The NorthEaster Parade will not roll through Northeast El Paso again this year. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening.

While there won’t be an actual procession up Diana Street, this year’s parade will take place. However, there won’t be a need to get up early to stake out a spot along the route, because, for the first time in its forty-two-year existence, the NorthEaster Parade will not have spectators.

The Transmountain Optimist Club, which sponsors the yearly event, announced it will restart the decades-long tradition despite the ongoing pandemic by presenting it as a prerecorded, virtual event.

There will still be floats, decorated cars, marching bands, a grand marshal, and maybe even over-sized Shriners driving under-sized cars, but they won't be making their way to Nations Tobin on the Saturday morning before Easter Sunday and there won’t be thousands of El Pasoans lined up along both sides of the street to watch any of it.

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Instead, its participants and performances will be pre-taped and broadcast Easter Sunday on a couple of the local TV stations.

The theme for the 2021 virtual parade is “Back to the Future,” and will feature units from past parades. The TV-only parade will air April 4 at 10:30 a.m. on the local CBS station and repeated at 4:30 p.m. on the local FOX affiliate, per the event website.

The NorthEaster Parade, like every other event around El Paso, was canceled in 2020 because of pandemic restrictions and an abundance of caution.

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