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Hometown Pride Tour: Pioneer Reunion Parade

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 5:42 PM CDT
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HENRIETTA, Texas (KAUZ) - Our Hometown Pride Tour continues to make it’s way through Henrietta. On Wednesday, we spotlighted one of the biggest events to take place during the Clay County Pioneer Reunion.

“Little kids run out into the street like ‘ohh’! So it’s really cool for them to see that,” said Sharlene Offield, parade builder with Clay County Parade Partners.

Ohh’s and aww’s are something those on the sidelines of any parade route can’t help but do. Especially after seeing over 100 of the floats that are expected to be lining up one by one during the Clay County Pioneer Reunion parade.

“It’s stressful but it’s relaxing also to see the finished product the closer you get to the finish the better then you can say I see something happening,” said Offield.

A stressful yet rewarding experience Offield has done for 12 years, so much that she’s even gotten her daughter-in-law Paige Taylor involved.

“It just makes me proud to be able to carry on that tradition the first year I did it I had a couple of things that we had stored from previous floats and that was neat to revamp it and have people recognize it,” said Taylor.

One of those items was this Papier-mâché mouse that was made 20 years ago. By another float builder that had passed away, and with each year brings a new theme. This year it’s the roaring 20′s.

“Every year that I do a float I do the research to see what was in that era. Like the roaring 20′s, there was the cotton club I did float several years ago, the Day of the Dead, I had a memorial on the back of my float,” said Taylor.

Clay County, along with freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors at Henrietta High School, are also rolling up their sleeves to create their own works of art.

“It’s just a lot of fun and a good way to get involved with our class,” said Serenity Brown, senior at Henrietta High School.

“We have one float that’s aviation, they have this winter Olympics and then The Great Gatsby,” said Laure Schaffner, senior sponsor for Henrietta High School.

With bragging rights at stake and even parents helping lend a hand, it’s just one of the many events of the Pioneer Reunion that gets the entire community together.

“Everybody looks forward to the parade and we didn’t get to have a parade last year, so especially this year is really exciting being our senior year and us getting to do it our final year,” said Hadley Gee, senior at Henrietta High School.

Floats will also be coming in from other surrounding area high schools. They will also be taking part in the 90th Annual Clay County Pioneer Reunion parade, including Bellevue, Midway and Petrolia. The parade is Friday morning at 10 a.m.

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