With the annual Waxahachie Fourth of July Parade less than a week away, organizers are saying they need more veterans to call in their reservation to the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce.
“The deadline to RSVP is Monday and we’re coming down to the wire. Right now we have about 30 veterans who have sent in their RSVP. If no one else signs up, that’s going to be the fewest amount of veterans we’ve had since we began honoring our men and women who have or are currently serving in the armed forces,” said David Hudgins, co-chair of the Waxahachie Veterans Appreciation Committee, which assists the chamber and Waxahachie Crape Myrtle Council in coordinating the city’s annual Fourth of July Parade.
For the past several years veterans — from all branches of service and from all eras — have been invited as guests of honor to serve as the parade grand marshals. The day begins with a complementary breakfast at First Baptist Church for all veterans and their guests, following by riding in the special veteran floats located at the end of the parade, allowing the veterans to see the entire parade. At the conclusion of the parade, veterans and their guests are shuttled via air conditioned busses back to First Baptist Church.
Hudgins said RSVPs are needed to ensure the church knows how many meals to prepare and the parade committee can make arrangements to have enough floats to accommodate all veterans wanting to attend.
“If you served in the armed services at any time, you deserve to be on one of our veteran floats and we want to honor you,” Hudgins said, noting in years past the parade has needed more than a dozen floats to accommodate veteran participants. “We want to keep it at that level. The reason we are celebrated next Saturday is because of what these men and women done. They gave us that right. It doesn’t matter if they served in war time or peace time, what matters is they served and we want to say ‘thank you for your service.’”
Hudgins said he and committee co-chair Perry Giles are hoping the lack of reservations is due to procrastination.
“It’s been busy lately and the deadline still isn’t until Monday,” he said. “We’re hoping a lot of folks just put it on the back burner and we’ll be inundated with calls Monday. That’s a problem we really hope to have.”
Hudgins said any veteran wanting to participate in the parade is encouraged to call the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce at 972-937-2390 on Monday and RSVP.
“We want every veteran to participate. We want them to be our guest of honor,” he said. “All they have to do is pick up the phone and call the chamber and we will do the rest.”