‘40 Years of Magic’: Ford Holiday River Parade returns Friday following hiatus

Parade set to take place on Nov. 26., was canceled last year due to COVID-19

he 40th Annual Ford Holiday River Parade is a San Antonio tradition and this Friday at 6 p.m. the parade is back, offering a bright and extravagant show along the San Antonio River Walk.

SAN ANTONIO – The 40th Annual Ford Holiday River Parade is a San Antonio tradition and this Friday at 6 p.m. the parade is back, offering a bright and extravagant show along the San Antonio River Walk.

The 2021 theme: “40 Years of Magic”. The parade was canceled last year due to COVID-19.

“Each of our floats will be themed per one of the years before, we also have kayaking that will happen before the parade with illuminated kayaks and singers. We also on some of our floats through some different people on our floats. We have the Children’s Chorus of San Antonio. We’ve never had them before. We had the San Antonio master singers. Never them before. So we’re so excited about having some of these new folks on our floats to entertain the crowds,” Maggie Thompson, executive director of the San Antonio River Walk Association said.

2020 Ford Holiday River Parade canceled due to COVID-19, virtual activities planned

Illuminated floats and costumed parade participants will float along the one-hour parade route. The event will also be broadcast live at the Arneson River Theatre starting at 7 p.m. and it will be unique, to say the least.

“We have a wedding, and what they’ll do is they’re going to do the wedding kiss so they need to wear their chapstick and they’ll do it all along the route and everybody can join in and kiss their significant other,” Thompson said.

Watchers will see more than 20 specially designed floats, including Santa’s slay, Hannukah decorations, the state of Texas, and even a Willy Wonka float.

“Since it’s 40 years of magic, our grand marshal is Willy Wonka, who is so magical himself. We wish we could have a chocolate river. Wouldn’t that be cool? But he will magically turn the lights on the night of the parade, so we’re so excited to have him. He’s the actor over at the Majestic for ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’, which will be the week after the parade,” Thompson said.

If you want to buy tickets or have any questions you can go to the website by clicking here.

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About the Authors:

Max Massey is the GMSA weekend anchor and a general assignments reporter. Max has been live at some of the biggest national stories out of Texas in recent years, including the Sutherland Springs shooting, Hurricane Harvey and the manhunt for the Austin bomber. Outside of work, Max follows politics and sports, especially Penn State, his alma mater.