News: City turns out for Armed Services YMCA Children’s Christmas Parade despite freezing temps
Story by Sgt. Ken Scar
FORT HOOD, Texas – It was an extremely cold morning by central Texas standards, but plenty of hearty souls bundled up and braced themselves against a frigid wind to line up along Avenue D in Copperas Cove for the Armed Forces YMCA Children’s Christmas Parade Dec. 14, 2013. It wasn’t a full house as it has been in years past, but enough people came out to fill the air on both sides of the street with steady white puffs of breath for several blocks.
“We’ve been coming to this parade for 15 years and this is the coldest I’ve ever seen it,” said Charity Monroe, who was waiting in the shelter of a shop doorway waiting for the First Cavalry Band and Honor Guard to march past at the head of the parade. Her two daughters, Gabrielle and Anna, huddled next to each other under a soft brown blanket nearby, smiling and giggling.
Monroe chuckled at the fact that she showed up early to beat the crowds. “Usually there’s lines of people and you can’t find a place to sit. We got here at 8:30 because we wanted a parking spot – and there was nobody here!”
Doreen Vasseur, director of the Armed Services YMCA of Copperas Cove, who organized the parade, was exuberant at the turnout for such a wintry morning.
“At least it’s not freezing or raining, so you have to think of the positive!” she laughed. “We had 26 floats that were going to be in it, so we’re pretty excited. The First Cav. Band is here, The Color Guard is here, the Copperettes from the high school, the Zumba Divas will be out here shaking their thing . . . it’s going to be great!”
Audria Rausch attended the parade with her husband, Master Sgt. Anthony Rausch and their 4-month old daughter, Adison - who was quiet and content in her stroller under several thick layers of blankets. Rausch said that they had committed themselves to attending the event no matter what.
“This is a family event, and this is our first parade since we were stationed here six months ago so we had to come,” she said.
Participants in the parade were no less enthusiastic, with some of them being downright giddy despite wearing costumes made from thin-looking material and, in some cases, shorts – like Holly Roberts, aka “Cajun Treeshaka”, of the Femme Fatale Roller Dolls roller derby team, who was skating playfully around the staging area with her teammates before the start of the parade, wearing bright red shorts with thin red stockings.
“We’re out here to support the sport, skate the route and get our name out there,” she said. “This is our first time at this parade and we’re absolutely glad we signed up for it!”
Vasseur said she'll try to plan ahead for arctic weather at the 2014 parade.
“Next year we might do it in the afternoon so it will be a little warmer!” she laughed.
This work, City turns out for Armed Services YMCA Children’s Christmas Parade despite freezing temps, by SSG Ken Scar, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.