Texas Parade began as a monthly magazine of Texas that highlighted the state's highway system. It eventually broadened its scope to include many subjects of interest concerning Texas. The magazine premiered in June 1936 and was sponsored by the Texas Good Roads Association, a voluntary, nonpolitical, nonprofit statewide association of about 25,000 members concerned with the preservation of motor-vehicle taxes for highway construction and maintenance. The magazine probably grew out of Texas Good Roads Magazine, which was published in San Marcos by the association from December 1916 to February 1918 and edited by G. A. McNaughton. Texas Parade was endorsed by the Texas Highway Department (see TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION) and was originally published in Houston by Texas Parade, Incorporated, Ike Ashburn, publisher. Harry Van Demark was editor, and Charles E. Simons was associated editor. In addition to Ashburn, Van Demack, and Simons, the magazine's founders included Charles Shorter as business manager, Edward M. Schiwetz as art director, and Roscoe Wright as contributing editor. The magazine was about thirty pages per issue, covers were two-color, and subscriptions were two dollars a year for general subscribers and one dollar for association members. The publication ran until May 1943, when it was suspended because of wartime shortages in labor and material. The last issue was only fifteen pages long.
Publication resumed in May 1948 with Volume 9, still sponsored by the association, but now with editorial offices in Austin. Improvements included the use of higher-grade paper and better graphics. Ashburn remained as publisher; High Williamson was now editor, Windy Winn was art director, and Early Young was staff artist. Though it was still focused on highway matters, Texas Parade also covered travel, history, and personalities. Topics expanded to include business, industry, and sports. Ashburn, who was the main impetus behind the magazine's postwar relaunching, was soon joined by William B. Alderman, Wood Hall, and Ken Lively. Alderman, Hall, and Lively made the magazine independent of the association in late 1955 and moved the corporate offices to San Antonio. In the early 1970s the Parade began to take more of a hard-news line and became known for its business and political analysis and coverage of topical subjects, including the newly passed liquor-by-the-drink laws and the state's probable stand on the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the United States Constitution. With Lively as editor, the magazine continued to become more of a business publication; throughout the 1970s it carried an annual ranking of the state's 400 largest publicly held corporations in the July issue. By the late 1970s the magazine was sub-titled "The Business Magazine of Texas." Although not an official publication of the state, it was cited numerous times by the state legislature for outstanding promotion of Texas. The last issue of Texas Parade as an independent publication came out in March 1978. The magazine then merged with a Commerce Publishing Corporation magazine, Texas Business, to become Texas Business & Texas Parade for the April 1978 issue. The magazine was renamed simply Texas Business for the November 1978 issue and ceased publication in August 1988. A full set of Texas Parade is housed in the Texas Department of Transportation photo library in Austin.