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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

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7/7/2013 6:00:00 AM
'Champions - Past and Present'
Prescott Frontier Days Parade honors all heroes, fallen Hotshots
Les Stukenberg/The Daily CourierPrescott Fire Division Chief Don Devendorf walks alongside Truck 72 carrying firefighters families as the Prescott Frontier Days Parade gets underway Saturday.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Prescott Fire Division Chief Don Devendorf walks alongside Truck 72 carrying firefighters families as the Prescott Frontier Days Parade gets underway Saturday.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily CourierMembers of the Burke family wave at the participant in the 126th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Parade on Saturday. The family also had a lemonade stand at the corner of Montezuma and Goodwin Streets raising money that they will donate to firefighter's family's.
Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier
Members of the Burke family wave at the participant in the 126th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Parade on Saturday. The family also had a lemonade stand at the corner of Montezuma and Goodwin Streets raising money that they will donate to firefighter's family's.
+ view more photos
The 126th Annual Prescott Frontier Days Parade held on Saturday, July 6, 2013 in downtown Prescott, Ariz.
Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade Winners 2013
Featured Rider/ Mounted Group: Bill Williams Mountain Men

Commercial Motor/ Float: APS

Fraternal/ Church/ Non-Profit: Korean War Veterans, H.

Edward Reeves Chapter 311

Commercial Horse Drawn: Wells Fargo

Traveling Music/ Band: Pride of Prescott Marching Band

Royalty - Best Costume: 2013 Prescott Frontier Days

Rodeo Royalty

Non-Commercial Horse Drawn: Firefighters are

Champions of Past, Present and Future - Thomas


Walking/ Band Group: Phoenix Pipe Band

Vintage Vehicles: Mile High Tractor & Engine Club

Judges Award: Bradshaw Mountain Marching Band -

Drum Core

Chairman's Award: Matt's Saloon

Lisa Irish
The Daily Courier

An F-16 flyover started the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Parade, and the crowd stood and applauded as a Prescott fire engine with wives and children of firefighters, including some of the Granite Mountain Hotshots' families, rode past the courthouse plaza in Prescott Saturday.

"Thank you! We love you," a man called out to the firefighters and their families as they passed by.

Beth Crotts, Eppie Vicente, Carl Tenney, and many others said they came to the parade to see the recognition given to the 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots who died fighting the Yarnell Hill fire.

"We want the families to know that we are thankful, and we honor them alongside all the veterans and other people who serve our country," Crotts said. "Especially on this day."

Many parade entries included the purple ribbons to honor firefighters, and many people in the crowd like Sherri Ford were wearing purple clothes, others had purple armbands, wore bandanas with the number 19 on them, and had purple ribbons on their shirts to honor them as well.

"I was a volunteer on a crew in 1978 that cut a fire line by the Bunker Sawmill out by Sundog Ranch Road that's not there anymore," Larry Ford said. "That gave me a real appreciation for the hard work they do."

Later in the parade, Matt's Saloon entry had people lead 19 horses with no riders. They all bore helmets, shirts, pants, boots and tools the hotshots use while fighting fires. On each horse was a banner with one of the fallen firefighters' names.

"We knew Clay Whitted and Wade Parker. Wade played ball for me," Vicente said. "This has brought people to their knees. Everyone is helping the families now. They're going to continue to need our help months and years from now, and we have to be there for them. We want their kids to know how much we loved and appreciated their fathers."

Jimmy Reyes said this was the first time he's been to the parade for a long time, and he brought his family to see how the town honored the fallen firefighters.

"The way everyone honored the 19 fallen firefighters showed a lot of thought and thankfulness," Tenney said. "This is a more somber parade. It's great the way everyone in the community has pulled together to show their respect."

Everytime a fire engine passed by, the crowd stood and cheered, especially when one went by with a sign that read "Granite Mountain Hotshots saved our community of Iron Springs. We will always remember and be grateful."

