With my new wife newly arrived from Russia this past fall, it seemed like a good time to go to the parade again. So my wife, her son, and my teenage son and his girlfriend headed out early in the morning to go to the parade.
It was a beautiful day, sunny and clear. The parade started on time and we spent two hours watching the bands, mounted horsemen and -women, antique wagons, and Western-themed floats. Parade rules and tradition forbid mechanized vehicles, so all wagons and floats are horse-drawn.
People in the floats and wagons were dressed in either traditional Western wear or traditional Mexican dress. Some riders were dressed as Spanish conquistadors with spear and shield complete with Spanish-style coat of arms. Others were dressed as cowboys and cowgirls in either everyday boots, jeans, and hats or elaborate Hollywood-style cowboy dress. There were also Mexican cowboys with broad sombreros and 19th-century Calvary troops. Included with the Calvary were units representing the black "Buffalo Soldiers" who played a significant, but often neglected, role in the settlement of the Southwest. Also marching were representatives from the local Tohono O'odahm Nation and Pascua Yaqui Tribe Indians. But instead of Hollywood-style Indian garb, they dressed in the more traditional working cowboy garb common to this area's past and present.