McALLEN - The McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, is right around the corner, and organizers unveiled new exciting features that will delight attendees. Kicking off this year’s parade on Saturday, December 7, is a Holiday Musical Extravaganza featuring international singing sensation, Mane de la Parra joined by 500 4th and 5th grade choir students from McAllen I.S.D. and the Valley Symphony Orchestra.

Joining the Extravaganza is a Tuba Christmas as well as local dance group sensation called Razz Matazz. The performance will start at 5:30 p.m., in the mid-field of McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium. The performance will end in a dazzling fireworks display and decorations that will bring the South Pole of Texas theme to life. A ticket is required for the Extravaganza, but is included in the VIP Stadium Parade seating ticket.

“Each year, we find new ways to make the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, bigger and better than ever,” said McAllen Mayor Jim Darling. “Everyone who experiences the parade leaves with smiles of wonder an awe and this year will be no different, seeing our own McAllen I.S.D. kids performing with such an iconic and world-renowned celebrity. I really can’t wait!”

The international star power did not end there, as six more celebrities joined the line-up of stars who will be making an appearance at this year’s parade. They include:

Isabella Castillo, from Telemundo’s “El Señor de los Cielos.” She currently plays the role “Diana Ahumada” on the most watched Spanish-language series;

Matias Novoa from Telemundo’s “El Señor de los Cielos.” He began studying acting at the prestigious CEFAC school of TV Azteca, and recently joined as “Amado Leal”series on the series;

Alejandro Lopez from Telemundo’s “El Señor de los Cielos.” He debuted as an actor on the series N.N in 1991. He currently plays the role “El Super Javi” on the series;

Pedro Rojas a two-time Lone Star Emmy award winner and was named National Correspondent for Texas, South and central regions of the United States and northern Mexico, and opened up a Bureau for Noticiero Univision in McAllen, Texas;

El Flaco of the new Entravision Radio Syndicated Tri-Color morning show, El Flaco y Su Pandilla, is hosted by an unlikely pair whose differences create dysfunctional fun and unpredictable conversation. Eddie G, aka “El Flaco,” is the millennial on top of what’s hot and trending in pop culture; and

Brandon “The Heartbreaker” Figueroa is the younger brother of a former world champion who is forging his own path toward boxing greatness, Born and raised in Weslaco, the up-and-coming boxing star, continues to train in his hometown.

Parade organizers point out that no other parade in South Texas boasts any of the dazzling array of celebrities that, in only five short years, continue to make this parade the standard by which other parades are measured. “We are so proud to bring celebrities to the McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, that appeal to the young and the young at heart,” said Assistant City Manager Joe Vera. “In fact, we are just as excited as the community to bring in new and exciting celebrities year after year.”

Families attending the parade can ride a FREE McAllen Holiday Parade Park & Ride Polar Express Shuttle from the STC campus on Pecan Boulevard and 29th Street. The free transportation was made possible in partnership with the City of McAllen and South Texas College. Starting at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 7, trolleys will make a continuous loop approximately every 10 minutes from the pick-off station at STC at 31st Street and Quince Avenue. The Park & Ride Polar Express Shuttle will run till 12:00 a.m.

Individuals with disabilities, including those in regular or motorized wheelchairs and walkers are encouraged to use the ADA shuttle pick-up point from 31st Street and FM 495. Strollers are allowed and service dogs.

Mayor Darling also announced today that The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley President, Dr. Guy Bailey will be parade’s grand marshal. Bailey was selected as this year’s Border Texan of the Year for his support of higher education, education funding, transportation business security and health issues for the entire South Texas region.

“Dr. Bailey has transformed UTRGV into a world-class institute of higher learning, not only for our Rio Grande Valley students, but also, for anyone in the state of Texas and northern Mexico,” said Mayor Darling. “He has spearheaded the growth of the medical school and research facility and has embedded the university into our community. He is the perfect choice to be this year’s McAllen Holiday Parade grand marshal.”

This year’s McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B will be held on Saturday, December 7, 2019 beginning at 6:00 p.m. from McAllen Veterans Memorial Stadium, 2001 North Bicentennial Blvd and is generally thought of as the best seat in the house. General admission and reserved tickets are now on sale. General admission tickets are $10 and are exclusively for the east side of the stadium, while reserved tickets are for $20 or $35 for the west side of the stadium.

Tickets may be purchased online at https://www.ticketmaster.com/ and will charge an additional service fee or at face value at the McAllen Convention Center Box Office, located at 700 Convention Center Blvd. VIP chairs along the route are available for $8 or free seating is found on a first come basis. Go to www.mcallenholidayparade.com for tickets and information.

The McAllen Holiday Parade, presented by H-E-B, features 55 floats that boast a wattage power of 153,000 watts from just under five miles of rope light; 39 giant character balloons utilize 34,000 cubic feet of helium; and 50 vehicles provide 12,000 horsepower to pull floats along the streets of McAllen.