WESLACO Patriotism was in the air at Weslaco's Mid Valley Christmas Parade on December 8 as participants made their way down Texas Blvd. displaying the parade's theme, "A Red, White & Blue Christmas".

In addition to the nation's colors, the common factor among the decorated floats was paying tribute to all veterans and the heroes who have given their lives to defend the country. The parade's grand marshals reflected just that as family members of Weslaco's fallen soldiers kicked off the event. Family members of Sgt. Juan Calderon, Jr., Spc. Tomas Garces and Sgt. Rodolfo Rodriguez, Jr. were in attendance to represent the local brave men who have been killed in action.

The holiday event is organized by the Weslaco Area Chamber of Commerce and each year, the chamber staff, committee members, and the City of Weslaco come together to create fun and excitement for the community. "It's definitely a combined effort, and there's no way we could do it without the help of our volunteer committee and the City of Weslaco," remarked Martha Noell, Weslaco Chamber President/CEO.

This year, the parade drew in record numbers with more attendants this year compared to years past. Lighted floats, marching bands, dance teams and mascots wowed and entertained the crowd, particularly the floats that were competing for the top three spots. Memorial Elementary took first place in the competitive float division; Margo Elementary placed second, and New Hope Christian Fellowship took third place. Weslaco High School Panther Corps took first place in the marching band division.

The Weslaco Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the City of Weslaco, parade committee members and volunteers for all their efforts in helping to make this year's parade a success. The Chamber would also like to thank parade emcees Eddie Flores and Camaron Abundes from KRGV Channel 5 and local school district TV station KWES for recording the parade.