More than three times the population of Abilene is expected to turn out for the parade that will draw around 350,000 people to downtown Dallas this Saturday. The Hardin-Simmons University “World Famous” Cowboy Band and the HSU Six White Horses team will participate for the 25th year in the parade that starts at 10 a.m., December 1, 2012.
Cowboy Band director, Dr. Wayne Dorothy, says the band has been in every performance since the parade started in 1988 as a fundraiser for the Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Dorothy says, “The Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade sponsors pay for transportation and other expenses of the band and the horses to ensure the HSU icons will be there.” Dorothy adds, “This one event puts the name of Hardin-Simmons and Abilene, Texas, before millions of people each year.”
While 350,000 people are expected to be on the parade route, the event is broadcast in the Metroplex and will be in syndication in more than 100-million homes across the country during the month of December.
Debra Jones, the director of the Six White Horses Team at HSU, says the team will leave for Dallas on Friday afternoon so they can stop and perform in the Ranger, Texas, Christmas parade at 6 p.m. that evening. After the Dallas parade, the team will return through Breckenridge for a 6 p.m. parade Saturday evening before coming back to Abilene.
Jones says the horses will also perform in the Parade of Lights through downtown Abilene tonight, and on Thursday, November 29, horses Powder and Shine will make a grand entrance with Santa in the HSU buggy for the official campus tree lighting to start just after 6 p.m.
Dorothy offers, “If anyone is not able to make it to the Dallas parade, they are welcomed to watch the Cowboy Band march the HSU campus and some of the neighborhood streets as they practice.” The outdoor rehearsal will be this Wednesday, November 28, starting from the Cowboy Band Hall on Cedar Street about 4:20.
One interesting side note, says Dorothy, “The Whitesboro High School Band of Whitesboro, Texas, one of eight bands invited to the Dallas parade this year, is under the direction of HSU alum and ex-Cowboy Band member, Jim Cude.”
Other bands include the New Orleans Marine Corp Band and the Grambling State University Tiger Marching Band.
The Children’s Medical Center Holiday Parade starts at 10 a.m. on Commerce Street near the Adolphus Hotel in downtown Dallas. For parade information, go to: http://www.childrensmedicalcenterdallas.com/development/parade/attend-watch/weekend-activities/