Exceptional floats highlight 2014 Pioneer Reunion parades

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With 21 floats, 17 fire trucks and rescue vehicles, 27 classic cars, three marching bands, truck loads of cheerleaders and more horses than a person would care to count, Clay County’s Pioneer Reunion parades were as impressive as ever Friday and Saturday.

After awards were announced during the saturday parade, winning floats were showcased at Tex Rickard Arena prior to the final performance of the 83rd Pioneer Reunion Rodeo.

The first float to appear in the parades, as is tradition, was the Queen’s Float, built each year by the employees of Davis Funeral Home. The float is ridden each year by the Clay County Pioneer Association Queen and four duchesses, representing different areas of Clay County. The 2014 queen is Jane Browning of Buffalo Springs. Duchesses are Voudine Keel of Bluegrove, Willa McCalip of Dean, Joann Dowdy of Thornberry, and Jacquetta Graves of Henrietta.

Float winners are as follows:

Schools Division

Henrietta’s senior class earned first place overall in the schools division of the float competition, and first place among the Henrietta High School Floats with “Mardi Gras.” Riders on the float were sophomore class favorites Chelsey Powell and Bryce Schroeder. The overall school trophy is sponsored by Tony and Cindy Dean in memory of Poodle Whitaker.

“Hats of Disneyland,” constructed by the junior class, won second place among the Henrietta floats. The float featured class favorites Callie Page and Nathan Clark. The sophomores took third with “Tohidu,” a Cherokee word for “good peace.” The float took the form of a large American Indian headdress and featured class favorites Kagen Campbell and Blaine Chandler. Henrietta’s freshmen took fourth place with ”Oriental Headdress.” riders were class favorites Katie Newberry and Trent Thomas.

Bellevue’s junior class float “Happy Birthday,” featuring favorites Devon Cassetty and Jakob Watkins, took first place in the intramural competition, and won the overall school special effects award.

The Bellevue sophomores took second place among BHS floats with “Santa’s Hat.” the float featured class favorites Emily Trail and Jake Hamilton. The freemen won third place with “The Mad Hatter’s Hat,” with favorites Megan Brown and Hunter Fuller. In fourth place was the seniors with “Baseball Cap,” featuring favorites Tori Woods and John Hanson.

The senior class won first place among Petrolia High Schools class floats with “Mardi Gras,” and featuring class favorites Robin Hopkins and Josh Mathews. The freshman class took second place with “Pirate’s Hat.” Ricki Ablia and Josh Large are class favorites. The sophomores took third place with “Kentucky Derby Hat,” featuring class favorites M’Lynn Prewitt and Ethan Plummer. The juniors took fourth place with “Hang Your Hat at the Alamo,” featuring class favorites Nicole Speegle and Rance Reaves.

Midway’s juniors took first place in intramural competition with “Mario’s Hat,” based on the “Mario Brothers” video game. Class favorites are Katheryn Nelson and Aaron Uselton. The freshman class float “Magician’s Hat: A World of Wonders” took second place. Favorites are Jordan Looney and Bryce Forester. Midway’s sophomores earned third with “Sombrero,” and featuring class favorites Megan Terry and Cole Thorn. In fourth place were the seniors with “Cheese Heads,” featuring favorites Erin Armstrong and Hunter Lynn.

Kiwanis Kids’ Parade

Tanner Pullen, 3, and Jacie Moss, 4, dressed as a mariachi band to take first place in the walking division of the Henrietta Kiwanis Club Kids’ Parade.

In the individual float division, Jackson Wynn Johnson, 4, took first place with “They Call Me the Fireman.” Lane Tischler, 6, and Brettlee Englett, 1, took second place with “Pirate Ship.”

In the sponsored division, Midway’s first grade class took first place with “The Cat in the Hat,” featuring Seth Spivey, Clayton Coker, McKenzie Williams and Maddison Farvis. Midway’s Kindergarten class finished second with “Birthday Hat.”

Parade Partners Division

Winning the Pioneer Award in the Parade Partners division was “Vegas Showgirl,” sponsored by Waurika Cattle Company and ridden by Henrietta High School students Kamryn Weaver, Lacy Webb and Maddie Brown. The float was designed and built by June Trent, Barabara Wynn, Randy and Sharlene Offield and Christine Baker, and driven by Michael Dillamon.

“Nat’s Hats,” sponsored by the Douthitt Family, earned the Queen’s Award.

The float represented the hat collection of Nat Fleming, which he accumulated as owner of The Cowlot Western Wear. Each time an area cowboy purchased a new hat, Fleming would hang his old hat on the wall. When he and wife Tawana closed The Cow Lot, the collection numbered in the hundreds. They are now on display at the Museum of North Texas History in Wichita Falls.

Riding the float were Nat and Tawana Fleming, Douthitt grandkids Charlie, Joe, Will and Helen Maddox, and Crawford grandkids Ashley and Cam Ponder.

“Happy Birthday, America,” sponsored by Fidelity Bank, earned the President’s Award. The float featured Brandon Taylor as Uncle Sam, Bailey Taylor as Betsy Ross, Lane Rice as George Washington and Hadley Crabe as the Statue of Liberty. Crew chiefs for the float were Randy and Sharlene Offield.

Novelty Division

The Davidson-Morris family float won the Overall Novelty Award with “Cat in the Hat.” Riding the float were Gus and Max Moser as Thing 1 and Thing 2, and Austin and Avery Crum as the little boy and girl in the Dr. Seuss story.

Parade Spirit Division

The First Baptist Church of Henrietta won first place, the special effects, theme award and artistic award in the Parade Spirit division with “Crown Him with Many Crowns.” The float was constructed by church members and driven by Rick Hanson.

Parade marshal is Billy Carlton of Henrietta, with helpers Sheila Carlton, Susan Vicars, Dustin Carlton, David Sizemore, Wendy Sizemore and Nancy McClain.

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Matt Kelton

Matt Kelton began working for community newspapers at 19 and has since won numerous awards. He founded The Pioneer Sentinel in 2011 with the belief that a locally owned news source best represents a community. Matt is a fifth generation resident of Clay County.

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