Annual downtown parade kicks off 74th Four States Fair
A warm late-summer breeze and a bright, mid-morning sunshine sent sizable crowds to downtown Texarkana on Saturday for the 74th annual Four States Fair Parade.
Andi Darby, Towne Square Media events organizer has been in the parade 24 times, but this was her first year as grand marshal.
“Being in a parade like this just causes you to want to give back to the community,” she said. “This event can be informational and educational, as well as entertaining.”
This was Joni Wright’s 30th year to participate with students of her gymnastics, dance and cheer studio.
“We have riders, walkers and tumblers,” Wright said. “There have even been years we’ve done this in the rain and wind.”
About 30 North Heights Junior High cheerleaders and pep squad members rode a red, white and black balloon-laden float on Broad Street and down North State Line Avenue.
“This parade gives us a chance to display the spirit and enthusiasm that our girls have worked on showing throughout this year,” said Christy Kift, a cheerleading volun-
teer. “They have worked on being both loud and proud.”
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson walked in the parade with Miller County Judge-elect Cathy Harrison. Arkansas-side Mayor Ruth Penney-Bell hitched a ride with the Nashville, Ark.-based Rusty Relics Tractor Club.
“I’m already an antique,” she said. “Twelve years of public service is just about enough for anyone to go through.”
The procession of more than 100 entries plodded with ease along Broad Street as high school bands, drill teams and cheerleaders shared music and highs spirits.
The weeklong Four States Fair and Rodeo started in 1944, making next year its diamond anniversary.
■ Cars, horses and trailers filled with people travel down East Broad Street on Saturday during the Four States Fair Parade in downtown Texarkana. The parade kicked off for the Four States Fair, which will run until Sept. 23.