Los Fresnos News

Drive-thru Christmas parade brightens holiday spirits

One of the many participants during the 2020 Los Fresnos Christmas festival. Photo: Tony Vindell / LFN


School groups danced. A number of floats stood across from each other.

Businesses decorated their respective stands. And the mystical character known as Santa Claus waved at people as they passed by.

Such was the festivity around this year’s Christmas festival of Los Fresnos where the participants stood by and the attendees watched them from inside their vehicles as they made their way through a snake-like roadway.

At the end of what Los Fresnos Chamber of Commerce called a reverse parade, some people were treated to a whole frozen turkey, warm tamales and a box of goodies.

Dubbed as a success by those on both aisles, “The Magic of Christmas” festivity lit the spirits of local residents, from its surrounding areas and from the many visitors who showed up from nearby cities, including Brownsville, San Benito and Harlingen.

Los Fresnos residents Norma and Esperanza Perales said the way the festival was held couldn’t have been any better.

“I love it,” one of the Perales said. “This is quite different than what we are used to having.”

Because of the current health situation caused by the coronavirus, the festival was held Saturday, Dec. 12, on the rodeo grounds instead of at the city’s Memorial Park.

Donald Henderson said the city, chamber, school district, churches and businesses contributed to the community-wide event.

“This is for the benefit of the children, parents and the community as a whole,” said the Rotarian as he and others were judging the entries. “I feel great about this.”

A total of 27 entries were registered for the event and each qualified for a contest set up for the festival.

The winners were Las Yescas Elementary “Whoville” for best float display; Los Fresnos Elementary Conjunto for best band; and Los Fresnos High School Cheer Team for best drill team/dancing.

Val Champion, the chamber of commerce executive director, echoed a similar remark.

“This is a great turnout,” he said. “This is for all the kids, for families and for the whole community.”

Oscar and Sandra Olivarez of Harlingen and Alvaro Salazar of Brownsville, said they were impressed with the way the festival organizers arranged the Christmas-related event.

“This is awesome,” said Sandra Olivarez. “This has brought so much joy to us and our family.”

The two-hour long festival was a sort of celebration of life, particularly with today’s circumstances created by a virus that has been causing so much pain and sorrow to people all over.

Some businesses have a tradition to have Christmas-related parties called tamaladas this time of year where hundreds of tamales are ordered and served for several hours.

Here in Los Fresnos, tamales can be found at a number of eateries.
At some city events, such as during the swearing in of the new City Mayor Alejandro “Alex” Flores, tamales and cup cakes were served during a reception to welcome the new city leader.

And during this year’s Christmas festival, thousands of tamales were handed over to those who attended the event.

Angel Alarcon, who along with his wife Marisela, owns and runs Parra’s Tamales and Restaurant, said the tamale give-away took place thanks to the city and their own participation.

“We cooked 500 dozen tamales,” he said and they handed a dozen tamales to each car that stopped by their stand during the festival. “We will give them away until they are gone.”

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