USAF Honor Guard announced as ‘lead step-off’ of McAllen Holiday Parade

McALLEN — The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard has been announced as the lead step-off of the upcoming McAllen Holiday Parade.

The announcement was made at a news conference Friday morning at the Bert Ogden BMW dealership in McAllen.

According to city leaders, the honor guard will “set the tone” of the fifth annual parade, which is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, kicking off what’s traditionally become a colorful procession of floats, balloons and marching bands.

“McAllen, Texas is a proud American city, and especially proud of our U.S. military who have served and our currently serving,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling, himself a U.S. Navy veteran. “I am so excited that the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard will be the step-off element for this year’s McAllen Holiday Parade, because I know the pride and patriotism this will inspire in the entire Rio Grande Valley, South Texas and even our Mexican community. This should be a moving presentation for all to experience in our award-winning parade.”

Presented by H-E-B, this year’s parade theme is “Christmas Around the World” and “will be powered by 12,000 horsepower by Bert Ogden and Fiesta Dealerships of the Rio Grande Valley,” according to a McAllen news release. The parade uses 15 miles of rope light generating nearly 2 million lumens, as well as 44,500 cubic feet of helium to keep the balloons afloat, the release further read.

The parade will start from McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium at 2001 N. Bicentennial Boulevard and make its way down the 1.5 mile parade route on Bicentennial toward U.S. Business 83.