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HEB Sponsors 3rd Annual Independence Day bike, trike and wagon parade

By ErinPradia
July 2, 2011 at 2:02 a.m.

Avery Camacho, 3, waves  her flags during  the H-E-B Fourth of July Parade on Saturday morning. Avery was awarded first-place for best decorations on her wagon. She and her babysitter, Nicole Stiles, decorated the wagon together the night before the parade.

The H-E-B Independence Day Parade on Saturday marked the start of the July Fourth celebrations for 3-year-old Avery Camacho, of Victoria.

"We're going to go be in the parade and then go watch fireworks," Avery said clutching several miniture American flags, wearing a red headband with patriotic pom-poms.

Avery placed first in the 2- to 4-year-old division for best decorations on her wagon she and her babysitter, Nicole Stiles, decorated together Friday night. Red, white and blue fringes decked its sides, small American flags and patriotic crepe ceiling hanging decorations added a special touch. A sign on the side of Avery's wagon encouraged people to have a "Happy Fourth of July!"

Trophies were given for first, second and third places for best decorated bike, tricycle, scooter or wagon, in each of the three age categories and best overall. Each of the 40 participants received a bag of goodies at the conclusion of the parade.

Breanna Alvarez, 5, of Bloomington, said she has been practicing for the parade by riding her bike around the house.

"Today we're going to ride our bikes in a parade," Breanna said. "If we don't ride in line, then we won't get to stay in the parade."

The children were accompanied in the parade by H. E. Buddy, Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Elmo, Cookie the Clown and the Chick-fil-A Cow.

The Pledge of Allegiance, led by Alyssa Flores, 9, of Victoria, and National Anthem sung by H-E-B employee Donald Schrade, kicked off the 3rd annual H-E-B Independence Day Parade around the H-E-B Plus parking lot.

Patriotic music floated out over loud speakers as an officer with Victoria Police Department led the parade, complete with lights and sirens followed by a fire truck. Other parade entries included an Army National Guard Humvee, the Victoria County Veteran's Council Color Guard, Mother's Day Queen for the Day Nikki Barnes, members of The Miss Victoria Court and Debbie Bennett Green School of Dance.

Michaela Wells, 4, of Victoria, said she was excited about Independence Day, but her favorite holidays are Halloween and Christmas. Michaela decorated her bike with her cousins to prepare for the parade.

"I even have a little horn!" exclaimed Michaela's cousin, Ember Shull, 5, of Victoria.

Doug Wallace, the general manager at the H-E-B Plus on Navarro Street, said they have been planning the parade for about three months. H-E-B employees Tara Munoz and Loren Rucksthul coordinated the event.

"We have a good routine down. Ultimately, we want to make it bigger and notify more kids about it each year," Wallace said. "We really want the kids to have fun and to know what a great country we have."

Jordan Williams, 10, of Milton, Fla., is in Victoria to visit relatives for the holidays.

As they prepared for the parade, snapping his helmet into place and making finishing touches on decorations, Jordan's aunt, Brenda Williams, told him America is celebrating its 235th birthday this year.

Jordan was shocked, "Wow. I knew we were celebrating the Fourth of July, but I didn't realize America is 235 years old!"



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