El Paso’s Sun Carnival Parade Highlighted in this 1968 Video
A parade to greet the new year used to be an annual tradition in El Paso.
The parade we all know as the Sun Bowl Parade that is held on Thanksgiving day was once held on new year's day. The El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the Parade in 1935. The parade was held on new year’s day from 1936 until 1978 when the event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day.
For the longest time, my mom would tell us about the new year's day parade, but I could never fully picture it until I came across this video by the Texas Archive. This video highlights the 1968 parade- and the Sun Bowl game of that year- and it really shows how beloved the event was.
That year, it was Arizona vs. Auburn at the Sun Bowl game, and the entertainment was provided by the Disneyland performers, as well as the surrounding events held in El Paso and Ciudad Juarez. The parade had people lined up in the usual spot that we all know, Montana Ave.
The holiday pageant is (as it always has) planned, coordinated and produced by volunteer efforts and draws an annual crowd of over 250,000 spectators.
These days, the Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the West Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area and brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.
I often wondered why the parade was moved from new year's day to Thanksgiving day- after doing some researching, Bernie Olivas, Executive Director of the Sun Bowl Association, told KTSM he believes it was the weather that was a deciding factor.
Rain or shine, I know the parade is one of the most anticipated events of the year in El Paso.
LOOK AT THIS: KLAQ Halloween Parade 2018