Brownsville ushers in holidays with Christmas Parade
Brownsville residents filtered into downtown Monday night wearing colorful Christmas clothing as street vendors pushed carts up full of neon-colored gadgets that whirled and buzzed — much to the delight of young children. They were blessed with cool but fair weather to usher in the holiday season.
“Thank God we have nice weather and it’s not raining,” Charro Days President Lulu Lieck remarked as she spoke with participants in the 66th Annual Brownsville Christmas Parade.
Lining the streets were colorful and creative floats from government entities like the Port of Brownsville, which featured a brightly colored boat, and the Brownsville Independent School District, along with local businesses, like Jaime’s Tire Store — and many more.
Lieck said this year there were 118 entries in the parade, which routinely draws thousands of residents to Brownsville’s historic downtown where the smell of food and the sounds of Christmas waft through the air.
“This is one of the largest Christmas parades we’ve ever had,” said Kenneth Lieck, Lulu’s husband and a past Charro Days president.
Both have been volunteering for Charro Days for many years, Lulu for 20 and Kenneth for 30.
The husband-and-wife duo — along with all Charro Days volunteers — consider themselves stewards of a classic Brownsville experience that dates back to 1938.
“We are just the caretakers of Charro Days,” Kenneth Lieck said.
While the Christmas Parade is just one night of delight for Brownsville residents, the volunteers, who could be seen driving up and down Elizabeth Street in golf carts waving to people and greeting friends, put a lot of care and time into organizing the popular parades organized by Charro Days.
“We’re all volunteers,” Lulu Lieck said.
But it’s well worth the time and effort to continue the Christmas Parade tradition for the young and old who enjoy the colorful floats that bring ear-to-ear smiles.
“It’s a lot of work but we enjoy ourselves,” Kenneth Lieck said. “It’s for the community.”