Irving—The City of Irving started its holiday festivities with its annual Christmas parade.
Themed “Rudolph, Light the Way,” the parade went through downtown Irving and ended at the newly renovated Heritage Park.Mayor Rick Stopfer cut a ceremonial ribbon at Heritage Park, officially declaring the newly remodeled park open as the Dec. 4 celebration was the first event hosted since the renovation.
“Our staff has hit a homerun,” Mayor Stopfer said. “You look across the crowd and what do you see? Smiling faces of all kinds of ethnicities. We have a tremendous amount of diversity in Irving, and we’re very proud of that. Tonight is an opportunity for all of them to come together and celebrate a good Christmas.”
Other family-fun activities included the official lighting of the tree, a drone show,live bands, dance demonstrations, face painting, photos with Santa,and an ice carver demonstration.
“This is amazing,” said Lucia Guiterrez, who brought her two young children to enjoy the festivities. “It’s weird but awesome to see the park looking so pretty and festive. The parade was more than I thought it would be. I think the city did a great job.”
Before the tree lighting extravaganza, the audience was entertained by Jack Mason Live, a popular band from Dallas.
The area in front of the stage turned into a dance floor for children and adults alike.
“This is so fun,” attendee Rachel Nguyen said. “My little daughter was the first one out on the dance floor, but I guess she encouraged more kids, and then adults, to go boogie.”
The time came for Mayor Stopfer to cut the ribbon for the renovated Heritage Park.
“Merry Christmas to you and your family,” Stopfer said. “I am pleased to kick off our new Holidays at Heritage Series with our annual parade and tree lighting ceremony. All of you represent the heartbeat of our community, and I’m honored to serve you in this great city. What a treat it is for us this year to celebrate our newly renovated Heritage Park.”
North Rock was the general contractor for the park project.
“We oversaw everything from landscaping to flatwork, and we also did all the buildings and built the stage,” Garrett Harden, a supervisor for North Rock, said. “My favorite parts of this project would probably be the stage, because of how pretty it looks from the street. I’m also pretty proud that we have very good[subcontractors] we hired to move and relocate the existing buildings. We also stripped that caboose down to bare metal.
“We’ve still got a little way to go. We’ve got some things we’ll be working on for the next couple months, like a punch list, but we’ve been able to able to hit our [deadlines].”
The Irving Police Department presented a drone show in which the machines created formations in the sky, moving from snowflakes to a snowman to the phrase “Merry Christmas.”
Photos from the parade can be viewed below:
Photos by John Starkey