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Livestock parade brings cousins together

By KBell
Feb. 25, 2012 at 11 p.m.
Updated Feb. 24, 2012 at 8:25 p.m.

Bubba Stewart, 4, left, and his cousins Mariah Rivera, 7, center, and Jerimiah Pineda, 9, of Austin, point and peer down the parade route as a set of "tricked out" cars approach on Laurent Street. The family used the Victoria Livestock Show parade on Saturday morning as an opportunity to spend time together.

A row of child-sized cowboy boots peeked out of shared blankets Saturday morning on the curb of Laurent Street.

Underneath the covers were cousins young and younger; their ears perked for the first sign of sirens at the Victoria Livestock Show parade.

"This is what we do - the parades. We all come for the family gathering," said Marissa Castillo, 13.

Marissa perched next to her cousin, Mona Castillo, 16, and the two acted as bookends to the half dozen other cousins lined along the rest of the curb.

As the younger ones bolted about in anticipation, hyped up on some sugary candy canes, Marissa and Mona remembered being their age and the excitement that came with getting together for parades.

"There used to be a lot of us like that," Mona said, nudging toward her younger cousins. "But now we're older."

But these two teenagers said they still cherished family time. Now, more than the parade itself, they like to watch their younger cousins get excited about the floats.

"The parade is starting for real, Mariah," shouted Bubba Stewart, 4, to his cousin, Mariah Rivera, 7.

As the first police lights approached their family's stoop, all of the cousins settled down for the show. They each pointed out their favorite cars - a tricked-out Mustang or a pink one with hydraulics or a bright blue one with suicide doors.

About 45 parade entries participated in this year's event, which was on a newly-paved Laurent Street after spending several years on North Street.

The cars were the cousins' favorite attraction, but the kids also waved at the passing candidates for election and offered a row of high-fives to a sheriff's deputy driving by in a mini car.

"Your girlfriends are coming," Mariah teased another one of her cousins, Jerimiah Pineda, 9.

Jerimiah came all the way from Austin to enjoy the day with his cousins and, lucky guy, see some beauty queens at the Livestock Show parade.

"Pretty girls? Pretty girls?" he joked, as the float of pageant winners from Cuero passed.

Later in the day, the cousins said they'd all go to the carnival together to enjoy the rides.

Marissa and Mona said they already went Friday night with their friends.

"Today is the family day," Mona said.



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