FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A lot of traditions have either gone away or changed during the pandemic. However, two groups were determined to make sure the GM Financial Parade of Lights would happen this year
The parade in downtown Fort Worth usually brings in 150,000 people. In the age of COVID, that can’t happen this year. The decision to not hold an in-person parade was made back in July.
“It was a hard decision to move to the next step. We got past that. And then we realized we have to do this right, ” said Jay Downie with Downtown Fort Worth Initiatives, Inc.
That gave the downtown group along with GM Financial just a few months to come up with a whole new look for the Fort Worth tradition.
“We just didn’t want to throw an online thing together. We wanted this to be a sort of broad reaching, multi-platform endeavor,” acknowledged Downie.
“We had a very Fort Worth and Texan can-do attitude. And we had a can-do attitude to figure out a way to make this thing happen,” said Will Stacy IV, the Chief Marketing Officer at GM Financial.
This year’s parade is reimagined. Floats recently paraded through the convention center, complete with a Fort Worth skyline and fake snow. Local musical acts took to the stage at the Jubilee Theater to record their performances.
“We planned for something special and, really, a gift to the city of Fort Worth,” proclaimed Stacy.
It was all created around this year’s theme of hope and joy for the holidays.
“We all need hope and joy this holiday season,” explained Stacy.
“Give us some hope. Give us some joy. Look at this through a different holiday lens for the future,” added Downie.
That lens is focused on Fort Worth and this year’s parade and beyond.
“We all yearn for that time when we can all get back together like that. But, I gotta tell you this is just a great way to see, to see Fort Worth, as a whole, represented,” said Downie.
The reimagined parade will premiere this Sunday, Nov. 22, at 7 p.m. on TXA 21. It will also be shown online.
You might recognize the MC’s of the parade. They are CBS 11’s own Madison Sawyer and Keith Russell.