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CAN’T RAIN ON THIS PARADE (UPDATED) - Odessa American: Community

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CAN’T RAIN ON THIS PARADE (UPDATED)

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2012 9:32 pm

The parade marked the second event of the Hispanic Heritage celebration, which continues for the next several weeks. Besides celebrating culture and tradition, the parade commemorated Mexico’s Independence Day, the Grito de Dolores, which falls Sunday.

The Permian and Odessa High honor guards led the whole way, from 23rd Street to Ninth Street.

Grand Marshal Manny Puga followed not far behind in a truck. He was named a padrino (“godfather”) this year.

There was the Una Mano Amiga float of young kids in white Tarahumara garments yelling “Viva Mexico, Viva America.” There were 18-wheelers, politicians and decorated cars of local businesses.

Then there were the vaqueros, about 30 riders on horseback bringing up the rear and carrying three flags: of Mexico, the United States and Texas.

Groups of school mariachis couldn’t perform for fear of warping their instruments, but there were the mariachis who sat under umbrellas in the back of a pickup, singing away a cappella.

“Man, my heart just hurts,” said Carol Uranga, Hispanic Heritage organizer, when it was all done.

The man who organized the parade, Jesse Porras, said a police officer suggested they cancel the parade because of rain at about 9:45 in the morning. And they nearly decided to do so.

“I said ‘You know what, these people made a lot of effort. I don’t want to call it off,’ ” Porras later recalled. 

So it went on. Porras, named a padrino last year, drove around in a golf cart sounding a bullhorn and shouting “thank you.”

“I was very impressed with everybody,” Porras said. “With all the rain they still stood behind us.”

Decorations on the vehicles became soggy. People didn’t walk the parade route passing out candy — instead someone hopped out of an Odessa College shuttle every so often with a bag of lollipops.

But dozens still came to watch, like Eliza Navarrette, who watched family on her uncle’s side ride horse.

“Aw, it’s cool,” she said. “Very cute.”

 

UPDATE: The awards ceremony scheduled at McKinney Park after the parade was canceled because of the rain. But here are the winners, announced Saturday night:

  

Best Horse

 

>> 1st Place: Rider # 10, sponsored by Carol’s Ambulance.

 

Best Car

 

>>  1st place: Javier Carrasco

 

Best Float

 

>>  1st place: Una Malo Amiga, Imelda Carrasco

>> 2nd place: Gerald Lopez, attorney

 

Best Truck

 

>> 1st place: Statik Soccer Club

 

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