NorthEaster Parade 1978
NorthEaster Parade History
In the Beginning
1978 -- The first parade was only a small part of the Northeast World Jubilee (NWJ) sponsored by the Transmountain Optimists (TMO) which ran from September 29 to October 2, 1978. Other organizations assisted/coordinated this community project: Northgate and Skyline Optimists, YMCA, YWCA, TM Octagons, four high schools, El Maida Shriners, Northgate Merchants Assoc., the U.S. Army, NE Youth Development Advisory Council, fifteen area churches, PTA, EP Police and Fire Depts., City Council, and Parks and Recreation Dept.
-- The parade started from Sunrise Shopping Center and ended at Northpark Mall with about thirty parade entrants. Festivities at both shopping centers were ongoing daily, including an annual Northeast Prayer Breakfast whose committee selected a 'Person of the Year' and a 'Family of the Year', based upon their contributions to their NE community.
-- In more recent years, Grand Marshals are now selected, based upon their contributions to El Paso as a whole, and have been from all parts of El Paso County, including Ft. Bliss.
1980 -- The NWJ was held May 9 to May 17, and the Parade had its first Grand Marshal, Pat Haggerty, and started from Northpark Mall ending at Sunrise Center. Pat Haggerty also became the Official NorthEaster Parade Bunny and, currently, is still the Official Bunny. In following years, the 'Person of the Year' was traditionally asked to be the Grand Marshal of the NE Parade.
-- The NE Parade and the NE Prayer breakfast were the only festivities that were maintained from 1978. Sometime Between 1980 and 1985, the parade date was changed to the Saturday before Easter and was named the NorthEaster Parade.
1985 -- The NE Kiwanis took over the NE Parade at the request of TMO and sponsored it for several years. The Parade starting point was changed to Hercules and Diana Drive and ended at Northpark Mall every year.
1986 -- Terry Culbert, NE KIWANIS member, became the NE Parade Chairman through 1993.
1994 -- The Northeast Civic Leaders Council (NECLC) took over sponsorship of the NE Parade as requested by the NE Kiwanis. A sub-committee was formed to take charge of the parade, and the NorthEaster Parade Committee was born. Mickey Fisher, a NECLC and TMO member, was elected to Parade Chairman and served until 2000.
-- The time between 1994 and 2007, uniformed Boy Scouts started assisting the NE Parade Committee by putting out the Barricades on the morning of the Parade.
2007 -- TMO assumed the sponsorship of the NorthEaster Parade as requested by the NECLC and continues to do so under the Transmountain Optimist Foundation. Tropicana Homes, Bobby Bowling, became the Main Sponsor of the NorthEaster Parade.
2012 -- Mimbela Contractors, Inc. became the Main Sponsor of the NorthEaster Parade and still continues into the new year.
2015 -- The NorthEaster Parade Committee voted unanimously to change the name in honor of the Transmountain Optimist Club to the 'Annual Transmountain Optimist NorthEaster Parade'. Also commemorating the first year to have a website, Facebook page, and Instagram account.
2018 -- 40th Annual Saturday March 31st, 2018 Biggest parade turnout ever, both sides of the street were lined up. Grand Marshal Richard Wiles and all the other super heroes that turned out as our theme was "First Responders are Super Heroes".
2019 - 41st Parade, New Parade Route turns right on Hondo Pass and ends at Nations Tobin Park. Even bigger turnout with our theme Sports Eggstravangaza and the Rhino Hockey Team as our Grand Marshals.
2020 -- Cancelled 42nd Annual TMO NorthEaster Parade due to COVID-19 Pandemic concerns.
2021 - 43rd Annual TMO NorthEaster VIRTUAL Parade theme: "Back to the Future," with Joe Pickett as our Grand Marshal. 4-03-2021 on CBS4 at 10:30am K-FOX14 at 4:00pm. El Paso County Commissioners declared through resolution April 3, 2021 as NorthEaster Parade Day.
2022 - 44th Annual TMO NorthEaster Parade theme: "Destination Franklin Mountains", with Dr. Richard Teschner as our Grand Marshal. Dr. Teschner is a major contributor to the conservation of our Franklin Mountains, especially the Castner Range in Northeast El Paso.
Grace Elizabeth "Betty" Buroff passed away. She was a Parade Committee member from the beginning and served as Registra and Historian. She is sorely missed.
2023 - 45th Annual TMO NorthEaster Parade Chairman Jack Sturgis steps back and TMO President Jon Henry will serve the Committee as Chairman and Edith Villigan nominated by the Committee will serve as Co-Chair.