DALLAS – Marching bands set the tone while the streets were packed Downtown during the Dallas Holiday Parade on Saturday.
"I’m super excited,” said Laneisha Allen as she and her family waited anxiously along the parade route.
Thousands of spectators and performers ushered in the holiday season with the annual Dallas Holiday Parade.
"I think it helps everybody to come together as a family and as a community,” said William McLauchlin as he watched the parade with his family.
The parade has become a holiday tradition for many families for nearly three decades. "It’s just so fun,” said Sandy Gorazio. “I mean, look at the energy here. All of the people, we get to go out and play with all of the kids before the parade, and that is the best.”
The smiles on people's faces in the crowd almost did not happen, this year. The parade was in limbo after a longtime sponsor, Children’s Health, announced it was pulling its support from the event.
"I was very disappointed,” Allen explained. “I already had family coming for support, and I was just like where are we going to get the money from?”
Some call it a holiday miracle. About a dozen generous sponsors stepped up to the plate, including Toyota, in the final hours, just to make the holiday parade happen.
“This is part of Dallas, right here. So, the fact that it actually went on is awesome," Maris Cavin said,
The Dallas Holiday Parade typically draws about 450,000 spectators from across the metro area.
Santa Claus helped end this year’s parade with a special appearance. His visit brought even more smiles in the crowd.