EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association and FirstLight Federal Credit Union announced on Wednesday, Sept. 27 that 14 World War II veterans from El Paso, will lead the 81st Annual FirstLight Federal Credit Union Sun Bowl Parade as Grand Marshals on Thursday, Nov. 23 in front of thousands of spectators. The theme for this year’s annual parade is “American Folklore” celebrating the history and legends of the United States.
The Grand Marshals will ride in the FirstLight Federal Credit Union float to kick off the parade, which starts at 9:45 a.m. (MT) at the corner of Montana and Ochoa and ending at the intersection of Copia and Montana.
“With this year’s theme being ‘American Folklore’ we thought it’d be great to have real heroes lead our parade,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “We have a great working relationship with Fort Bliss and appreciate the team there helping us get connected with these veterans.”
There were 16,112,566 members of the United States Armed Forces during World War II. There were 291,557 battle deaths, 113,842 other deaths in service, and 670,846 received non-mortal wounds. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, around 558,000 American veterans from the war are estimated to still be alive as of 2017.
“El Pasoans have a long history of serving our nation in the ranks or our military services. From WWI to Vietnam and, more recently, the Gulf War, Desert Storm, and the ongoing War on Terror, they have stepped up when our nation needed them most. It is great that we are honoring our WWII veterans as Grand Marshals this year.” — Brigadier General Mark H. Landes, Deputy Commanding General 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss Texas.
During this conflict, 464 United States military personnel received the Medal of Honor, 266 of them posthumously.
Review Stands: Tickets will be available at the Sun Bowl Association Office, all Circle K Stores and FirstLight Federal Credit Union branches for $10.00. New Location for Review Stands – 1600 Montana Ave. (Emergence Health Network).
Step off Time: 9:45 a.m. (MST)
Parade Route: Montana Avenue; beginning at Ochoa and ending at Copia (2.7 miles)
Anticipated Units: 100 units including floats, equestrian units, clowns, marching bands, drum and bugle corps units, dignitaries, Grand Marshal, and a wide variety of specialty units from Mexican / Indian dancers to military ceremonial units.
Television: Live coverage of the Parade on local affiliate television KTSM Channel 9 (NBC). –
Television coverage starts at 10 a.m. (MT).
Anticipated Crowd: 250,000 spectators line Montana each Thanksgiving morning to watch the largest community event in the Southwest.
For more information on the parade go to the Sun Bowl Association website at www.sunbowl.org/parade.