Annual parade to ring in holiday season Dec. 4th

October 22, 2010

Save the date! The 23rd annual Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade is set to begin at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 4, in downtown Dallas.

What it is

The Children's Holiday Parade has become a tradition to kick off the holiday season — and for good reason. Each year brings different giant bobbling inflatables, characters from the most popular cartoons and children's books, high-stepping marching bands and dazzling decorated floats.

This year's event has some awesome changes in store, including more bands and live performances along the parade route. More than 350,000 people are expected to attend the 2010 Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade, which is presented by Capital One Bank.

What it costs

The parade is free and open to the public.

Where to watch it

  • There's plenty of space along the parade route, so bring your blankets, folding chairs and hot chocolate.
  • Bleacher seating is also available. Tickets for bleacher seats start at $23 and are available online. Hurry! Only a few seats remain.
  • If you can't make it downtown on event day, you can catch the parade on TV. It will be broadcast live on WFAA-TV Channel 8 and syndicated nationally throughout the holiday season. Broadcast information will be posted closer to the event.

Who it benefits

Money raised through the sale of bleacher tickets goes to the Child Life department at Children's Medical Center. Child life specialists work with patients and their siblings to help noramilze the hospital experience. They play a key role in making life better for children; however, child life is not a service that we charge for, and insurance companies don't reimburse Children's for this care. (If you can't attend the parade this year and are interested in giving, you can do so here.)

The Children's Holiday Parade (which has formerly been called the Neiman Marcus Adolphus Children's Parade and the Capital One Bank Adolphus Children's Parade) is shaping up to be a spectacular event. To help get you in the spirit, and to show you a few of the people who benefit from the parade (our patients), here's the scoop on this year's grand marshals:

Name: Marcos Saldana, 13
Hometown: Cedar Hill
Diagnosis: cystic fibrosis
Hobby: Being a pirate. The day Marcos was diagnosed with CF, his parents took him to pick out any toy he wanted. He chose Captain Hook. "He was 3 then and has been into pirates ever since," said Marcos’ mom, Julie Saldana. "Every time he stays at Children’s now, we put a sign on his door that says 'Captain’s quarters.'"

Names: Morgan, 10, and Meadow Rhynes, 6
Hometown: Providence Village
Diagnosis: Injured in car accident last Christmas Eve. Both suffered severe internal injuries, and underwent surgeries and treatment at Children’s.
Hobby: Dancing. Both were near death last Christmas Eve after the accident, but they are now healthy enough to participate in dance classes again. "It’s a true Christmas miracle," said Myleah Rhynes, the girls’ mom.

Name: Leslie Flores, 9
Hometown: DeSoto
Diagnosis: Born with a rare heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which caused the left side of her heart to be severely underdeveloped. After three surgeries, a heart transplant became the only option. Leslie received a new heart on April 20, 2010, and since then has been unstoppable.
Hobby: Swimming. Before Leslie’s transplant, she didn’t have enough energy to swim. But just a few months after getting a new heart, she was back in the water. "I can swim from one end of the pool to the other without stopping," she said.

Name: Adrian Garcia, 8
Hometown: The Colony
Diagnosis: Bilateral renal hypoplasia — small kidneys that did not develop normally in utero.
Hobby: Adrian loves video games, Transformers and playing with his little sister. He also likes to show people where his doctor put his new kidney. "I got a superhero kidney," he said.

Name: Zach Guillot, 5
Hometown: Dallas
Diagnosis: Acute myeloid leukemia, diagnosed in February 2010. Received a stem cell transplant June 2010 from his 3-year-old brother.
Hobby: Zach loves Legos and dressing up in Star Wars or Indiana Jones costumes. He also loves listening to movie soundtracks.