Texas has a rich history filled with beloved traditions. Friday night high school football, fall bonfires, and annual chili cookoffs are just some of the things Texans really get into. One thing you might not have heard of though, (or possibly never thought too much about it) is the mostly small-town custom of pickup parades. Now, you probably knew about the world-record breaking pickup parade in Arlington last year. That’s not what this is. Christmas pickup parades are much shorter, and far more interesting.
If you’ve never seen a pickup parade, here’s the gist. Every year at Christmas time, communities all over Texas deck out their pickups and classic cars in festive holiday style and drive them down main street. Lights are a popular decoration, as well as wreaths, garlands of tinsel and even full-sized nativity scenes.
Pickup parades may be a popular event in the small towns, but they do also make appearances in large towns and big city parades. Even Lubbock’s Christmas parade features classic cars and trucks. Even though it’s a standard parade with floats, the christmas cars and trucks are a big part of the show.
In Bellville they host an annual “Pickup Parade” where the entry fees go toward keeping the town’s Christmas lights up all season. The parade in Bellville was cancelled due to bad weather this year. Here in Texas, that can mean anything, but this time it was rain.
A little further West, in San Marcos, the local Christmas celebration is known as “Sights and Sounds“. One part of that celebration is the classic car parade put on by Dick’s Classic Garage. Decorated classic trucks and cars drive in parade formation and even Santa and Mrs. Claus show up! Last year they rode in a classic convertible Caddy.
Up north, it’s no different. The Parade of Lights in Fort Worth is also usually stocked with antique cars and trucks that have donned their holiday apparel, to the delight of cowtown residents.
The Christmas parade in the South Texas town of Victoria also features some lighted trucks each year. Every year Johnson City hosts the annual Lighted Hooves and Wheels Parade, where you can see some pretty merry and bright trucks.
So whether or not you realized it, Christmas trucks are actually a pretty important Texas tradition. They can be found up north, down south and pretty much everywhere in between. You can see new trucks, and classic trucks, but most of all, you can see the Christmas spirit of Texas.