Thanksgiving Day Parade Celebrating 75th Anniversary

POSTED: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 2:58pm

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 - 8:03pm

EL PASO- It’s a milestone celebration for this year's FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl parade.

The parade has been a tradition in the Sun City for the past 75 years and this year some of the floats are adding something new and innovative. 

"I think we've got something for everyone in the parade. It's got to be one of the best ones we've ever had," said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas.

About 100 units, including 26 floats, make up the FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl parade.

“For our 75th anniversary, I think this might be a record number of floats for this parade, so we're pretty excited about this Thanksgiving Day," said Bernie.

Every year, the parade held in Central El Paso, is one of the most popular events in the Sun City. It features marching bands, dancers, equestrian units, and much more.

"All the floats must have a sun on it and every float must have the word sun in it," said Sun Bowl Association Special Events Director Joe Daubach

Most of the bright, colorful floats are housed at a warehouse in East El Paso. About 200 people work on the float starting in August and with nine days before the Thanksgiving Day parade, there's still work to be done.

Organizers say, while every year the floats get better, this year they're going all-out.  "There’s going to be a lot of floats this year that are going to have animations. They're going to have moving parts. So you have to look. Be very careful with how you look because there are going to be a lot of things going on," said Joe.

This year's Grand Marshall is Bill Macatee, who graduated from Burgess High in the 70's.  "He is now one of the top commentators for CBS Sports. As a matter of fact, he's going to take some time off from doing NFL games on Sunday to come and visit us, to be the Grand Marshall if this parade," said Bernie.

The honorary Grand Marshals are the 1949 Bowie High School baseball state champions whose float features a giant teddy bear. The sponsor of the parade, FirstLight Federal Credit Union, is having a Captain America float. Not only will be superhero be on the float, but he'll also make appearances prior to the parade.

"We have photo opportunities at different locations throughout the city," said Firstlight Federal Credit Union representative Natalia Flores.  "They will send an actor from Marvel to be at the meet and greets."

And the closer Thanksgiving Day get, the more the excitement grows.  "We’re looking forward to another sunny, great, Thanksgiving Day parade," said Joe.

The FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl parade takes place a week from Thursday, Thanksgiving Day. The parade route is on Montana Avenue beginning at Ochoa and ending at Copia. It starts at 10 a.m. and NewsChannel 9 will broadcast the parade live from start to finish.

For more information visit


Comments News Comments

Post new Comment