From local college and high school marching bands to dignitaries and floats featuring Rose Festival royalty, with 140 parade entries, the 82nd Annual Texas Rose Festival Parade once again attracted thousands of attendees.

"It's all about the community," said David Dial, president of the Strutters, the volunteer organization that stages the parade. "We estimate this was by far the largest spectator participation in the 82 years of the Rose Festival and its parade."

The parade route started at Front Street and Glenwood Boulevard, followed a route west on Front Street and through the East Texas State Fairgrounds before ending inside Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Before the parade kicked off, an invocation was given by David Dorn, a pastor at Marvin United Methodist Church. This was followed by the Tyler Police Department's Honor Guard presenting of the colors and the national anthem being played by a bugler.

Pre-parade performances were delivered by the Robert E. lee Southern Belles Drill Team, Dance-N-Drill's Junior Jazz team and the Tyler Golden Girls.

When the performances concluded, the Tyler Fire Department entered the stadium, once again leading off the parade. A few of the many crowd favorites were Cub Scout Pack 359 of Whitehouse, the Tyler Junior College Apache Belles and Texas Rose Festival Queen Madeline Shirley Wynne, as well as members of her court.

Many attendees were more than pleased with their experience at the parade and were eager to share a few of their favorite moments.

"The bands. I love the bands. I think it's great," said Carrie Bolton, who said she and a friend traveled from Dallas to see the parade, as well as the coronation on Friday. "They're fun. I love the little high school kids running around doing their thing."

Tyler resident Ed Santos enjoyed the weather at the parade.

"I think we are blessed to have very wonderful weather to have a really good parade," Santos said. "It's a wonderful thing."

Dial hopes that all who attended the parade had a good time and is already looking to attract even more people to next year's parade.

"We look forward to next year doing a few more things to really get people excited about coming out," Dial said.

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