The city of Coahoma will have the final patriotic word this Independence Day holiday, as the small West Texas hamlet gets ready to present its annual Freedom Parade on Saturday, July 7.
According to Coahoma Mayor Warren Wallace, the parade will kickoff in the Coahoma High School Stadium parking lot, located adjacent to First Street.
“This year we'll be doing the judging a little bit different than we have in years past,” Wallace said. “This year we'll actually do the judging before the parade begins, so the parade entries will need to be in place and ready to be judged by 9:20 a.m.
“In previous years, folks participating in the parade needed to leave directly following the parade for plans with family members, which sometimes made judging difficult. We're hoping by doing the judging beforehand, we'll be able to eliminate those problems and move things along more quickly.”
Wallace said the parade — to get under way promptly at 10 a.m. — will make its way down First Street to the North Service Road, then back up Sixth Street, returning to the original staging area at the stadium parking lot.
“The locals bring all kinds of vehicles, from tractors, trailers, golf carts to horses,” Wallace said. “Just about anything else you can think of. It's a lot of fun for everyone in the family and it's a great way for local residents to show their patriotic spirit. The people of Coahoma aren't the least bit shy about showing their support for the red, white and blue and that's one of the things the Freedom Parade is about.”
Wallace said the colors will be presented by the Howard County Volunteer Fire Department, with patriotic music provided by a band.
“They are a country and western band who perform music honoring the men and women of our military,” Wallace said. “I had a chance to hear some of their recordings the other day and they are really good. I think everyone will really enjoy their music. I know I'm really looking forward to hearing them play.”
Once the parade has made its way through the city of Coahoma, Wallace said area residents will have the opportunity to gather and enjoy each other's company at the city's park.
“There will be volleyball, washers and other games for folks to play. They won't be competitive, mind you, just for fun,” Wallace said. “We'll also take time to recognize the parade marshals, as well as our Coahoma Citizen of the Year, Loma Jean Wynn.
“Also, the Coahoma Lions Club will be on hand selling hamburger plates for $5 each. Each includes a burger, chips and some sort of desert. We'll also be recognizing our local firefighters for what they have done for the community, as well as our soldiers and veterans.”
According to Quail Dobbs, who is assisting in coordinating the parade, marshals for the parade will be Clois Snell, Ovis James, Ralph Matteson and Dennis Greenfield.
Wallace said the Freedom Parade is something he and the rest of the city's residents look forward to each summer.
“It's a chance for us to show our patriotism, which is something we don't always do often enough,” Wallace said. “We look forward to it every year. We hope to see everyone in the community — and those from the surrounding communities, as well — come out and join us as we celebrate our nation's Independence Day.”