“Salute our Heroes”
Oct 28, 2020
By: Susan Driscoll, El Paso Downtown Lions Club President.
Peek at the Sun Bowl Thanksgiving Day Parade.The parade will exclusively be shown on KTSM TV station – a physical parade will NOT be held on Montana on Thanksgiving Day. The floats and units were filmed ahead of Thanksgiving Day to eliminate gathering to reduce community spread of COVID-19. The El Paso Downtown Lions Club float and Lion float were filmed on Oct 18 traveling down Myrtle Ave. The Theme of our float was “Salute our Heroes”. El Paso Downtown Lions paid tribute to all the first responders who take care of us and keep us safe every day. Six large heads carved from styrofoam were painted to be doctors, nurses, fireman, ENT, policemen and soldier medics. There were real life doctors (ER doctors form Del Sol), nurses, fireman (to include the chief Mario D’Agostino), policeman, ENT and medics (Ret. SGM Robin Johnsons). We say THANK YOU to those on the front lines who risk their lives for us. Also, thank you to our sponsors, Union Finance –Kaplan’s Mortgage Co. We are grateful to all the volunteers who worked on the floats – Lion volunteers, UTEP ROTC, Sharon Moore – seamstress, Diamond A Farm Equipment Fernie Aguilar for use of his tractor, Home Depot for donation of the generator, Trinity First United Methodist Church use of their flag poles, Nate Lopez Jr., Commander, VFW Post 812 for lending us the Armed Forces flags. The float is 10 ft by 40 ft. long. It normally takes 4 months to design, tear down, rebuild and decorate the floats. This year, we buil it in about 2 months due to the parade going virtual and filming early.
The second float by El Paso Downtown Lions “Lion” float was accompanied by Lion members from El Paso Downtown Lions Club, Executive Women’s Lions Club, Centennial Lions Club, Ysleta Lions Club and Monahans Lions Club. Thank you to Lion Marc Almkolv for the use of this jeep to pull the Lion float. Thank you to volunteer David Herrera for refurbishing the robotics inside the head and tail to synchronize the sound of a Lion’s roar and mouth movement.
Building the floats are a labor of love. El Paso Downtown Lions Club helped start the Parade and is the only civic organization to have a float in the parade since its inception. We take pride in this traditional, historic event, the largest community event in West Texas. We are a local and global organization. Contact President Susan Driscoll for more information about our projects or joining us at 915-539-6834 and go to our Facebook page for pictures of our events at https://www.facebook.com/groups/341117025931101
83 Years of Parade History: The El Paso Downtown Lions Club organized the Parade in 1935. The parade was held on New Year’s Day from 1936 until 1978 when the event was rescheduled for Thanksgiving Day. The holiday pageant is planned, coordinated and produced by volunteer efforts and draws an annual crowd of over 250,000 spectators. The Sun Bowl Parade is the largest community event in the West Texas, New Mexico and Mexico area and brings together service clubs and civic organizations as well as all sectors of business and industries within the community.