• May 19, 2022
 Covid-19 Pandemic forces changes for 2020 Sun Bowl Parade

83rd annual Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai El Paso Sun Bowl Parade, Nov 28, 2019

Covid-19 Pandemic forces changes for 2020 Sun Bowl Parade

As a result of the uncertainty of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Sun Bowl Association has come up with a unique way to continue the 80-plus-year tradition of the Sun Bowl Parade, which runs on Thanksgiving morning. 

“I consider the Sun Bowl parade an iconic El Paso event. I remember it as a kid and always loved it. This year, with COVID-19 most parades across the country have been cancelled,” Oscar Leeser said. “I’m making sure the Sun Bowl Parade tradition continues by sponsoring the first ever Oscar Leeser‘s Hyundai Of El Paso‘s Virtual Parade, so our kids and families will get to enjoy it in safety… it’s worth every penny.”

This 84th edition, sponsored by Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso, will be a “virtual parade” and will air on KTSM as well as on KTSM.com at 10 a.m. (MT) on Thanksgiving Day.

The theme for the 2020 parade is “Fan Favorites” and will feature units that will be invited from past parades.  This year will be by invitation only for all parade units due to the limited time available on the broadcast. Units will include marching bands, floats and specialty units like Mariachis, Six Gun Shady Ladies, Sherriff’s Posse and the Shriners.

KTSM has partnered with the Sun Bowl Association to televise the annual parade for over 40 years, with Oscar Leeser and Hyundai of El Paso assuming the title sponsor role in 2019 after being the title sponsor the Sun Bowl football game for 10 years

“Due to the uncertainty with COVID, we want to give the El Paso community something to look forward to and continue an 84-year-old El Paso tradition,” said Sun Bowl Association President Natalia Flores.  “The parade will go on for all to view in the comfort of their own homes.  Thanks to Oscar Leeser and KTSM that will help make this a reality.”

“The Thanksgiving Day Parade has long fostered a sense community connection so often centered on in-person events, especially in El Paso… In light of the corona virus pandemic, traveling and getting together are not options for many of our friends and family.  This should not get in the way of our annual Thanksgiving Day Parade,” KTSM General Manager David Candelaria stated.

“KTSM has been broadcasting the parade live since 1978.  This year we are still going to broadcast the parade but with a different twist.  We will be doing the first virtual Thanksgiving Day Parade ever.  We feel that the show must go on with the long-standing tradition that our community really enjoys.  We got together Bernie Olivas and the Terrific Sun Bowl Association and came together on this plan.  Stay tuned to perhaps the most viewed parade in our history Nov. 26, 2020.”

As for the history of the parade, the El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the Parade in 1935. The parade was held on New Year’s Day from 1936 until 1978 when the event was reset for Thanksgiving Day.

The Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the West Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area and brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.

WHAT: 84th Annual Oscar Leeser’s Hyundai of El Paso Sun Bowl ‘Virtual’ Parade

WHEN: Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26, 2020)

WHERE: KTSM-TV (Channel 9)/simulcast on KTSM.com; view it the next day online at www.sunbowl.org

TIME: 10 a.m. (MT)

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