Adriana Acosta

The drop in temperature on Saturday night did not stop the thousands of people attending the 9th Annual City of Lights Celebration that took place this past weekend. The festivities began at The University of Texas-Pan American Quad and were filled with people enjoying stage performances of children singing Christmas Carols and Mariachi’s performing holiday music.

Multiple booths surrounded the area selling hot chocolate, funnel cakes, and arts and crafts. A children’s carnival was also onsite.

The event was sponsored by the City of Edinburg, The University of Texas-Pan American, The Edinburg Economic Development Corporation and the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce.

The parade began at the Hidalgo Court House, through University Drive to Sugar Road and ended at the Edinburg Baseball Stadium.

All across University Drive, people could be seen sitting on beach chairs, with camera on hand covered up for the cold night, waiting for the parade to start.

The parade included approximately 20 floats and had floats from the City of Edinburg Mayor Joe Ochoa, drill teams, Frosty the Snow man, high school marching bands from Edinburg CISD and a float with the 2009 Miss Edinburg and the rest of the court.

Santa Claus was the last to make an appearance through the parade and was escorted by the Edinburg Volunteer Fire Department; each truck rang their fire alarms announcing Santa’s entrance.

Santa Claus later made an appearance at the UTPA Quad to take pictures with children.

Parade honoreers are as follows:

First Place in the Business/Civic division went to Vicky Roy Home Health, with a singing Elvis to boot!

First place in the School Division went to Dr. Thomas Esparza Elementary, having a float full of students singing live Christmas Carols. A close 2nd place went to the Edinburg Volunteer Fire Department.

The Grand Marshal’s float was dedicated to the military Veterans of Edinburg with the Zapata Family (family of fallen soldier, Mark Anthony Zapata) as featured representatives on the float, along with Edinburg City Council member Noe Garza, and Councilwoman Alma Garza with Gene Espinoza, Mayor Pro-tem following right behind.