ilove bonnie

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Texas Citrus Fiesta, and a parade to remember the fallen

Mission, Texas has become our new home. The neighbor children are no longer afraid when I say "Hi" to them. The apartment maintenance guys always wave as they cruise along in their golf carts on their way to fix something or another. Like Galveston, we seem to be getting some friends around here, and have probably been here for a little bit too long. That's why I was so surprised when low and behold, I saw some unexpected bleachers on the side of the road. However close I feel to this community, I am out of the loop. Something big was about to happen, and I was just catching wind of it. Something was going on this weekend. Jen had overheard the barista in town talking about a parade that she would be working. My curiosity was piqued when I learned that there was going to be a parade. A parade for whom, for what, where, and most importantly when.

Since my time in New Orleans, parades have taken on a new meaning. When I learned the parade was for the Texas Citrus Fiesta, I started to imagine the armloads of grapefruits, oranges, lemons, and who knows what else that would be thrown from floats decorated in the aforementioned fruits. That however, would be indicative of a New Orleans style parade.

The main event for the Texas Citrus Fiesta would be Saturday evening. At seven p.m. sharp, the floats, bands, queens and kings, princesses, and military regiments would parade through town. We arrived a little early so we could sample some of the local fare like:
Hot Cheetos with nacho sauce.

Some of the worst barbecue I have ever had

Gulu had some hot cocoa:

This guy:

Onto the parade. The floats were decorated, but only sparingly in fruit slices. The overarching theme for the floats was Winter Texan R.V. Parkers who were honoring POW, MIA, and "the troops that gave some, and those that gave all."
The first place prize winner:

Some of the princesses:

Of course, motorcycles (and even in the dark you can tell they are Harleys):

And the never ending parade of cops. Unfortunately, this is how most of my photos turned out:

By the end of the parade, we had only caught one orange. It wasn't a hapless victim of a float either. The Pooper Scooper was filling his time in between picking up road apples by handing out fresh Texas citrus. Yum Valencia oranges, my favorite.



Ryan O'Vineyards said...

Oh wow. I thought that grocery bag guy was a hallucination. I posed with him at ACL when we evacuated for Hurricane Ivan BUT LOST THE PICTURE. So nobody every believed my wild stories about grocery-bag men or bad bbq... :-ç

Mike said...

That parade looks wild! Be careful telling this story in a third world country..."So they throw fruit at you and in the road?!?" Haha - keep the posts-a-comin!

Ben and Jen said...

Hey Mike, it is a tradition in New Orleans for parades to include throws. Those throws may be beads, but also include various other things. The best throw I ever got was at a Saint Patties day parade where I received a piece of fried chicken. Yeah!!! At that parade we also left with three bags of cabbage loads of potatoes, carrots, garlic, onions, Irish spring soap. You name it they throw it. haha

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