Fiestas Patrias Parade rolls on after Ike

November 16, 2008 2:06:51 PM PST
A celebration of heritage and Mexico's independence rolled through downtown Houston Saturday. It was the annual Fiestas Patrias parade. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

It started as a celebration of Mexico's independence. The parade through the streets of Houston 40 years later celebrates the independence of eight Latin American countries and the heritage of many Houstonians.

"It's just an honor for me to represent the Latina women here in Houston," said Miss Fiesta Patrias 2008 Virginia Stille.

"It's clearly a part of Houston's culture and history even," said Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. "And I hope to see this parade grow bigger and bigger."

This year's Fiestas Patrias parade almost didn't happen because of Hurricane Ike.

"We weren't going to do anything until next year and the community kept telling us, 'No, we want to have the parade. We want to have the parade'," said organizer Armando Rodriguez.

So the parade went on two months later.

"It's not just in September that we are proud to be Houstonians and Americanos," said Rodriguez. "It's all year round."

From music to horses to colorful floats and politicians, there was plenty for parade-goers to see.

"I like it a lot because there's a bunch of Army stuff and I really like the Army stuff," said Ian Wright, who was out Saturday enjoying the parade.

Eyewitness News anchor Erik Barajas and consumer reporter Patricia Lopez braved a top-down convertible in the chilly weather.

In the end, the parade was about community and the community came out to enjoy.

"I love it," said Amy Wright, who attended Saturday's parade. "I think it's a lot of fun and it's good to come out and support the community."

Saturday's parade was originally scheduled for September 20, the weekend after Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas coast.

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