WESLACO The Mid Valley Lighted Christmas Parade will take a patriotic turn this year with the theme "A Red, White & Blue Christmas", paying tribute to local heroes. Grand marshaling the parade will be family members of fallen soldiers from Weslaco, which include Sgt. Juan Calderon, Jr., Spc. Sgt. Tomas Garces, and Sgt. Rodolfo Rodriguez, Jr.

Sgt. Juan Calderon, Jr., a U.S. Marine, served in the Iraq War and was killed in action in 2004. Spc. Tomas Garces, who served in the Texas Army National Guard, also died in the Iraq War in 2004. Sgt. Rodolfo Rodriguez, Jr., who served in the Army, was killed in Afghanistan earlier this year in September.

"We couldn't think of a better way to kick off a patriotic themed parade than to have family members of our local heroes as the grand marshals," commented Martha Noell, Weslaco Chamber President and CEO. "We are honored to have them be a part of our annual holiday event."

The Mid Valley Lighted Christmas parade will take place on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. in downtown Weslaco. The parade route will begin at Pike St., and continue down Texas Blvd. to 6th St. This year's parade is sponsored by J-III Concrete.