Thousands attend parade

by Paul Heidelberg

Everybody loves a parade.

Two-year olds, 10-year-olds, 20 year-olds, 40 year-olds, 80-year olds, and more.

All were delighted Saturday as several thousand spectators and participants were on hand for the 28th Annual Canyon Lake Christmas Parade, which started just after 11 a.m. and lasted a little under an hour.

The parade was fast moving, or it would have lasted longer.

Participants included residents from the Canyon Lake area and New Braunfels, and several floats from San Antonio, including a Randolph Air Force Base float; a U.S. Air Force color guard that followed several Comal County Sheriff Department vehicles – lights flashing and sirens waiing – had led the parade.

Marching bands from Smithson Valley High School and Canyon High School provided some of the music.

Spectators were treated to several flyovers by members of the Central Texas Wing of the Commemorative Air Force, who arrived overhead on schedule at 11 a.m. sharp.

The sound of those birds in the sky was a spectacle in itself.

The smaller, single-engined aircraft, which included a replica Japanese Zero, escorted the two-engined B-24 bomber.

The bomber flew over the Sattler parade route on FM 2673 and the escorts provided aerial acrobatics for the delighted parade watchers.

Piloting the aircraft were Bill Powers, of Austin, in a CJ-6, Harold Middleton from Austin, also in a CJ-6, Grant Lannon of Austin in a T-6, Dave Hatten of Lakeway in Kate, Billy Parker of Wimberley in a Japanese Zero replica and Ron Dietes and a crew of two from San Antonio in the B-25.

The flyovers elicited “Oohs and Aaahs” from parade watchers.

Young and old alike were also delighted by the vehicles and drivers in the Alzafar Shrine Temple of San Antonio entries: there was everything from motorcycles to go carts to antique autos, including a shiny red 1955 Ford Thunderbird, to those little red cars one sees in televised parades, doing circle eights all over the place.

The go-carts and another type of small vehicle also took to doing fast-paced maneuvers, and one driver of the little red cars seemed to burn rubber with nearly every turnaround.

The floats and entries were too numerous to mention, but included Comal County Sheriff Bob Holder, the Red Hat Chicks, and the aforementioned Alzafar Shrine Temple members. Many Alzafar Shrine Temple members wore hats with intricate ornamentation that sparkled in the sunlight that broke through the clouds soon after the parade started.

There were many horses in the parade, including those pulling the replica Wells Fargo Bank stagecoach.

With all those horses, there was work to be done.

Early in the parade, I heard the leader of one parade group call back, “Get the shovels ready, boys.” I thought he was joking until I saw a teenager jump off a vehicle with a Texas-sized shovel to scoop up what some horse had left behind on FM 2673.

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