Wednesday, March 20, 2019
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20190123 TCF Parade of Oranges 1 GU IMG 4272The Texas Citrus Fiesta – and seemingly half the residents of Mission – are busily preparing for the annual Parade of Oranges on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 3 p.m.

Tito Santana, a hometown boy who made it to the top of the wrestling world, will serve as parade marshal.

Parade Chairman Bill Filut said last week 110 entries were already registered to participate in this year’s parade and more were expected before the deadline. Along with Tito as parade marshal, delegates from Sister Cities in Mexico and local political officials will be at the head of the parade.

“Because of the popularity of the 2019 theme, ‘Texas Citrus Fiesta Celebrates Hollywood Movies,’ there are more floats than ever this year,” said Filut. “Almost half the entries are floats of one type or another.”

20190123 Citrus Fiesta Parade 236Filut also said there would be 24 duchesses participating in the parade. Marching bands from the Mission, La Joya and Sharyland school districts will participate along with ROTC units. The Marine Military Academy will have their drill team present.

Of course, one of the most popular units will the Cavalry of Christ riders represented by Father Roy Snipes, priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church and other priests. Filut said State Representative Bobby Guerra would be riding with them this year to represent this important part of the Valley’s history.

The Cavalry of Christ was a group of Oblate priests who came from France in the 1800s to serve people on the ranches scattered up and down the Rio Grande between Brownville and Roma. They performed weddings, baptisms and funerals.

20190123 Citrus Fiesta Parade 032Look for the Shriners along the parade route working as clowns with their classic cars or motorcycles in the parade.
Sample the famous Texas Citrus Fiesta barbecue sandwiches, a tradition for local residents. These will be sold along the parade route prior to the parade as people stake out their viewing locations early.

The parade will begin at 3 p.m. and move south along Conway Ave. from FM 495 to Fourth Street to disband. Make plans to join Winter Texans from all over the Rio Grande Valley and local residents who make it a tradition to come out and see this excellent parade.

20190123 TCF Queen Citrianna Rio Portrait n Design Studio R04 0013Road Closures

Note that in advance of the parade, Conway Ave. and other roads will be closed according to the following road closure schedule:

9 am – 9th and 10th Streets west from Conway to Perkins
10 am – Thornton north to 2 Mile Line
12 pm – All cross streets off Conway along the parade route will be closed with the exception of:

  • Griffin Parkway (FM 495)
  • Kika de la Garza
  • 6th Street
  • 4th Street
  • 1st Street

At 2 pm the above streets will also be closed from crossing Conway Ave.

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