Sunday, December 6, 2015

December 5, 2015

The McAllen Christmas/Holiday
 Parade With the Grandchildren
December 5, 2015

This giant Santa balloon led off the McAllen Holiday Parade

Our daughter-in-law in McAllen visited her father lives in Kansas this weekend.  He has had some health problems during the last few years, so she and her sister try to visit him several times a year.  Her sister has a little boy and decided to take him, so our daughter-in-law took one of her little boys along.  Normally when she goes, our son takes care of the children, but this weekend was the big McAllen Christmas Parade and that was going to keep him very busy on Saturday.
Granddaughter working on a nine patch quilt square

Ron and I got up early on Saturday morning and went to McAllen so our son could spend the day helping in a variety of ways with the parade.  He is an Assistant City Manager in McAllen and this is a really big event for the city.  The oldest of the boys was taking his SAT test Saturday and when he finished just after noon, he picked up his next youngest brother and they headed to Camp Perry for the day for Boy Scout activities.  That left us with 4 children for most of the day instead of the 7 children in the family.
Completed nine patch square hand pieced
We did a variety of activities during the morning.  The youngest of the boys has been asking me to let him do some hand sewing and I have not had time, so I took supplies to let him sew a Christmas ornament.  The middle one of the girls got out her sewing kit and a set of small squares of Christmas fabrics that I had given her recently, and she worked on hand piecing a nine patch quilt square while my grandson and I worked on his Christmas ornament.  He got bored before long, but stuck with it long enough to make the basic piece and I finished it for him.  
Grandson's Christmas ornament that he sewed
About the time we put up the sewing things Ron returned from getting gas in our son's van and brought Kentucky Fried Chicken for our lunch.  I had warmed vegetables and had frozen some pears for dessert.  We had a delicious meal and fun conversations around the table.  
Backyard activities
We had just put the two youngest down for naps when our son called and said we should come to the parade area soon because crowds were starting to gather (this was about 2:45).  We gathered a variety of things we might need: snacks, books, jackets, cameras, etc.  We were VERY blessed to have VIP parking and excellent seats for the parade.  
The carnival next to the stadium with a beautiful sunset in the background
When we followed our son's instructions, we were able to easily access the close-in parking and had some things to occupy the children in the van for a while before going into the stadium.  Last year the parade ended in the stadium, but this year it started there.  That was much better for us.  
Enrique Iglesias in the baseball cap, during his concert
Preceding the parade was a concert by Enrique Iglesias, an internationally known singer.  He has won many awards and has over 70 singles #1 hit songs.  He was well received by the audience.  I have to explain a few things about the concert.  It was not our kind of music.  It was just prior to the parade, so we were there.  He is a good singer and his showmanship is outstanding.  He really interacted well with the crowd and I can see why he is so loved around the world.
One of our granddaughters trying 
to keep some of the sound out.
Just past her in the red sweater is her 
other grandmother who enjoyed the concert 

To those of us who do not attend LOUD concerts, this was a first.  The children quickly covered their ears from the blasting sounds.  I teased them that I could just remove my Cochlear sound processor and all was quiet.  They said that was not fair.  Seriously, the sound level really bothered them and they wrapped knitted scarves around their ears, pulled up the hoods on their hoodies, and covered their ears.  Later I told Ron that it was loud, but didn't bother me as much as it did the kids.  He reminded me that my sound processor brings down the sound when it is too loud so that my ears won't be damaged.  That is what had happened.  The sounds to me were loud, but not uncomfortable.  They were uncomfortable to the children and Ron.  

Special effects during concert
The concert was an experience.  The star was impressive.  He really knew how to work his audience and they loved every minute of the event.  There were lots of special effects and they were interesting.  The security for this international star was impressive and you could see the police were on high alert.  Iglesias is the all time best selling Spanish recording artist.  One of his songs has had over 1 billion hits on YouTube.  
 Special effects during the concert

The crowds were respectful of the security and all went well.  In the sky, there was a helicopter and a fixed wing plane doing patrols as well as drones watching all activities around the star and around the parade in general.
 Confetti falling on the concert crowd
Following the concert, the parade started.  Last year was a first for McAllen as they sought to make their Christmas parade the best in the valley.  They brought in several balloons from the Macy's Christmas parade.  This year the parade had more balloons (about 50) and a new name - McAllen Holiday Parade.  The balloons were a great draw for those of us who will never get to New York City for the Macy's Christmas Parade.
 The parade theme was Hollywood Movies
This was a BIG balloon!
Our son loves working these events and spent time meeting and talking to the lady in charge of the Macy's Christmas Parade.  He gets to meet a lot of interesting people in his job.  This lady who is in charge of the parade in New York City has been doing it for 23 years and came to supervise the balloons and see how they were received in McAllen.  Most our son's day was obviously outside because when he got home late that night he was sporting a new sunburn.
 Our son at home following the parade
The parade was a hit with the children and the weather could not have been better.  It was cool with only a light breeze which is good for the balloons.  The previous year a cold front blew in during the parade was was a challenge for the handlers and was a misty mess for all watching. 

 Balloons came in all sizes and all were great
When things were over, we loaded up our precious cargo of grandchildren and headed back to their home.  Their dad arrived about an hour later after a couple of them had taken baths and were ready for bed.  We visited with our son for a while before coming home to our home, arriving a little after midnight, tired but happy.

I will continue to share parade photos some this coming week.  There was so much to see.  It was an outstanding parade. 
H.E.B. grocery stores was a huge sponsor of the
 events and had their own H.E.Buddy balloon

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you all had a real fun time. Glad the weather was nice.