Parade expected to raise $500,000 for charity.
The weather was perfect Saturday morning as an estimated 400,000 people were up and out early for the 23rd Annual Children's Medical Center Parade.
Aside from entertaining the parade watchers, the parade raises money for healthcare issues for children and is expected to bring in nearly $500,000 this year.
The parade is broken out into five holiday-themed sections (Winter Wonderland, Toyland, Country Cookies, Sounds of the Season and Home for the Holidays) with a Grand Marshal at each one. For the first time, all five of the parade Grand Marshals are patients at Children's Medical Center.
"They are precious children that are truly amazing stories that have happened as a result of the work that happens at Children's Medical Center every day," said Betsy Mackay, founder of the Children's Medical Center Holiday Parade. "This parade literally helps fund that life-saving work. For a lot of children, it gives them a life journey that they wouldn't have had otherwise."
The parade was joined this year by American Idol favorite David Archuleta, who performed a concert Friday night benefitting Children's at the Majestic Theater. Archuleta then joined the parade Saturday morning as it wound its way through downtown Dallas.
NBCDFW's Randy McIlwain contributed to this report.