Five Hills royalty celebrate Juneteenth through Waco parade

Special to Leader-Press 


The Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

The Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty upheld these ideals by celebrating the emancipation of slavery in the Waco Juneteenth Parade.

Five Hills Junior Ambassador Hayley Sawyer said it was the very first parade for this year’s newly crowned titleholders.

“It was so exciting to be at a parade I’d never been to before,” Sawyer said. “But, what was even more special was how we were able to represent our city. As our amazing float was rolling through Waco, people were yelling out, ‘Copperas Cove’ and cheering for our community. By the end of the parade, everyone knew Copperas Cove supports diversity, equality and justice for all.”

Nearly 50 entries participated in the parade, with Copperas Cove the only float in the lineup. 

While the City of Waco approved the CenTex African American Chamber of Commerce hosting the event, Mayor Kyle Deaver announced the night before that masks are required for every person in a public place. The Copperas Cove titleholders readily complied with the new order for the opportunity to represent their community. 

Senior Ms. Five Hills Dawn Hale was excited to be in her very first parade representing the City of Copperas Cove. 

“I was honored to visit the great city of Waco. The citizens welcomed us like we were one of their own. The way they cheered and called out our city name as we rolled by warmed my heart,” Hale said.

Originating in Texas, Juneteenth is celebrated annually on June 19 throughout the United States to commemorate Union Army General Gordon Granger announcing in Galveston the federal order proclaiming that all slaves in Texas were free.

Young Miss Five Hills Elise Fuselier said she was very thankful for the opportunity to represent the City Built for Family Living at a public venue and demonstrate what a wonderful community Copperas Cove is.

“For my first parade experience, I really enjoyed seeing all the families that came out to support the historical significance of Juneteenth and support their community and ours.”

Little Miss Five Hills Alaya Pringle enjoyed riding on the float’s bridge and greeting all of the parade spectators. 

“My favorite part was waving at all of the people in the community and celebrating Juneteenth with my new royal family,” the five-year-old said.

Five Hills Ambassador Kaydence Roberts is a parade veteran. But, her excitement to represent the City of Copperas Cove never wanes. 

“What a lovely city Waco is, and it was an honor to represent Copperas Cove at the Juneteenth event,” Roberts said. “I look forward to many more parades and representing my community proudly.”

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