A gift to Dallas
In 1987, The Adolphus and Children's Medical Center Dallas each reached historic milestones by celebrating 75th anniversaries. The Adolphus had prospered to become internationally acclaimed, and Children's Medical Center Dallas had become one of the premier healthcare facilities for children in the United States. In search of an appropriate gift for the citizens of Dallas for allowing these institutions to prosper, the hotel proposed the idea of a parade to Children's Medical Center Dallas. The parade would kick-off the holiday season for the city, bring families to downtown Dallas, thus encouraging a revitalization effort, and function as a significant fundraiser for Children's Medical Center Dallas.
An instant winner
The magical combination of children, the holiday season and charity was embraced by Children's Medical Center Dallas and proved to be an instant winner. On December 3, 1988, the first parade was lovingly produced by the employees of The Adolphus and Children's Medical Center Dallas and was enjoyed by a crowd of 70,000 enthusiastic children and their family members. The event became known among hotel and hospital employees as the "Miracle on Commerce Street."
The parade continues to grow
The parade grew quickly. In 1993, international retailer Neiman Marcus signed on as the title sponsor. In 2008, after 15 years, Neiman Marcus retired as the title sponsor of the parade. Their wonderful partnership and support of the parade over the years helped drive this Christmas parade to the level it is today.
The Dallas Holiday Parade regularly draws crowds of more than 450,000. More than 350 television stations in 159 markets have syndicated the parade. It has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families throughout North Texas and coast to coast.
In the spring of 2017, after nearly 30 years of hosting the Dallas Children's Health Holiday Parade, Children's Health announced the decision to move forward with other new and meaningful ways to bring holiday cheer to families in the North Texas area while remaining focused on the mission of making life better for children.
Meanwhile, Jeff Giles, president and CEO of Dallas-based HTEDance and Spirit Group, announced his intent to keep the parade marching! HTE Dance and Spirit Group has been a long-time partner of the parade, bringing pageantry and beautiful productions to the event. In addition, Jeff is known throughout the parade industry for providing beautiful productions for other large-scale parades from coast to coast.
Together with Cassie Collins, parade director, and many of the committee members and parade volunteers, HTEDance and Spirit Group has ensured this time-honored tradition will continue its march through the streets of Downtown Dallas each December.