City of McAllen News

McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, Announces Celebrity Special Guest, International, National, Local Stars

by Office of Communications | Oct 13, 2023

Additionally, Bert Ogden sweepstakes with dreamland giveaway

Earlier today, organizers for the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B and powered by Bert Ogden Auto Group announced star of international fame Julian Gil, will be making his fifth appearance at the presentation Spanish-language celebrity guest host. Other announcements included 13 Rio Grande Valley  high school  bands participating in this year’s, as well as the internationally renowned U.S. Air Force Honor Guard & Drill Team and Lobos G3, a marching  from band from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.  Finally, details of the highly anticipated McAllen Holiday Parade Sweepstakes were announced, including the Bert Ogden Auto  Group grand prize of VIP stadium seating tickets, Meet & Greet opportunity and a parking pass for the parade which steps off from McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at 6:00 p.m.

“One of the people who has made the McAllen Holiday Parade shine with their star presence has not only worked with us in  previous years and loves McAllen, but also, perfectly encapsulates and values what we stand for: community and goodwill towards all,” said McAllen Mayor Pro Tem Omar Quintanilla. “Not only is he’s an actor, model, businessman, and host, he is an all-around super nice guy, and we are so proud to bring him back to his home away from home right for our 10th anniversary presentation of the Best Parade in the World.”

Quintanilla later on went on to express gratitude for all the sponsors, especially the Bert Ogden Auto Group whose 55 vehicles provide the 12,000-horsepower  required to pull the floats down the 1.5-mile parade route. 

“Bert Ogden Auto Group is a proud long-time sponsor of the parade, since the very first parade, because we believe the Rio Grande Valley deserves a world-class holiday event to share with their families – cost free,” said Marsha Green, Vice-President of Marketing for Bert Ogden Auto Group.  “We value hard work and kindness and the partnership with our organization and the McAllen Holiday Parade and all that it provides for our community is the perfect match.”

In fact, Bert Ogden is providing the grand prize for the 2023 McAllen Holiday Parade sweepstakes, which will include four VIP Stadium tickets; four meet and greet tickets; and one parking pass. Other  prizes include an iPhone 15; PS5; Nintendo Switch; Apple Pro Max Headphones; a Dyson Airwrap; VIP Parade tickets and much more.  Anyone can register by simply texting the word SOUTHPOLE to (956) 474-6767 to get registered to win.

Organizers were pleased to announce the two marching bands of international fame and origin and 13 Rio Grande Valley high school bands “who are the heartbeat of  the parade,” thanks to their drumlines, performances and colorful pageantry and excitement of the band, color guard, cheerleaders who march in the parade. 

This year’s band line-up includes the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard & Drill Team, making their third appearance in the parade as the lead step-off band.  As part of their activities, the group will visit local high schools to recruit potential prospects to the Air Force and especially, to the elite marching and performance unit.

They will be joined by bands from McAllen Memorial High School; McAllen High School; Nikki Rowe High School; La Joya High School; La Joya Juarez-Lincoln High School; Mercedes High School; PSJA North High School; PSJA Southwest High School; Palmview High School; Robert Vela High School; Sharyland Pioneer High School; and Valley View High School.  The bands were selected to offer an array of styles and traditions, reflecting the rich tapestry of cultures and communities that come together during the holiday.  Finally, making their debut appearance this year is the Lobos G3 Marching Band from Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

Anyone wishing to participate in the parade as a volunteer still has time to sign up as balloon handlers or banner carriers.  Balloon handler volunteers must be 18 years or over, while banner carriers must be 16 years or over. All volunteers must go through a background check and will receive gloves, t-shirt and snacks. Learn more at or by visiting Las Palmas Community Center located at 1921 N 25th Street or calling Las Palmas at 681-3350.

Organizers are also reminding anyone throughout the Rio Grande Valley that the call for entries for the McAllen Holiday Shoebox Parade is opens still and the deadline to enter is fast approaching. Entries must be on a shoebox, and can include any type of arts & crafts, toys, holiday decorations, lights or countless elements to celebrate “South Pole Dream Land,” the theme of both the shoebox and the big parade.  The winning shoebox float entry will be made into an actual float for the 2024 edition of the McAllen Holiday Parade.  Entries are due no later than Monday, October 30, 2023 by 5:00 p.m. to the City of McAllen Office of Communications, McAllen City Hall, 1300 W. Houston Ave., 3rd Floor.  For more information, visit

The parade will step off at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from the McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2001 N. Bicentennial Blvd. Ticket prices start at $10, plus service fees for stadium, SPI Vuelta Zone seating for the parade and can be purchased at  There is also plenty of free seating along the parade route, on a first come basis.  For stadium seating, organizers are encouraging attendees to arrive early to enjoy the first-ever Vuelta Spin-Off, a competition between the

The McAllen Holiday Parade is presented by H-E-B and powered by Bert Ogden Auto Group and proudly sponsored by McAllen International Airport, South Padre Island CVB and Reliant. Other sponsors for the 2023 presentation of the McAllen Holiday Parade include Budweiser-L&F Distributors, McAllen International Bridge System; McAllen Public Utility; Metro McAllen; South Texas Vo-Tech; University of Texas-RGV;  Matt’s Building Materials; PepsiCo.; Valley Aids Council; South Texas College; McDonald’s; Driscoll Children’s Hospital; Chick-fil-A Rio Grande Valley; American Electric Power Foundation; McAllen Public Works; IBC; Lacks; McAllen Chamber of Commerce; Hermes; Peña Eye Institute;  McAllen I.S.D.; Linebarger Attorneys at Law; General Mills; PNC Bank; O’Reilly Auto  Parts; McAllen Economic Development Corp.; Doña Lula; Tres Lagos Master Planned Community; Pollux Castor Creative; Explore McAllen; KSA Engineers; Cigna; Plains Capital Bank; Taco Palenque; Halff Associates; B2Z Engineering; Raba Kistner Consultants, Inc.

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