by Maria C.
Parades and me go a loooooong way back. I remember in Head-Start I was asked to dress up as Aunt Jemima and walk in the youth parade. I dunno what the purpose of the character was, but they wanted me to dance around and be ‘lively’. If you know me well enough, you know lively is not a word used to describe me. So suffice it to say I did not participate. That was the beginning and the end of my career in the parade-walking business.
But I was an avid spectator. My mother would wake us up early Saturday morning; we’d drag our chairs, coolers, and blankets over to some empty space next to Martin High and we’d wait. Dad and Mom would sit on their chairs, while my brothers and I would sit on the curb eating our warm tacos and grumbling about how early and how freakin’ cold it was. It didn’t help that we didn’t care who the business people on the first couple of cars were. But when the floats would start coming out in full force, that’s when we’d wake up and start trying to catch the candy, beads, and toys that were being tossed at us.
It was our yearly tradition to be present for Laredo’s Grand Parade. Until recently, that tradition had faded away but I want my daughter to enjoy the same kinda childhood I had. So for the past three years, it’s been my mission to make sure to attend the parade. I make tacos like my mami used to. I bundle up mija in warm layers and nag my brothers until they have no choice but to join us. We’ve gotten a bit wiser since our younger years and we set up our chairs right after work Friday afternoon.
El desfile is always an awesome time to share with family and friends and this year is looking to be no exception. So go out and have some fun. Just be careful with those flying trinkets; they kinda hurt if they knock you on the head (yes, I talk from firsthand experience).