El Paso's Sun Bowl Parade=Travel destination

Trip Start Nov 25, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Thursday, November 25, 2010

{EAV_BLOG_VER:949e2bea04dcac3b} The crowd lines a three mile parade route in El Paso on Thanksgiving morning; indeed, organizers of the annual Sun Bowl Parade prepare annually for 300,000 spectators. 

It was a holiday tradition with a Southwest twist, with some surprises for strangers, while showcasing the best of El Paso.The City of El Paso was actually this year's Grand Marshal. The best of the city and the surrounding is represented every year in the parade that draws folks from across the region to kick off the holiday season. 

Patriots applauded representatives from El Paso's Fort Bliss, the US Border Patrol and the Junior ROTC units. Civic organizations, local politicians, the city's leading employers proudly claimed their spot in the parade line up of over 100 units.Mounted horses, horse brigades, and more horses drawing wagons and stagecoaches made it uniquely Southwestern

 On a related note, the parade roster was punctuated with occasional duos of the city's street-cleaning vehicles. Additionally, small bands of folk, armed with shovels and trailing a trash barrel, followed up each horse-related entry. As they hastily performed their duties, they drew "Ewews" of fake disgust from the crowd who watched every motion they made (see photos).

My Midwestern eyes noticed the preponderance of Latina queens, the cowboy themes, the chicherones sold by vendors strolling the parade route, and the inflatable plastic toys the parents were buying for their kids from other wandering vendors. The parade spectators surrounding me were chatting with one another in Spanish more than in English. I knew I wasn't in Iowa anymore.

Sports teams were well-represented also. A University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) team rode on a float. Although their football stadium is called the Sun Bowl and they host an annual football bowl game called the Sun Bowl, I learned that this parade is a separate function. However, the Sun Bowl Association's schedule of events for December, listed in the souvenir parade program, includes the annual Sun Bowl Game at noon on December 31.

Check out the images for more details of this popular event. It is a slide show of Southwestern color!
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