McAllen Holiday Parade

McAllen Holiday parade 2023 | Explore McAllen

Your Guide to the McAllen Holiday Parade & Christmas in the Park

As they say – Everything is BIGGER in Texas! McAllen Holiday Parade is the Largest Illuminated Holiday and Helium Balloon Parade in Texas! Since 2014, the McAllen Holiday Parade has captivated hearts nationwide with its one-of-a-kind floats and GIANT helium balloons!
The McAllen Holiday Parade has been named the Best Parade in the World and the Best Parade in Texas by international and state event industry organizations. If you’re wondering how to experience the magic this year, here’s your comprehensive guide to the Parade and Christmas in the Park.

Christmas in the Park

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Thursday, November 30th 
5 PM – 11 PM
McAllen Municipal Park, 1921 Bicentennial Blvd. 
Christmas in the Park leads into the day of the McAllen Holiday Parade. You can expect food, artisan vendors, and more! Christmas in the Park runs Thursday, Friday, and until Saturday after the McAllen Holiday Parade.
Here is the current schedule for each day:


Friday, December 1

5PM — 11PM — Carnival, FREE Concerts, Balloon Preview and Food at Christmas in the Park

Saturday, December 2 – McAllen Holiday Parade

12PM – 11PM — Carnival and FREE Concert at Christas in the Park

3:30PM — Stadium Gates Open, Street SPI Vuelta Zone Opens, Sky Box Opens

4:30PM — Stadium Extravaganza and Fireworks Show

6:00PM — Parade Starts

*Stay tuned for more surprises and information about the upcoming Christmas in the Park event!

McAllen Holiday Parade

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Saturday, December 1st

From Rockin’ Around the South Pole to Christmas Around the Word, the McAllen Holiday Parade keeps us on the edge of our seats with its innovative pieces!

The 2023 McAllen Holiday Parade theme is SouthPole Dream land

This year’s hosts, presented by HEB and powered by Bert Ogden, are Mario Lopez, Linda Tovar, and Julian Gil.

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More Celebrity Guests including: 

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Parade Route

*This is last year’s layout. We will share official routing details once we receive it! 

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The McAllen Holiday Parade goes through 1.5 miles throughout McAllen, kicking off at McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium and heading south on Bicentennial Blvd. towards Business 83.

Navigating Traffic with the Polar Express Free Shuttle Service

*This is previous year’s shuttle service. We will share official shuttle details once we receive it! 

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To help alleviate traffic, the City of McAllen, in partnership with South Texas Campus, offers a free shuttle service on the day of the McAllen Holiday Parade.

The Polar Express utilities South Texas College’s parking lot is located at Pecan Ave and 29th street (3201 Pecan Blvd.). The Polar Express offers FREE shuttle service to the McAllen Holiday Parade from 12 pm to 12 am.

Seating Alongside the Parade

There are various ways to enjoy the parade. Whether you are looking for reserved, general admission, or free seating, we have all you need to know about the best views to watch the McAllen Convention Center.

No matter where you sit at the McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, you will have a fantastic view of all the floats and helium balloons. You will also hear all the announcements and live hosts introducing all the fun!

stadium tickets | Explore McAllen

*This is previous year’s seating chart. We will share official shuttle details once we receive it! 

At the stadium, you have options to watch the McAllen Holiday Parade:

  • VIP Lower Level Seating – Not only will you have the closest stadium seating, but you will also be facing the opening extravaganza!
  • Preferred Seating – This seating is on the upper-level stadium and faces the opening extravaganza.
  • General Parade Stadium Seating – the opposite side of VIP and Preferred seating, general admission is a first come, first serve seating area.

Seating Outside the Stadium

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  • SPI Vuelta Zones  – Assigned seating in a special zone along the street route called the “SPI Vuelta Zone”! The SPI Vuelta Zone will feature a celebrity host, South Padre Island interactive activities, and an electric crowd experience!
  • The MFE Sky Box fan experience will feature an exicting parade route party area, a free t-shirt and noisemaker, a celebrity host and DJ LED stage, and Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders!
  • Community Organization Seating – Several McAllen Community Centers, including Lark, Palm View, and Las Palmas Community Center, have reserved seating along the route. For more information on these seating options, keep an eye out on McAllen Holiday Parade’s Facebook page for more details.
  • Free Seating – Along Bicentennial, there will be accessible bleacher seating, or you can bring your foldable chairs. You can bring ice chests, food, and anything to make your experience more enjoyable. *no tents or anything that can obstruct views for everyone else!

Volunteering at the McAllen Holiday Parade
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Want to take a step behind the scenes and help?! We want you!

  • Balloon Handlers – must be 18 and over and weigh no less than 120 pounds. The handler will help put balloons in place and assist in getting them ready for the parade. The handler will work with a team to carry the giant cold-air helium inflatable balloons down the parade route. This position requires attending a volunteer training session on Saturday, December 1st.
  • Banner Carrier – must be 16 and over. Banner Carriers march in the parade carrying a banner for a float, sponsor, or other parade elements.

To volunteer, contact Sarah Canizales at or call 956.681.3350!

Watch the Live Stream of the McAllen Holiday Parade

Grab a bag of popcorn, get comfortable on your couch and enjoy the live stream of the McAllen Holiday Parade in the comfort of your own home!

The City of McAllen live streams the event every year – Link coming soon.
Watch the McAllen Holiday Parade on various media outlets, including KRGV, Telemundo, and other major networks. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates on live streaming the McAllen Holiday Parade!