DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Holiday Parade kicks off Saturday morning! But it’s a holiday tradition that almost didn’t happen because of a lack of money.
Thanks to several organizations and donors, including now Plano-based Toyota, the parade will go on.
J.J. Spencer is filled with excitement for the Dallas Holiday Parade. “The band, the music. He wants to see Santa. He loves lights,” said Jonathon Spencer.
The holiday tradition almost didn’t happen after its primary sponsor, Children’s Health, pulled out. Organizers had to raise more than $370,000.
In the eleventh hour, Toyota stepped in to help save the parade.
“I had no idea where it was gonna come from, but I really did believe with all my heart that it was going to happen,” said Jeffery Giles, executive director of the parade. “I think sometimes it does take that faith of a child – kind of that blind, almost ignorant faith to say. It’s gonna work. I don’t know how, but it’s gonna work.”
Liz Smith used to take her son to the parade when he was small. Now, she’s carrying on the holiday tradition with his daughter.
“We’re really excited! She doesn’t know, but she’ll be excited tomorrow,” said Smith.
“I don’t think there’s anything more valuable to a parent than to have their children there and see their eyes light up,” said Giles.
Workers scrambled Friday to finish setting up the bleachers. Giles says 5,500 tickets for the front-row seats have already been sold.
Giles is expecting half a million people to take in the marching bands, floats and Christmas festivities.
“Dallas is just booming, and we need to keep that tradition alive for sure,” said Smith.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. Saturday near Houston and Commerce Streets. Admission is free. If you can’t get a seat, be prepared for standing-room only.