The annual Red River Fair Parade rolled out of the fairgrounds under clearing skies at 5:00 pm Thursday, right on schedule. People began claiming their favorite parking spaces along the parade route hours ahead of time.
By 4:30 the crowds were ready to scream “throw something mister!” There were elements of tailgating with the smell of BBQ grilling on the cool breeze. Afternoon rainfall and thunder did not keep the crowds at home.
People along the route remarked this was the best weather for a parade. Cooler temperatures followed the afternoon showers. Parade time had seen scorching temps the past two years.
The 2019 parade rolled out with a Sheriff’s Patrol unit leading the way. It was followed by the colors and Red River JROTC cadets, and the parade was under way. There were floats from all of the schools in the parish featuring student clubs like 4-H, football and basketball teams, cheerleaders and dancers. Several businesses had floats. So did all of the candidates for local audience. There was a float for gubernatorial candidate Edwards with Mayor Johnny Cox sitting high and throwing candy and trinkets.
The whole parade took about 20 minutes to pass by. As the parade was concluding storm clouds gathered once again. About the time the last floats and mounted riders crossed the finish the clouds opened up and a driving rain descended.
Traffic began slowly to move again on Ringgold Avenue. The crowds were dispersing. However before several floats loaded with young people and their escorts could return to the fairgrounds the storm soaked them through and through.