Storm troopers, fairies, and elves are just some of the characters that will be spotted on 28 river barges Friday night for the 37th annual Ford Holiday River Parade as this year’s theme is “Christmas at the Movies.”

The hour-long procession will begin at 6 p.m. when more than 100,000 holiday lights are turned on, illuminating the Cypress trees along the River Walk.

Santikos Entertainment used the upcoming film Star Wars: The Last Jedi to inspire their Planet of Tatooine barge. Some Rackspace employees partnered with Santikos to participate in the parade as storm troopers, bounty hunters, and the iconic Princess Leia.

There are staple holiday film floats inspired by films like A Christmas StoryA Charlie Brown Christmas, and The Nutcracker, which will feature performers with the Alamo City Dance Company.

“I am here representing the Sugar Plum Fairy,” said Madeline Burroughs, one of the Alamo City Dance Company dancers. This is the first year the company will participate in the parade. “Its very fun and exciting.”

Eva’s Heroes and Sa-Sibs each have Elf floats. Heroes will turn into elves to staff Santa’s workshop while the Sibs will represent a wintry New York City scene.

“This is such a great experience for San Antonio,” said Shawne Zakaria, executive director at Eva’s Heroes. “We’re just thrilled to be a part of it.”

Tickets are on sale for more than 30 unique viewing areas, which can be viewed on this interactive map. Some of the areas have already sold out. There is limited free viewing space available at several locations along the Riverwalk, offered on a first come first serve basis. Visitors utilizing free viewing areas are encouraged to bring their own seating.

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Jeffrey Sullivan

Jeffrey Sullivan is a Rivard Report reporter. He graduated from Trinity University with a degree in Political Science.