McAllen Holiday Parade going virtual in 2020

Floats and balloons wait at the start of the McAllen Holiday Parade at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Dec 1, 2018, in McAllen.

There won’t be any jostling for a good spot at this year’s McAllen Holiday Parade.

The city announced Thursday that the 2020 parade will be entirely remote and will be broadcast live through television and streaming services.

Despite the changes, city representatives remain confident the parade will live up to its reputation, which has won it epithets as both the “Best Parade in Texas” and “Best Parade in the World.”

“Everybody loves a parade and the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, is no different,” Mayor Jim Darling stated in a news release from the city. “Just because we can’t enjoy the parade in person, does not mean that will be any less special or beautiful. The true meaning of Christmas is love and family and watching the McAllen Holiday Parade together with just family will make it more special. In fact, now everyone will have the best seat to enjoy the magic of the McAllen Holiday Parade.”

This year’s parade will be held at 6 p.m. Dec. 5 and broadcast live on six local networks, the release says.

The release says the parade will include lighted floats and giant helium balloons, hallmarks of the event, while bands and celebrities will be featured in “entirely innovative and unique ways.”

“Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year and H-E-B is so proud to be a part of the family, holiday and cultural traditions of this beautiful holiday,” stated Tony Gonzalez, director of merchandising and marketing for H-E-B’s border region.

H-E-B is one of the event’s sponsors.

“Now more than ever, we do need to find ways to celebrate Christmas and H-E-B is proud that the newly reimagined presentation that will not only delight the entire Rio Grande Valley community, but also, help keep the wonderful, warm spirit of Christmas alive in McAllen, the true Official South Pole of Texas,” Gonzalez added.

This year’s parade will also give viewers the chance to win prizes during the live broadcast and in the weeks leading up to the parade.

More information on the parade and how to register for prizes is available at