Bandera Honors Veterans had a perfect day for the ceremony, parade and dinner on the courthouse grounds on Saturday.
The sun and blue cloudless sky were characteristics of the fine autumn days for which the Hill Country is known. The parade started sharply at noon as community members and visitors lined up along Main Street to watch the floats roll by and pick up the requisite candy. Children and adults eagerly scurried to pick up enough candy to rival this last memorable Halloween on Maple Street.
The solemn parade beginning with a corps of flag bearers and the playing of the national anthem started it off. Behind those soldiers were the flags carried by mounted riders. The crowd waited at attention as the flags passed by with this serious display. Even though the crowd was lighter than seen in years, they still were enthusiastic about all the floats and presentations.
Both local high school bands marched and played in the parade. The Bandera High School Band played patriotic tunes as the Star Steppers dance team led off the group behind the Marching 100 banner. The band’s flag performers carried an enormous American flag to end their display. While the Medina Band was small, they played with great enthusiasm. Marching and playing down the whole parade route on Main Street, this was their first time in a local parade in years. Many thanks go to Medina ISD music teacher Lisa Overlie and Bandera High School Band Director Joe Cortez for bringing their musicians to this important community event. The most numerous participants in the parade and some of the most popular were the mounted riders. Many residents came out to ride in the parade and show their support. Whether the cow ponies were ready to jump into a round up or dressed in patriotic gear, they never failed to please the crowd with their high stepping performance.
This year five Kerrville based radio stations participated in the parade by bringing their highly decorated vehicles to bring color to the event. Two restored Army Jeeps and one classic muscle car Camaro SS drove slowly along the route to add a little history to the parade.
Bringing up the rear of the parade were the fire department trucks from the Bandera Fire Department and the Castle Lake Ranch Fire Department as well as the local Bandera County EMT department. Their shiny equipment always brings up the end of another great Veterans’ Day Parade.