EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — It’s an El Paso tradition that will live on in a different format this year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 84-year Borderland tradition will take an in-person break in 2020. That won’t stop the 80-plus year tradition from coming to your family through your television.

The Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl Parade will be broadcast virtually at 10 a.m. on KTSM and KTSM.com on Thanksgiving morning.

KTSM and the Sun Bowl Association have partnered to televise the annual parade for over 40 years, and we’re excited to bring the family tradition to the homes of El Paso and beyond for the first-ever virtual parade. Oscar Leeser and Hyundai of El Paso are in their second year of sponsoring the event.

“I consider the Sun Bowl parade an iconic El Paso event. I remember it as a kid and always loved it. This year, with COVID-19, most parades across the country have been canceled. I’m making sure the Sun Bowl Parade tradition continues by sponsoring the first-ever Oscar Leeser‘s Hyundai Of El Paso‘s Virtual Parade, so our kids and families will get to enjoy it in safety — it’s worth every penny,” Leeser said.

Leeser became the financial sponsor of the parade in 2019 after sponsoring the Sun Bowl football game for ten years.

The theme for the 2020 parade is “Fan Favorites” and will feature units that will be invited from past parades.  This year will be by invitation only for all parade units due to the limited time available on the broadcast. Units will include marching bands, floats, and specialty units like Mariachis, Six Gun Shady Ladies, Sheriff’s Posse, and the Shriners.

“The Thanksgiving Day Parade has long fostered a sense community connection so often centered on in-person events, especially in El Paso.  This year is obviously not like any year in the past, not by a long shot.  In light of the coronavirus pandemic, traveling and getting together are not options for many of our friends and family.  This should not get in the way of our annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.  KTSM has been broadcasting the parade live since 1978.  This year we are still going to broadcast the parade but with a different twist.  We will be doing the first virtual Thanksgiving Day Parade ever.  We feel that the show must go on with the long-standing tradition that our community really enjoys,” KTSM General Manager David Candelaria said.  

The parade is an 84-year El Paso tradition — and pandemic or not, the show must go on!

WHAT: 84th Annual Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl ‘Virtual’ Parade
WHEN: Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26, 2020)
WHERE: KTSM-TV (Channel 9)/simulcast on KTSM.com (in case you miss it: view it the next day online at www.sunbowl.org)
TIME: 10 a.m. (MT)