Engage the Season With Children’s Holiday Parade

Craig Foster and family at the Children's Parade

Craig Foster and family at the 2012 Children’s Holiday Parade

In the coming weeks, we’re all going to hear that the holiday season is a time for gratefulness, goodwill, peace, perspective, hope and even magic.

But what I’ve found in yuletides past is that the season only becomes those things if you’re intentional. Otherwise, you’ll find all the magic lost while waiting in line at checkout counters, sitting in airport terminals, or staring out of your car window in mall traffic. And you’ll wake up sometime around Jan. 3 wondering where the holidays went and why your college football team played so poorly in its bowl game (that may be particular to me).

One of my family’s primary ways of engaging the holiday spirit is attending the annual Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade in downtown Dallas. My wife and I have attended the parade together since we got married in 2008. In recent years, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law have joined us. Their son will experience his first parade this year, just like my daughter did last year.

A “Big City” Event Benefiting Patients

Many things make the parade special: marching bands, massive balloon characters, spectacular holiday floats, friendly clowns, celebrities and performances. Yet, the aspect that stands out to me the most is the sense of togetherness and unity I feel – not just with my family, but also with the 350,000-plus other people in attendance. All of us collectively bundle up on a cold Saturday morning once a year and devote one hour to kicking off the holiday season. No other North Texas event gives me the “big city” feeling that the parade does.

Best of all, the event benefits and honors the patients at Children’s, some of who will participate in the festivities and ride in floats with celebrities like Miss America and Derek Holland. Others will watch from their hospital rooms. For every one of them, the parade is more than just a fun holiday event; it’s a reason to smile and an opportunity to momentarily escape the pain that they live in daily.

So, please be intentional this holiday season by joining us at the 26th annual Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade, presented by Pizza Hut, and experience the magic! The Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

3 Ways to View the Children’s Parade

  1. Buy a ticket. When you purchase a ticket you are guaranteed an assigned bleacher seat.
  2. Attend without a ticket. Arrive early (we recommend by 7 a.m.) to pick a spot along the parade route. You will not have access to bleacher seating.
  3. View broadcast. This year the parade will not be broadcast live on Dec. 7. However, you will be able to watch it on WFAA-TV Channel 8 in Dallas/Fort Worth at 10 a.m. on Dec. 14 and throughout the holiday season on a variety of national network channels.


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