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Peterbilt Drives Awareness for United Way With 6th Annual Truck Parade

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If you love trucks — or have some little truck fanatics at home — then you will not want to miss the 6th Annual Peterbilt Pride & Class Truck Parade taking place Friday, October 13th around the Downtown Square.

While the 50 giant trucks are obviously the main draw of the parade, its main intent is to help raise awareness and bring in donations for the United Way of Denton County, explains Jan Langelius, engineering supervisor for Peterbilt Motors Company.

“It’s a great opportunity for (Dentonites) to not only see the trucks (and) understand what we are in the community but also what United Way does in the community and raise their awareness,” he adds.

Rolling Through the Years

According to Langelius, in 2016 one of Peterbilt’s leaders, Phil Hall, partnered with a fellow community leader to forge the idea of a parade of custom trucks through downtown Denton to raise awareness and donations for the cause.

“We typically have had fantastic custom Peterbilt trucks from around North America come to the yearly Peterbilt Open House event for employees and their families,” he continues. “We built the parade event around the passion and generosity of these Peterbilt Super-fans who travel and show their custom trucks.”  

After the initial Pride & Class Truck Parade in 2016, the event was held annually through 2019. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic forced the cancellation of the parade in 2020 and 2021.

Last year, the parade returned to the Square with Peterbilt’s largest parade to date with nearly 60 trucks.

Spectacle of Sights, Lights & Sounds

This year, Peterbilt celebrates its 6th parade, which Langelius says will be around 50 participating trucks.

This year’s parade will be led by Peterbilt’s newest truck, the Model 589. “We had a big launch event earlier in the year for this vehicle, but it really hasn’t been seen in public a ton,” Langelius says. “It’s a really fun new model … that perfectly blends the iconic style of a traditional Peterbilt truck … with the comfort and the advanced technology and the durability of a thoroughly modern Peterbilt.”

Parade-goers will also have the chance to see one of Peterbilt’s battery electric trucks, as well as some other trucks from their headquarters in Denton.

After that, Langelius says the real stars of the show are the 45 customized trucks featured in this year’s parade.

“Folks from all across the U.S. and Canada bring their customized trucks here to Denton,” he continues. “These privately-owned trucks sport customized and themed paint schemes and incredible custom lighting that will be on full display in the darkness of twilight and early evening. The trucks range from meticulously restored, classic, and antique Peterbilt models to modern Peterbilt models curated and polished to perfection. You will see many of the best and brightest Peterbilt trucks in the world.”

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Because the truck parade begins around the Square at 7 p.m., Langelius says it’s the perfect time to see the customized lighting on the trucks on full display. And although there is no music, he says there is plenty of sound from the trucks and their air horns.

“The parade is a spectacle of sights, lights, and sounds that is free to the public,” Langelius adds.

Raising Awareness & Donations

Although the parade obviously showcases Peterbilt trucks, Langelius says the true purpose is to help raise awareness and donations for the United Way of Denton County.

“Peterbilt and our parent company PACCAR have had a long relationship, a long-standing connection with United Way of Denton County,” he explains. “Our team of employees leads an annual giving drive in October … and the Pride & Class Parade really was a way for us to further amplify our giving spirit and the pride for the Denton community.”

At the parade, a combination team of Peterbilt employees and United Way volunteers will be on-hand with card readers and cash buckets to give parade-goers an opportunity to donate right there on the spot.

“The things that United Way does for Denton are important — we understand that it’s a great opportunity for us to support it,” Langelius says. “We’ve been supporting it for years and years.”

Pulling Out All the Stops

Peterbilt recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of its headquarters moving to Denton this past July.

“We love being here — it is our hometown,” Langelius says. “Peterbilt is the largest employer in Denton County. And part of that is we recognize what we do for the county and what we do for the people of Denton. We don’t just work here — we live here. So it is really a big part of what we do.”

That is why Peterbilt uses its Pride & Class Truck Parade not only to share and celebrate the trucks born here in Denton but also to raise awareness of a nonprofit with a mission to help the Denton community.

“We’re excited to once again present the Peterbilt Pride & Class Parade and hopefully raise a ton of awareness and donations for United Way of Denton County,” Langelius says. “It is great fun for a great cause. Prepare to have an enjoyable free event for the whole family. Bring a giving spirit — and maybe some hearing protection for the littlest truck fans.”     

The 6th Annual Peterbilt Pride & Class Truck Parade will take place Friday, October 13th starting at 7 p.m. The parade begins at Hickory Street and Elm Street and then moves around the Square. This is a free event. Click here for more information.

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