City of McAllen News

McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, Celebrates Legendary Stars and Traditions

by Office of Communications | Sep 06, 2023


Earlier today, organizers of  the event recognized as the four-time Best Parade in the World and last year’s Grand Pinnacle award winner by the International Festival & Events Association, made a bevy of announcements  regarding celebrities and legendary stars making an appearance at this year’s McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B and powered by Bert Ogden Auto Group.

Leading the parade broadcast once again will be Mario Lopez. Lopez will be making his fifth appearance at the 10th anniversary of the parade, first appearing at the first presentation in 2014.

“Every host needs a co-host, and we are so excited to announce that once again, McAllen Holiday Parade broadcast co-host will be none other than H-E-B’s own Senior Manager of Public Affairs, Linda Tovar,” said McAllen Mayor Pro Tem/District 3 Commissioner Omar Quintanilla.

This year, even more people will be able enjoy the parade at home as MHP organizers continue to grow the re-broadcast of the parade during Christmas across top Texas and Latino markets in the United States, sharing McAllen’s holiday culture and traditions with the world.

“That spirit of giving that makes it all possible, right here, in the official South Pole of Texas and we are proud to share H-E-B’s spirit of giving which has made a difference in McAllen, the Rio Grande Valley, and throughout Texas, and for that, we are truly thankful,” concluded  Quintanilla.

In a tradition that has come to define the McAllen Holiday Parade, Dallas Cowboys legends will also be part of the roster of stars that will be making an appearance at this year’s event on Saturday, December 2, 2023. Three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion wide receiver Tony Hill, #80 and three-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl Champion wide receiver Drew Pearson, #88, will be joining fellow Dallas Cowboys legends, including Tony Dorsett, Nate Newton, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, and Jay Novacek, to name a few, who have also been a part of the parade over the years.

While tickets for the parade are already on sale now, for anyone wishing to be a part of the parade, volunteer opportunities are available for balloon handlers and banner carriers.

“Over the years the City of McAllen volunteer program has truly evolved into an experience that offers lifelong memories,” said Carina Jimenez, Assistant Director of Operations for McAllen Parks & Recreation.  “The community is invited to sign up to be one of hundreds of balloon handlers throughout the 1.5-mile parade route or, volunteers can light up the parade by holding one of over 100 lighted banners that walk just in front of the floats, balloons or bands.”

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 or McAllen International Airport Sky Box 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.

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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MHP 2023 Legendary Stars DC Tony Hill #80
MHP 2023 Legendary Stars DC Drew Pearson #88
MHP 2023 Legendary Stars DC Tony  Drew_
MHP 2023 Broadcast Star Mario  Linda
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