In preparation Sunday for today’s 55th Annual Brownsville Christmas Parade, Santa’s helpers from San Martin Home Health hammered together their contribution to the festivities, which will include 75 other entries, nine other floats, and 17 marching bands.
The workers sewed together green and red felt costumes, which, along with silver and red ribbon and plenty of jingle bells, helped create the “Santa’s Workshop” float as the festivities got closer.
Gracie Hinojosa hosted the project at her home as her sister-in-law Janie Rocha grilled up turkey legs, corn on the cob and ribs to keep the workers on their feet.
“Our plan is to finish is by tomorrow,” Hinojosa said. “How it ends up, I don’t know!”
It was Hinojosa’s idea to put together the float, a first for San Martin Home Health. Although she’s only been working there for 10 months, she said she felt confident her supervisors would agree.
Barbara Ketchum, who has worked as a nurse for 27 years was there to help her co-workers and friends, even though she plans to ride in a different float. She said that her past five years at San Martin have been with the best colleagues of her career.
“These people are outstanding,” she said, as she watched her fellow nurses attach lights to metal reindeer and fasten a wreath on the front of the float. “I wouldn’t work with anybody else.”
Hinjosa said that those working on the float will ride on it outfitted in elf costumes that were sewn by her mother Maria Garza. Hinojosa’s nephew Steve Solis, a 4year-old who underwent open-heart surgery as an infant, will also ride with the health workers.
Once completed, the float will join the other parade participants at 7 p.m. at West Second and Elizabeth streets. The parade route goes down Elizabeth Street and ends at the Gateway Bridge on International Boulevard. Charro Days, Inc. hosts the event.