Bands were warming up, cheerleaders were cheering, and kids were excitedly clamoring on their floats. The Harlandale spirit was definitely in the air as the 37th Annual Cultural Arts Parade was minutes away from stepping off the grounds of Mission San Jose en route to the Harlandale Memorial Stadium. The “biggest little parade in San Antonio” took place Saturday, September 15 and it was a huge success!
This year’s theme was “A festival of traditions” and it was reflected in the colorful, floral decorations, traditional Mexican costumes and moments of mariachi music blaring from speakers. More than 120 entries were part of the parade, including school floats, walking groups, spirit groups, bands, faculty & staff, and campus organizations. Leading the parade as the Grand Marshals was Dr. Maria Hernandez Ferrier, President of Texas A&M-San Antonio, and Wally Hedgecock, Campus Vice President of the University of Phoenix-San Antonio.
Dozens of community members, organizations and businesses also participated in the parade. The Get It Up Productions car club donated vehicles and drivers to escort VIP’s, while little league teams like the 5 Diamonds Baseball Club, dance groups like Monica Moon’s Dance Club, and health organizations like Tooth Time sponsored walking groups and floats.
After the parade, thousands of people converged onto Harlandale Memorial Stadium for the fair. In any direction you turned, there was something to do. Two different sections had student performances. On one stage, kids read poems, danced and sang. In the other area, elementary school choirs took turns entertaining the crowd. Ninety-fourth street was blocked off with easels that showed off student artwork and, at the end of the aisle, kids could make their own arts and crafts for free thanks to the help of HISD’s international teachers. There were four games to choose from inside the Game Truck but outside, there were so many more. A dunking booth, lotteria, cake walks, baseball throw, miniature golf, and the bottle ring toss were just some of the activities kids could pay to play. There was also a moon jump and cosmetology students doing face paintings. How about a nice quiet game of chess? Check! Those students gathered under the bleachers. And when all the activity wore out some people, they got to refuel by choosing between 30 different food and drink booths. For sale: fajita and brisket tacos, corn dogs, nachos, corn in a cup, popcorn, raspas, sodas and many other goodies.
To close out this year’s event, a local band called “From Me to You” rocked out to several cover songs. The band is made up of past and present Harlandale ISD students and two others from Clark HS and Texas State University.