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60th Annual Dairy Festival Parade is Saturday June 8 as Part of Local Dairying Pride

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David Watson, Dairy Festival Parade Chairman

“I’ve watched Dairy Festival Parades all my life, and try to never miss one!” offered David Watson in an interview on the KSST Good Morning Show on June 6, 2019. “In fact, as a kid growing up on Connally Street, I got to watch it twice because a time or two, the parade passed by our house going east toward the square, and again coming back in to Buford Park!”. David is the Parade Committee Chairman of the Hopkins County Dairy Festival Board of Directors. He is excited about this year’s return of the Budweiser Clydedales and a first-time appearance of the 1st Cavalry Division Marching Band in the parade lineup. This year’s Parade Marshall is Lynda Hager and the SSHS Drum Line will keep everyone in step. “With over 100 floats already entered, including the nine custom-built contestant floats, the Queen’s float and colorful commercial entries, this parade is worthy of the title of 60th Anniversary Parade. Also, watch for former Dairy Festival Queens who will make a Parade appearance on June 8, 2019 and be recognized at the Queen’s Pageant and Coronation on Saturday June 15, 2019.

1st Cavalry Division Marching Band of Ft Hood, Texas

Watson asked everyone to be aware of a change in the Parade route. “We will step off from Buford Park at 10am, then turn left onto League and travel to Houston Street. Turning right, the Parade will proceed east on Houston Street, then turn right onto Church Street, traveling past the Post Office and entering the square beside the Hopkins County Courthouse. From there, we resume the usual parade route heading south on Gilmer Street, to disperse at the intersection of Gilmer and Lee Streets. There will be plenty of good spots along the route to watch the parade!”. Watson stated that Connally Street is undergoing improvements as part of the Cross Town Trail project construction, thus the change in the 2019 parade route.

The visiting Clydesdale 8-horse hitch and crew make up the West Coast team, now headquartered at Ft. Collins. Two mascot dalmatians also travel with the horses. You can visit them in their stalls at the Hopkins County Civic Center between 8am and 7pm this week. Clydesdales began to be used in the beer company’s promotions in 1933.

The West Coach Hitch of Budweiser Clydesdales will appear in the 2019 Dairy Festival Parade

Here’s a few interesting side notes on local parade history. This year’s 60th anniversary theme “Over the Mooon in Dairyland” was selected to remember the first walk on the moon by man in 1969. Also, viewers of Cable Channel 18 TV will catch playbacks of archived Dairy Festival Parades from as far back as 1979, made possible through a collection of memorabilia belonging to Lynda Hager. Also, keep an eye out for the lofty sleigh-like vintage Queen’s Float, used by each winner as a local tradition. If you can’t attend the Dairy Festival Parade on Saturday June 8 at 10am, you can listen to the live broadcast on KSST Radio 1230 AM, and see it in playback on Channel 18 TV, and on our Youtube channel at a later date.

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Author: Enola Gay

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