ARLINGTON - Six Flags Over Texas is taking its next big theatrical production out of the theater and into the crowds.
The national theme-park chain announced that its $2.5 million Glow in the Park parade will be expanded to the Arlington park next spring. The nighttime parade with a cast and crew of 110 debuted this year at Six Flags parks in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Mexico City.
The parade features 65 stilt-walkers, drummers, puppeteers, singers and dancers wearing costumes filled with fiber-optic lights.
"A lot of people hear the term 'parade,' and they think of the same old Fourth of July thing, but this is a parade unlike anything most people have ever seen," said Steve Martindale, Six Flags Over Texas president.
The parade was designed by Gary Goddard, creator of the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man ride at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla., and Star Trek: The Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton.
In an interview with Park World Online, Mr. Goddard, who directed the 1987 Masters of the Universe movie, described the new Six Flags feature as hip, cool and the "anti-Disney parade." One of his partners told the online magazine that Glow in the Park has more in common with Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and Broadway productions than the traditional theme-park parade.
The music was written by longtime Cirque du Soleil composer Benoit Jutras. Michael La Fleur, who was artistic coordinator for Celine Dion's Las Vegas show, created the choreography. The floats were designed by Raul Rodriguez, who has created hundreds of floats for the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
The Glow in the Park parade starts May 23 and will run on weekends through June 7. Then it will operate nightly June 12 through Aug. 16.
The six floats and the performers will start in the Gotham City section of Six Flags Over Texas and end at the Star Mall in the park's Mexico section. Mr. Martindale said the parade will circle about two-thirds of the park and last about 30 minutes.
He said he hopes the parade will persuade customers to stay later.
"We expect people who would maybe leave earlier in the day to hang around longer to see the show and get in a couple of more rides," Mr. Martindale said.
The Six Flags chain has recently struggled financially, and this year it discounted ticket prices to attract more customers.
Mr. Martindale said that no decision has been made about whether the new parade will run past 2009, but he said that is possible. The parade is also expanding to Six Flags St. Louis.