Tens of thousands of families will line along Montana Avenue on Thanksgiving morning for the 81st Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade.
It’s the most attended event of the year in El Paso with an anticipated crowd of 250,000 people. This year’s parade will begin at 9:45 a.m., fifteen minutes earlier than previous years. More than 100 organizations will participate including several marching bands, equestrian units, clowns, drum and bugle corps units, dignitaries, a wide variety of specialty units from Mexican/Indian dancers to military ceremonial units, and approximately 20 large floats, which will be decorated in this year’s theme; American Folklore. 12 World War II Veterans will be this year’s Grand Marshals.
“With this year’s theme being ‘American Folklore’ we thought it’d be great to have real heroes lead our parade,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “We have a great working relationship with Fort Bliss and appreciate the team there helping us get connected with these veterans.”
The famous Budweiser Clydesdale Horses will also travel to El Paso to participate.
The parade begins at Montana and Ochoa and continues for 2.7 miles to Montana and Copia. Attendees are asked not to leave their belongings, including lawn chairs overnight due to security reasons. The event is free to attend. Limited reserved seats are available for purchase at all Circle K stores and FirstLight Federal Credit Union branches for $10.00.
The parade will be televised live on KTSM Channel 9 (NBC) at 10 a.m. It will also be filmed from a new location at 1600 Montana Ave, which will provide crews a larger work area and better angles for television.
“It’s always great to see the excitement on everyone’s faces, especially the kids,” said Sun Bowl Association Special Events Director and parade organizer Joe Daubach. “This is a great tradition in El Paso that is put on by the people of El Paso and we hope to continue this for many years.”
Sun Bowl Parade History
The El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the Parade in 1935. The parade was held on New Year’s Day from 1936 until 1978 when the event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day. The holiday pageant is planned, coordinated and produced by volunteer efforts and draws an annual crowd of over 250,000 spectators. The Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the west Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area and brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.
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