City of McAllen News

McAllen Events Continue to Earn Recognition

by Office of Communications | Oct 11, 2018


The City of McAllen continues to set the standard for quality and entertaining events, with the hardware to back up those claims.  McAllen employees who organize and promote events including the McAllen Holiday Parade, McAllen International CarFest, McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Memorial Run and the various programs at Quinta Mazatlan came back from the 63rd Annual International Festivals and Events Conference and Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Ceremony with a total of 40 awards, including 10 Gold, 20 Silver and 10 Bronze.  This year’s McAllen Holiday Parade earned four gold awards including the coveted Best Parade in the World for the second year in a row and Quinta Mazatlan walked away with six gold awards.


“We are so proud of the hard work, dedication and passion by the City of McAllen departments who work to produce quality events that are fun, affordable and showcase all that our great city of McAllen has to offer,” said McAllen City Manager Roel “Roy” Rodriguez, P.E.  “While our events are competing against festivals and events around the world and are being recognized for the creativity and professionalism that are demonstrated, the real award is the smile on the faces of the thousands of people who attend and participate in all of our events. That is why we do these events: for our residents and the visitors of our amazing community.”


Sponsored by industry leader Haas & Wilkerson Insurance, the professional competition draws entries from some of the world’s top festivals and events.  Winning entries came from organizations as diverse as the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.; the Kentucky Derby Festival in Louisville, KY and the Fiesta Bowl in Scottsdale, AZ.  International winners included such diverse event organizations as RedFilo Events, Abu Dhabi; Destination Sydney, Australia; Guangdong Chimelong Group, China; and Cuckoo Events, Ireland, to name a few.


The McAllen Holiday Parade racked up a total of 23 awards, including four Gold, 16 Silver and three Bronze.  The largest illuminated holiday and helium balloon parade in Texas is the only parade in the Rio Grande Valley to have twice been the Best Parade in the World by the IFEA in its budget category.  Gold Awards were handed out in 69 different categories, including Best Event Video Promotion; Best Volunteer Program; Best Media Relations Campaign and of course, the coveted Best Parade nod. Earlier this summer, the Mcallen Holiday Parade was once again named the Best Parade in Texas by another leading industry organization, the Texas Festivals and Events Association, the only parade in South Texas to earn this distinction two years in a row.




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“To earn the awards that the McAllen Holiday Parade has earned in just its four years is truly remarkable,” said Assistant City Manager Joe Vera, the brainchild of the parade.


“The McAllen Holiday Parade competes against parades around the world that have been running for decades and are a fabric of the identity and community of those cities.  The McAllen Holiday Parade helps to not only create a magical experience for the residents of McAllen and the visitors from throughout the region, it puts our city on the map as a tourist destination, a premier shopping mecca and a place to have a one of a kind entertainment experience.  It’s a great parade for everyone involved,” Vera concluded.


Quinta Mazatlan also walked away golden, with six total Gold and nine Silver and Bronze awards.  Recognition for various programs that the famed nature conservancy hosts, including the Monarch Festival, the Learning Landscapes Luncheon, Planta Nativa, Egg-stravanganza and their Monarch Celebration chidlren’s educational program are just of the awarded events. 


“It is especially gratifying to receive these awards because we operate on such a minimal promotional budget,” said Colleen Hook, manager and passionate visionary of the property.  “So much is done on a volunteer basis or with our own imagination and creativity, that to be recognized in this manner, for the work we do to promote and preserve our beautiful environment, is very special.”


Bronze awards were received by the McAllen Convention Center for the McAllen CarFest and the Parks & Recreation Department for the McAllen Marathon Scott Crane Memorial Run.


“We would like to congratulate all of our Pinnacle winners for their outstanding entries into this year’s competition,” said IFEA President and CEO, Steven Wood Schmader, CFEE.  “The IFEA/Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Awards Competition recognizes the outstanding accomplishments and top quality creative, promotional, operational and community outreach programs and materials produced by festivals and events around the world.  Striving for the highest degree of excellence in festival and event promotions and operations in every budget level and every corner of the globe, this competition has not only raised the standards and quality of  the festivals and events industry to new levels, but also shows how event producers can use innovation and creativity to achieve a higher level of success.”


Headquartered in Boise, Idaho, the IFEA is the premier association supporting and enabling festivals and events worldwide, offering the most complete source of ideas, resources, information, education and networking for festival and event professionals worldwide.

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