After the American Legion Ernest A. Love Post 6 Honor Guard presented the colors,

Parade Grand Marshal Leo Camarillo, who revolutionized the way modern contestants rope, followed in the parade whose theme was "Champions - Past and Present," and members of the Stuart family were honored as a pioneer family.

The Korean War Veterans marched, Veterans for Peace carried banners, and the Marine Corps League drove a sports utility vehicle with World War II veteran Robert D. Myers and Korean War veteran Barbara Steele inside.

The crowd cheered as the Prescott Frontier Days Rodeo Royalty rode by on horseback, the rodeo clowns played pranks, and the rodeo dance band Latigo played "Lonesome Me."

The crowd heard gasps and whoops as John Payne, the one-armed bandit, rode his horse along the top of a horse trailer and cracked his whip.

"I like seeing the horses," said Josie Doman, 11, visiting with her family from Colorado.

The Granite Mountain Riders, Prescott Buscaderos, Yavapai County Mounted Sheriff's Posse, Phoenix Jaycees Comancheros Pony Express, Scottsdale Saddle Club, United States Marshal's Posse, and Mingus Mountain Academy's Equestrian Ladies, and Mounted Officers Training Association all rode in the parade.

The Arizona Cowboy Poets Association played guitars and sang around a campfire on its float. The Elks Opera House Guild and the Prescott Regulators and their Shady Ladies dressed in period costume rode on floats resembling a town street in the Old West.

Kids rode scooters decorated with red, white, and blue streamers, children waved small flags, and a few sprayed each other with water guns.

"I liked just walking around and seeing how many people who came and showed they care about the fallen firefighters," said Autumn Blake, who marched with the Central Arizona Young Marines in the parade and wore a purple armband in honor of the Granite Mountain Hotshots.

The Prescott Little League All Stars handed out tattoos to kids as they walked past.

Cheerleaders from Prescott High School, Bradshaw Mountain High School and Chino Valley High School carried banners in the parade and one did a few jumps to some little girls' delight.

Kids waved to their friends on the Kiwanis Club of Prescott's Kiddie Parade entry and called out their names as the float passed by.

"My kids would sit in the back of our truck and watch this parade when they were little," said Pat Knight. "It's grown so much you can't do that anymore."

As the Arizona Sundogs mascot, Burnie walked by he was hugged by groups of kids who ran up to him, and campers from Friendly Pines Camp rode by in a stage coach.

Jim Underwood said he's been coming to this parade since 1958, likes to see how it's changed, and wishes there were more bands. His grandson Rhett Underwood said he enjoyed seeing all the support for the firefighters and the turnout for the parade.

"I came to see the marching bands," Dan Furlong said. "They make the parade."

Madison McGee, a Prescott High School Color Guard member, said she enjoyed performing in the parade with the Pride of Prescott Marching Band.

People were dancing to the rhythm of Bradshaw Mountain High School's Drum Core and the Boys to Men of North Central Arizona drummers.

Pat Strickland said she and her husband Floyd attended the rodeo as part of a celebration of their 50th anniversary.

After the parade, many people took part in the annual Boot Race on Whiskey Row.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, July 08, 2013
Article comment by: JUNE BUG

People come together in a tragedy,but go back to their arrogant ways shortly afterward. Sad.

Posted: Sunday, July 07, 2013
Article comment by: And Helen

They will . . . for awhile. People have a way of forgetting. But, if they'd treat people as if they could lose them the next day, the world would be beyond amazing.

Posted: Sunday, July 07, 2013
Article comment by: helen wloch

Out of such a tragic event I'd like to see people change in small ways...not being rude...a return to civility and honor things that deserve honor...not musical stars who promote the wrong things or sports idols who act out violently instead of being dedicated to the sport as once true and great Americans have in the past. This can be a WAKE-UP CALL if you want it to be.

Posted: Sunday, July 07, 2013
Article comment by: Irving Rheingold

it really is "Everybody's Hometown"

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