Michael Bidwill Named Grand Marshal of the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, presented by Cheez-It - Fiesta Bowl | Fiesta Bowl

Michael Bidwill Named Grand Marshal of the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, presented by Cheez-It

Sep 13, 2018

Desert Financial Credit Union joins Parade as title sponsor in multi-year partnership

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – The Fiesta Bowl announced today that Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill will be the 2018 Grand Marshal of the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade, presented by Cheez-It. Bidwill will lead this year’s parade through the two-mile parade route in Central Phoenix as part of the Fiesta Forty Eight | State Forty Eight theme.

Joining Bidwill in the Parade festivities on December 29 will be Desert Financial Credit Union, who has signed a multi-year agreement to become the new title sponsor for one of the Valley’s long-standing traditions.

“The theme this year is to celebrate our 48 years as a staple in this community and Arizona as the 48th state and Michael’s contributions to the community make him a great Grand Marshal to help us honor Arizona and this special milestone,” said Mike Nealy, Executive Director of the Fiesta Bowl. “We are also pleased to welcome Desert Financial as title sponsor with its history as a fantastic Arizona brand that aligns with our mission to continue to enhance the community.”

The Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade Grand Marshal honors an individual or group whose vision aligns with the Fiesta Bowl’s commitment to driving economic growth, champion charitable causes and executing innovative experiences. Since taking over as team president in 2007, Bidwill has excelled in those areas, helping the Arizona Cardinals reach new heights on the field and in the Arizona community.

During his tenure, the franchise has gone .500 or better in eight of the 11 seasons, appeared in the NFC Championship game twice and advanced to Super Bowl XLIII. Additionally, Bidwill was instrumental in the creation of State Farm Stadium, which hosted the 2016 College Football Playoff National Championship game and is home to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. Additionally, State Farm Stadium was selected as the site for Super BowlsXLII, XLIX and LVII (2023), the 2015 Pro Bowl and two NCAA Final Fours (2017 & 2024). Bidwill has established himself as one of the most influential leaders in Phoenix as a strong advocate for economic growth and development.

“I am incredibly flattered to serve as Grand Marshal of the Fiesta Bowl Parade this year, particularly after reviewing the list of previous honorees,” said Bidwill. “The Fiesta Bowl’s impact on this community extends far beyond simply staging elite college football games. These contributions reflect a year-long commitment that has made the Fiesta Bowl such an iconic and respected institution and I’m proud to join them for this December’s parade.”

A pillar in the community for nearly 80 years, Desert Financial Credit Union is the newly-named title sponsor for the Fiesta Bowl Parade. As title sponsor, Desert Financial will have a custom float and balloon as well as other activations around the Parade and the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl, tied to the company’s spirit of giving.

“This is such an exciting opportunity for our company to become more deeply integrated into the Fiesta Bowl organization,” said Jeff Meshey, CEO of Desert Financial Credit Union. “As part of our year of giving, there is no better organization and event to be a part of than the Fiesta Bowl Parade, a longtime Arizona icon that means so much to our community.”

A partner of the Fiesta Bowl organization since 2014, Desert Financial signed on to be a part of the Fiesta Bowl Parade as part of its Year of Giving. Throughout 2018, Desert Financial will give away $7 million to the Arizona community in the form of exceptional experiences, community connections, member giveback and education.

Beginning at 10 a.m. on December 29, 2018, the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade will showcase a pageantry of brilliantly colored floats, giant balloons, equestrian units, charitable groups, local celebrities and marching bands that will make their way down the two-mile route through Central Phoenix. Admission is free to the public with premium and reserved seating available for $25. The event is broadcast live on 3TV.

Every year, a combination of more than 2,500 men, women, children, floats, balloons and animals participate in the Desert Financial Fiesta Bowl Parade. The Fiesta Bowl once again invites and encourages groups to submit an application by September 30, 2018, to submit an entry to be a part of the parade.

For more information about the events, the application process and to purchase tickets, please visit www.fiestabowl.org/events/fiesta-bowl-parade/.


The Fiesta Bowl is a world-class community organization that executes innovative experiences, drives economic growth and champions charitable causes, inspiring pride in all Arizonans. As a nonprofit organization, it believes in the importance of community outreach and service. Through charitable giving, the organization strives to enhance Arizona nonprofit organizations that contribute to the success of communities through youth, sports and education. Since 1971, the Fiesta Bowl has worked to increase its footprint across the state and work to benefit Arizonans year round, during and outside of bowl season.



Celebrating its 79th year in Arizona, Desert Financial is Arizona’s largest credit union with $4 billion in assets, more than 300,000 members and branch locations across the Valley. As a not-for-profit cooperative, Desert Financial prides itself on sharing success with members, employees and the community. Learn more at www.desertfinancial.com.