As one of the most popular annual events in San Antonio, the 39th Annual Ford Holiday River Parade is a must-see holiday celebration for locals and visitors alike

Few landmarks define a city more spectacularly than San Antonio’s historic River Walk. Every year, a portion of this beautiful, 15-mile oasis along the San Antonio River plays host to one of the top holiday events in the United States—the Ford Holiday River Parade.


Event Details

Ford Holiday River Parade
San Antonio River Walk
November 29th, 2019, 6:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Set for November 29th, 2019, the beloved nighttime parade is celebrating its 39th year as the official kickoff to San Antonio’s holiday season. The flotilla includes 25 illuminated floats meandering their way down a two and a half-mile stretch of the San Antonio River before circling the famous downtown portion of the River Walk. 

The theme for the 2019 edition is Texas Music Christmas, and the lineup of home-grown artists scheduled to appear does not disappoint. Legendary guitarist and member of ZZ Top, Billy Gibbons, serves as Grand Marshall for this year’s parade, with each float showcasing a Texas music artist and featuring their Christmas music. 

The popular Texas genres represented include Blues-Rock, Country, Soul, Tejano, and Jazz. A full lineup, including artist profiles, can be found here.

Topping off the evening is a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, River Walk style.

Gates open at 5:00 p.m. with the festivities starting at 6:00 p.m. The parade itself lasts for approximately one hour from when the first float passes your viewing area, which for spots near the end of the route is as late as 8:00 p.m. 

Additional highlights include Christmas music at the Arneson River Theatre from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and the River Walk lighting ceremony at 7:00 p.m.   

The Ford Holiday River Parade is a ticketed event with 30 different viewing areas along the parade route. There are, however, numerous free seating areas that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis—just be sure to bring your own chair.

For a map of the event, viewing areas, and to purchase tickets, visit the parade’s ticketing page. Visit here for more things to do and see in and around the historic River Walk area, including places to eat and stay. 


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