitivals & Events Association and the Texas Festivals & Events Assoication, respectively.
The McAllen Holiday Parade sponsors include La Plaza, A Simon Mall; Kraft; H-E-B; Bert Ogden & Fiesta Dealerships; and L&F Distributors-Budweiser.
Other sponsors included: City of McAllen Bridge Department; McAllen Public Utility; Sprint; Lacks; Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP; McAllen Chamber of Commerce; McAllen Economic Corporation/ Reynosa McAllen Maquila Association; McAllen International Airport; Anzalduas International Bridge; Peña Eye Institute; IBC Bank; AEP Texas; Metro Connect; Doña Tota’s; Stripes; City of McAllen Public Works-Recycling; Carollo Engineers; Taco Palenque; Tres Lagos; Halff Associates, Inc.; University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley; Plains Capital Bank; BBVA Compass; South Texas College; Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.; Inter-National Bank; Melden & Hunt, Inc.; McAllen ISD; KSA Engineers; S&B Engineers; BBVA Compass, Cigna Health Spring, and The Texas Lottery Commission.
A special thanks to IBC for taking care of the travel arrangments for the appearance by the Dallas Cowboys players and legends.
Media sponsors include: KNVO-Ch. 48 Univision; KGBT-Ch. 4, CBS; KRGV-Ch. 5, ABC; KTLM-Ch. 40, Telemundo; Univision Radio KGBT 98.5; Entravision Radio; R Communications; iHeartRadio Wild 104 FM; Mas Music 90.9 FM; Multi-Medios; The Monitor; El Periódico, U.S.A.; Advance News Journal; La Patrona; Despierta Valle; & Revista Expresión.
FOR PHOTOS OF THIS YEAR’S McALLEN HOLIDAY PARADE: