USA Today Nominates Ford Holiday River Parade as Best in Nation – Public Asked to Vote
For the second year in a row, the Ford Holiday River Parade has been nominated as the “Best Holiday Parade” in the nation by an expert panel at USA Today. “In 2018, the public voted us #4 th in the nation. That’s a big honor since we are in with other classic events like Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Tournament of Roses,” stated Maggie Thompson, Executive Director of the San Antonio River Walk Association, who produces the parade.
“We ask you to show your hometown and Texas pride by voting for the Ford Holiday River Parade at http://bit.ly/2019FHRPvoteUSAToday . Supporters may vote daily through December 2, 2019. For those who have never attended, or not recently, we invite you to join us on November 29 th on the 4-mile parade route spanning from the El Tropicano Hotel and throughout the downtown section of the River Walk,” she added.
“We are pleased the public has noticed the significant strides in parade showmanship we have accomplished over the last four years with enhanced costume float riders, execution in float design, creative parade themes, and more lights on floats,” Thompson stated.
The holiday season kicks-off each year the Friday after Thanksgiving in San Antonio with the annual Ford Holiday River Parade. This year’s date is Friday, November 29, 2019. Join us as we light the River Walk and watch 29 illuminated floats highlight a joyful mix of music and artists from throughout the great state of Texas. Tickets are still available at TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com. The parade has sold out the last three years. Tickets range from $17-$42. A ticket price increase goes into effect at
Midnight on November 12. The public is encouraged to save money and buy it before then.
This year’s grand marshal is the famous Houston-born musician Billy Gibbons, the lead singer in the iconic blues-inspired rock band, ZZ TOP. Gibbons released his second solo album in 2018 entitled The Big Bad Blues. The album was named blues-rock album of the year at the 40 th Blues Music Awards in May 2019.
Each float in the parade will feature a Texas music artist performing a Christmas classic. Jimmie Vaughan, Patsy Torres, Juan Ortiz, Stephanie Urbina Jones, Little Joe, Flaco Jimenez, Jefferson Clay, Van Wilks, Archie Bell, Rosie Flores, Tish Hinojosa, Patricia Vonne, Albert Garcia, Randy Brooks, Steve Earle, Jimmy Spacek, Al Gomez, Augie Meyer, Marcia Ball, Zach Willard Band, Las Tesoros de San Antonio, The Krayolas, Bobby Flores, Ken Slavin, Shelly Lares, Lou Ann Barton. Texas artist Selena will be honored posthumously with her music playing from the Texas Cavalier’s float.
The Ford Holiday River Parade is a San Antonio tradition, as are the lights on the River Walk. Over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands of lights) are illuminated simultaneously along the River Walk 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. Of the 19.4 million overnight leisure visitors to San Antonio, 1.5 million visit during December. The magical lights on the River Walk may have something to do with that.
Tickets and information about the Ford Holiday River Parade can be found online at TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com/events. Tickets go on sale July 9. Tickets are non-refundable.
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 four-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 and the seven free seating areas called the “Sweet Seats” accommodating approximately 1,000 people. The free area is made possible by Krispy Kreme of San Antonio and 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. Ford has had a presence in San Antonio since 1909 and is the No.1 selling brand in Texas. Locals love the sporty Mustang. Many South Texas families consider the Ford Explorer their family vehicle, and the F150 remains the king of trucks in Texas. In fact, Ford F-Series is America’s best-selling truck for 42 straight years. Information about the Ford Holiday River Parade is available at your Best In Texas Ford 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.”
For the second year, Krispy Kreme of San Antonio is a presenting sponsor of the parade. With five locations in San Antonio and over 120 employees, Krispy Kreme recognizes the importance of supporting community events. The local Krispy Kreme stores are also a benefactor of the San Antonio- based Children’s Rehab Institute and will donate a private parade viewing area for families receiving care there. Krispy Kreme also sponsors the free seating areas for the public at the parade, called the “Sweet Seats.” Schools and church groups are encouraged to contact Krispy Kreme to “raise some dough” through the Krispy Kreme fundraising program.
Drury Plaza River Walk Hotel returns as the official hotel of the Ford Holiday River Parade. Santa stays at the Drury while in San Antonio to appear in the parade. It is his first appearance in North America before his nationwide appearance tour to kick-off Christmas.
KABB/CW35 will air the parade live on Friday, November 29, 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, 2020. For sponsorship information, or to purchase commercial airtime during the broadcast, please email Lreyes@RiverwalkSA.org.
Additional sponsors include, Beethoven Kinderchor, Carvana, City of San Antonio, El Rey Feo LXXII King Thomas Aguillon, Eva’s Heroes, Go Rio Cruises, Landry’s Group, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Live Greystar San Antonio, LEGOLAND Discovery Center, Longhorn Steakhouse, Mad Dogs Group, Pedrotti’s Ranch, Q101.9 an iHeart Media Station, RSVP Events & Flowers, San Antonio Gardenia Club, San Antonio Zoo, SeaWorld San Antonio, Sinclair Broadcasting, Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Starbucks,Texas Cavaliers, Traders Village, University of the Incarnate Word, and Whataburger.
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, TheSanAntonioRiverWalk.com.