MCALLEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — As the McAllen Holiday Parade is set to take place on Dec. 4, ValleyCentral takes a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to make this annual event come to life.
Putting together the parade is a year-round process the city begins as soon as the following year’s holiday parade is over.
McAllen Assistant City Manager Joe Vera said it starts with sponsors, as they carry the production of the parade. The focus is then on safety, traffic control, and bleacher seating.
One float designer told ValleyCentral that designing and creating the floats is the next step and just as much of a process as everything else.
The designer added that depending on the size of the float, each one can take anywhere between two and six weeks to finish.
Once the float is finished, lights are then stringed along. This year there will be over 60 illuminated floats.
McAllen Groundskeeper Javier Olvera said it typically takes eight to nine hours to do one part of the float.
Olvera said one float took him and his partner a week and 14 boxes of rope lights to finish. He calls the float “The Bridge” and added that it was a challenge, but that visitors will be “amazed” by the work.
Another feature of this year’s parade will be 32 larger-than-life character balloons.
The balloons will not be fully blown up until Friday or Saturday as it takes the whole day to do and some of them are 45-50 feet tall.
Balloons will be inflated with cold air and helium.
Vera commented the balloons will be showcasing the “Vuelta” as well. There will be a designated spot in the parade where balloons will spin to showcase their beauty.
Although not formally announced, Vera told ValleyCentral the Grand Marshall leading this parade will be current Dallas Cowboys Cornerback, Trevon Diggs. Cowboys wide receivers, Michael Gallup and Cedrick Wilson, Jr. will also be in attendance.
Celebrities Mario Lopez and Julian Gil will serve as co-hosts to the parade.
If you’re unable to make it to the parade, it will be broadcast on CBS4 and Local23. You can also watch it on ValleyCentral.com.