It’s a “Christmas in San Antonio” at the Ford Holiday River Parade

Wednesday 21st, November 2018 / 14:03 Written by
It’s a “Christmas in San Antonio” at the Ford Holiday River Parade

It’s a ” Christmas in San Antonio” is the Theme for This Year’s Parade

Celebrate Christmas on the San Antonio River Walk as the theme “Christmas in San Antonio” comes to life at the 38th Annual Ford Holiday River Parade on Friday, November 23, 2018. Join us as we light the River Walk and watch 29 illuminated floats highlight a joyful mix of culture and regional traditions in honor of the city’s Tricentennial celebration.

The Ford Holiday River Parade is nominated as one of the best holiday parades in the nation! Winning the top spot would be a huge honor for our city! Please vote!!
The public can vote once per day through December 10th here:

The Ford Holiday River Parade is a San Antonio tradition itself as are the lights on the River Walk. Over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands of lights) are illuminated simultaneously all along the River Walk immediately preceding the parade. The lights remain on the trees and are turned-on from sundown to sunrise every day until shortly after New Year’s Day.

It's a " Christmas in San Antonio"

It’s a “Christmas in San Antonio” at the Ford Holiday River Parade

This year’s float themes include:  Mariachi Mass, Las Tamaleras, Hosting a Soldier, Light Up Downtown, Blue Santa, 8 Million Lights, Christmas Day at the Movies, Holiday Shopping, Light the Way, Posada, Storytime at the Library, Traveling Santa, German Christmas, Pan Dulce Christmas, Holiday Performances, Official Tree Lighting, River Walk During the Holidays, Neighborhood Light Displays, Christmas Day Spurs Game , Christmas Dinner, Caliente Christmas, Texas Cavaliers, 24 Hours of Christmas Music, 300 years of Christmas, Luminarias, Christmas at El Mercado, Christmas Giving and A Rey Feo Christmas.

This year’s grand marshal is Joe Straus, Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives. Speaker Straus is a native of San Antonio and fifth-generation Texan. He was first elected as the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives in January 2009 and reelected in 2017. Straus has set a tone of respectful leadership while empowering the members of the Texas House to do what is right for their constituents and the people of Texas. The Dallas Morning Star named him Texan of the Year in January 2017. He and his wife Julie have two daughters.

It's a " Christmas in San Antonio"

“I am very honored to serve as grand marshal of the 2018 Ford Holiday River Parade,” Speaker Straus said. “The parade always showcases the beauty of the River Walk and the unique character of our community. I am especially honored to be part of this great San Antonio tradition during a year when we are doing so much to celebrate our city’s vast history. It’s going to be a very special night.”

Tickets and information about the Ford Holiday River Parade can be found online at Tickets go on sale July 10. Tickets are non-refundable. A tiered ticket price structure rewards early ticket purchases. Beginning July 10th, tickets will range from $15 – $40. Ticket prices will increase incrementally beginning August 24 and continue each month leading up to the event.

It's a " Christmas in San Antonio"

It’s a “Christmas in San Antonio” at the Ford Holiday River Parade

The parade has sold out the last two years, so event organizers are adding additional seating, with unobstructed views, through the use of bleacher seating which replaces rows of level folding chairs. Bleacher seating is being added to the highly desirable areas in the Convention Center and Shops at Rivercenter.

It will take approximately one-hour to view the 29-float parade. What time a person sees the first float depends on their seat location on the three-mile parade route.  An online map features clocks along the parade route so people can estimate when the first float will appear where they are seated. The map also shows ADA access to the river, ideal for people with disabilities or in need of stroller access. The map also displays seven free seating areas accommodating approximately 1,000 people. Free seating is available on a first come first serve basis. Guests must bring chairs for the free seating area.

The South Texas Ford Dealers return as the title sponsor of this beloved event. Social responsibility is indicative of Ford’s style of automotive leadership. They measure success by the satisfaction of their customers, employees, investors, dealers, suppliers, and communities. “This iconic event brings joy to the community, and we are proud to make this event possible,” stated Ubaldo Rodriguez, a spokesperson for Ford Motor Company and the South Texas Ford Dealers.  Information about the Ford Holiday River Parade is available in every dealership.

Visit San Antonio has returned as presenting sponsor of the city’s much-anticipated holiday kick-off event. “There is something magical about the holiday season in San Antonio, and the Ford Holiday River Parade is a special part of that,” said Casandra Matej, President & CEO of Visit San Antonio. “Against the backdrop of one of the country’s most celebrated lights displays, visitors and locals alike get to experience a holiday offering unlike any other. It’s part of what makes San Antonio an authentic, inviting destination, year after year.”

KABB/CW35 will air the parade live on Friday, November 23 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. It is syndicated throughout the United States through New Year’s Day and will air over 200 times between November 23rd and January 1, 2019. For sponsorship information, or to purchase commercial airtime during the broadcast, please email

Additional sponsors include Traders Village, City of San Antonio, Drury Plaza River Walk Hotel, San Antonio Gardenia Club, Alamo City Performing Arts Association, University of Incarnate Word, Sinclair Broadcasting, Whataburger, Eva’s Heroes and Mad Dogs Group, SA Sib’s, Univision, IHeart Media, Landry’s Group, Greystar, K1 Speed, Dave & Busters, SeaWorld.

The San Antonio River Walk Association is a nonprofit organization and the event organizer of the Ford Holiday River Parade. SARWA’s mission is to promote, protect, and preserve the San Antonio River Walk. They accomplish this through special events, social media, RIO Magazine and the website,


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