LAREDO – The International Bank of Commerce Youth Parade Under the Stars took place Thursday, February 20. From pre-school to high school, Laredo’s talented youth partook and braved the weather in this magnificent parade under the stars despite the cold misty rain. The parade boasted over 100 entries consisting of illuminated floats, glittering costumes, dance teams from local area schools and much more.
“Every year the city comes out in full force to watch and enjoy the IBC Youth Parade Under the Stars. This year’s parade was no exception. Featuring incredible floats, dancers, and many other participants from both the United States and Mexico, the parade was surely a treat for all the parade goers,” said Bobby Peregoy, WBCA President. He added the rain brought with it a few challenges, and a temporary power outage, but thankfully the show went on without incident and no injuries.
“WBCA would like to remind all participants to abide by ALL of the rules that are set in place for a reason,” said Peregoy. “Doing so will help us avoid potentially dangerous situations for both our participants and spectators.”
Peregoy reminded to pay special attention to the following:
– Do remember that the throwing of candies, gum, coins, toys, beads, etc. Throwing an object of any kind from moving vehicles is prohibited at all times.
–Do be aware that silly string and poppers are prohibited at both parades. It is against the law to use either of these things and it is punishable by a fine of up to $200.00. These things scare horses, drivers, and participants and can obstruct the vision of drivers.
–Do respect our sponsors and do not hand out flyers or advertisements of any kind.
-No political signs or materials may be distributed.
For the complete list of Do’s and Don’ts, visit wbcalaredo.org.
“WBCA officials and first responders assessed the situation immediately and I was very impressed with the response team,” said Chemo Castro, Senior Vice-President, WBCA Lifetime Director and event Emcee following the temporary outage. “It was all handled quick and professional.”
“The safety and security of all participants of the celebration is of utmost importance to WBCA,” said Peregoy. “Although the temporary outage presented a challenge, we are extremely grateful for the immediate and timely response of on-site first responders.”
The winners are:
Best Elementary School Dance Unit
San Isidro Elementary School Raptorettes Dance Team
Best Elementary School Cheerleading Unit
J.Z. Leyendecker Elementary School Cheerleaders
Best Community Marching Unit
Sanchez-Ochoa Elementary School
Grand Marshal’s Award
VitalMed Urgent Care
Best Lil Schoolhouse and Academies
Sweepstakes Award (Best Overall)
Best Lil Schoolhouse and Academies
People’s Choice Award
Mary Help of Christians School
The crowd voted Mary Help of Christians School for the IBC Youth Parade Under the Stars People’s Choice Award. This was created as a bonus category where spectators and television viewers voted for their favorite entry via the WBCA App.
WBCA chose “Representative Tracy King” to serve as the Parade Marshal for the IBC Youth Parade Under the Stars, which serves as a prelude to the Anheuser-Busch Washington’s Birthday Parade.
The Parade started on Garden Street and moved south on San Bernardo Avenue finishing at St. Peter’s Plaza.
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The Washington’s Birthday Celebration, founded in 1898, is the largest Celebration of its kind in the United States. Throughout the years, the Celebration has grown to be over a month long and consists of parades, dazzling pageants, fireworks, a carnival, an air show, a sizzling jalapeño festival and much more. Combined, WBCA events attract nearly 500,000 residents and visitors, and yearly contributes an estimated $14 million to the local economy. The Washington’s Birthday Celebration was recently ranked as one of the Top 100 Events in North America.