Folks Enjoy Parade From Sidelines And Within

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The four little Staple sisters waited in restless anticipation for the parade to begin Saturday morning.

The pink sequins in their costumes sparkled in the yellow sunshine.

"We dressed up because of the parade -- we're wild girls of the American West," Vanessa Staple said.

The Staple family, like many other rodeo guests, drove from the Valley to be part of the festivities -- even if just from the sidelines.

The four little girls cheered and clapped as each parade entry turned from Rancho Road onto the highway.

For favorite entrants, the girls and the rest of the parade spectators had to choose between Shriners doing wheelies and silly APS clowns.

"I liked the sparkle horses," Aliah Staple said.

Vanessa cheered loudest for the two girls dancing on a float to the song "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk."

Seated a bit further down the Beeline, four-year-old Sam Westwood from Mesa could barely wait for the horses.

He tooted a horn, given to him by a passing clown, each time horses pranced past his vantage point.

Hashknife Pony Express and Sheriff's Posse riders made him clap.

His eyes grew wide as the team of six velvety-black horses, each weighing at least 1,000 pounds, drew near.

The Percherons are the biggest horses he has ever seen.

Not not everyone in the parade sat astride a horse -- some were afoot, others rode in wagons, floats and fancy cars, but for the young and young-at- heart, the parade was a family affair.

A Fancy Flair of Red, a local group of the international Red Hat Society, joined in the parade fun and brought along their menfolk to help.

"This is our covered wagon and these are chariots," Mary Smith, Fancy Flair's queen mum said, pointing to a flatbed trailer and six ATVs.

Their ATVs were decorated with horses' heads made of burlap, button eyes with purple harnesses and driven by "official escorts," Joan Skinner said.

The women of Fancy Flair dressed in the traditional purple and red, but the standout costume was fringed flapper Viv Nielson. Arlene Bowman, Joan Brokovec, Shirley Lose, Marji Perry, Barbara Sayle, Laura McCoy and Janie Allen joined her in the parade.

"The men were forced to do this," Larry Smith said with a chuckle.

Smith was joined by drivers: Skip Keddington, Jim Decker, W.T. Richards, Ron Baade, Bill Ensign and Tom Winfrey.

"We rode horses last year and were going to go for Harley Riders this year, but we figured we couldn't keep our balance," McCoy said.

This year's parade sponsor, Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, awarded prizes.

The parade winners were:

Best Theme (Commercial)

Shoot Out at the Mazatzal

Best Theme (Non-Commercial)

Forgotten Stars of the Western Screen

Costumed Rider - Female

Parada Del Sol Rodeo Queen 2007

Costumed Rider - Male Group

Hashknife Pony Express

Costumed Rider - Female Group

Wild Women of the West

Costumed Non-Riding - Group Commercial

APS Clowns

Costumed Non-Riding - Group non-Commercial

Flagstaff Kennel Club

Family

Rudy & Mary Olguin Wagons

Civic/Volunteers

Payson High School FFA

Horse Drawn

Central Arizona Board of Realtors

Motorized Vehicles

Rim Country Classic Auto Club

Marching Group

Payson High School Band

View a photo gallery of the 2007 Rodeo Parade.

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