Youth Fair kicks off with parade
The crowd went silent as the wail of the fire department sirens filled the streets, announcing the beginning of the Jackson County Youth Fair Parade on Saturday morning.
The children and teenagers in the floats smiled and waved as they rounded the corner, parading down the main streets of Edna, the Jackson County seat.
"I'm pretty excited. I feel really special," Edna High School senior Chelsey Gates, 17, said.
Horseback riders, football players, cheerleaders, elected officials and members of almost every imaginable organization, young and old, road through town, smiling and waving in the parade that marks the start of the Jackson County Youth Fair.
"This is really for the young people. It's very good for the kids and it gives them all the chance to stand and be recognized by the community," Edna High School music teacher Susan Wilson said.
Jackson County residents have held this parade every year for longer than anyone can remember, Ganado resident Edith Galow said.
"It's been more than 50 years, because my daughter was in it and she's 52 now. It was great when she was in it," Galow said.
While she no longer has children or grandchildren to come out and cheer for, Galow said she attends the parade almost every year to support the participating young people.
Edna resident Jason Richmond said the parade is good for the county because it gives residents a sense of community.
"Getting everyone out and getting everyone together is great," Richmond said. "It's good for the young people too. It makes them feel the warmth of the small town life."
There were 59 different organizations participating in the parade, which lasted about an hour as participants drove down Precinct 1 Constable Cisco Marek estimated about 5,000 people lined the streets of Edna to watch and cheer.
The parade gives young people in the area a chance to shine, Marek said. Marek has never forgotten taking part in the parade when he was young.
"Yeah, I was thrilled. I thought all of those eyes were on me. It's a great experience for these kids," Marek said, grinning.
Edna Elementary School student Brock Duarte, 6, agreed.
"It's good. This is really cool," Brock said.