What to know about downtown San Antonio’s 42 annual Ford Holiday River Parade this Friday

The parade will kick off at 6 pm, and tickets are on sale now

Illuminated floats will light up San Antonio River Walk for Ford Holiday River Parade

SAN ANTONIO – The official kickoff to the holiday season in San Antonio will celebrate its 42nd year in 2023.

The Ford Holiday River Parade is planned for Friday evening, when illuminated floats, holiday lights and costumed parade participants will take over downtown.

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The parade will start at 6 p.m. at the Tobin Center, and the lighting of the River Walk will start at 7 p.m.

The River Walk will close to the public at 4 p.m. and reopen for ticket holders at 5 p.m.

During the parade, illuminated floats will travel along a 4-mile route beneath more than 100,000 holiday lights that light up the River Walk.

This year’s theme is “Holiday Stories,” with The Nutcracker as the grand marshal.

“Many San Antonio residents and visitors bring in the holiday season with this time-honored event that features 27 beautifully adorned floats of glitter and glee, spreading holiday cheer all along the San Antonio River Walk,” a release from Visit San Antonio states.

Tickets for the parade are already on sale, but there are also several free viewing areas along the route where you can bring your own chair. Ticket prices range from $12.50-$40, and children ages 2 and younger will not require a ticket.

Heads up, parents — strollers and carriers are not allowed on the River Walk for the event.

Also, on Friday, downtown visitors can enjoy free parking at street parking meters (city garages and lots are not included).

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About the Authors:

Rebecca Salinas has worked in digital news for more than 10 years and joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.