BROWNSVILLE — Hundreds of people participated in the Illuminated Night Parade hosted by Charro Days Fiesta which started at 7 p.m. Friday and made its way down Elizabeth Street from Palm Boulevard to International.

The purpose of the parade is to celebrate the spirit of both cultures between the border towns of Brownsville and Matamoros. During the parade, dozens of schools participated, including Ricardo Flores Magón, a high school from Matamoros.

The parade started with the Color Guard by the Brownsville Police Department and continued with several City Commission officials such as Brownsville Mayor Trey Mendez and City Commissioners Nurith Galonsky, Ben Neece and Jessica Tetreau who celebrated the biculturalism wearing Charro costumes, Mexican dresses and the traditional Cuera Tamaulipeca.

“This celebration has been going on for longer than we can remember and it’s been such a great binational and bicultural event,” Mendez said. “It’s something that we should continue always; as long as we’re neighbors we should always continue.”

Mendez said it is very important to strengthen the relationship the United States has with Mexico. The Mayor will also participate in the Grand International Parade today at 12:30 p.m. and Mr. Amigo Julio Cesar Chavez will be present.

“I think with the political climate that we’re living in now it’s more important than ever to strengthen our relationship with our neighbor, Mexico, and really tell everybody how much our economy depends on Mexico and how important they are to us as a citizen of Brownsville and just a neighbor of Mexico,” Mendez said.

During the parade, the community was able to dance and sing with the dozens of illuminated floats that made their way through the parade. Songs in the parade included “La Bikina” de Luis Miguel and the classic “El Mariachi Loco.”

Brownsville residents enjoy the annual Charro Day Illuminated Night Parade Friday in Brownsville.

Also very important were the antojitos Mexicanos for sale on Elizabeth Street. Children and adults were seen eating Tostaditas, Elotes en Vaso and even Tacos de Fajita while they enjoyed an evening of celebration with their loved ones.

“It’s part of our culture and it’s part of bringing everyone together and just for the kids to know something that we’ve known since we were kids as well and it has been passed on through generations,” Maricela Reyna, who attended the parade with her husband and three children, said.

“As the tradition goes, we try to come every single year to the three parades. It is nice that this will be in the memories of our kids, too.”