Charro Days parade brings cities together

BROWNSVILLE — Thousands of people — dressed in colorful Charro Days outfits — lined both sides of Elizabeth Street at the 79th Grand International Parade on Saturday in Brownsville.

The parade ran through the historic downtown district, starting shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, the concluding day of Charro Days.

According to Interim Executive Director of Charro Days Inc., Elsa Cisneros, the Grand International Parade is the biggest of all the week’s parades, hosting approximately 15,000 to 20,000 people. It is significant in that it acts as a huge celebration, highlighting the special union between the border cities of Mexico and the United States, she said.

“The Grand International Parade brings the two sister cities of Brownsville and Matamoros together,” Cisneros said. “Most importantly, it gives both communities something to look at and enjoy.”

The parade had approximately 115 parade entries, including those from schools, businesses and organizations. Also present were city dignitaries from both U.S. and Mexican states.

Mexican-actress Itati Cantoral served as the parade’s Mr. Amigo 2015. Her father and famed singer-songwriter Roberto Cantoral served as Mr. Amigo in 1981.

Alberto Alegria, who came to watch the parade, said he’s been attending these parades ever since he arrived in Brownsville 25 years ago. Originally from Port Isabel, he said that he was brought to Brownsville after marrying his wife, Maria. Now working for the Brownsville Independent School District, he said that attending the Grand International Parade has become a tradition for his growing family.

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