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Previous to the scheduled July 3 celebration, there was some concern about the weather, which had been unusually wet up until that day.

“We were all worried about the weather,” said Chamber Manager Andrea Alfaro. “I met with the Chamber Board and we were all firm on this – rain, snow or shine, we were going to hold the parade. We were hoping for the best, and it all ended up in our favor.”

Though the day was humid, Alfaro said it didn’t really start getting hot until around 5 that afternoon.

“We had a huge crowd for the parade. People ended up at the courthouse, and they stayed the entire time. The vendors had a line from the time they opened at 11 till after 4, and they stayed busy,” she said. “I think people were ready to get out and do something.”

Twenty-eight entries plus several more that showed up that day paraded to the Courthouse. Basin County Electric Cooperative was honored with Best Float for its realistic display of workers in hard hats on poles with the Stars and Stripes waving in the background.

A longtime Muleshoe landmark received special recognition from singer/songwriter Janis Diane, who premiered “Pete the Mule,” the official theme song of The National Mule Memorial.

Arnold Williams, a longtime fan of Pete’s who commissioned and owns the song, said it was fitting that Pete should be honored on a day that celebrates veterans. The role of mules during times of war is mentioned in the song’s chorus.

“Arnold Williams actually made an announcement that any Muleshoe resident can have a free copy of the song,” Alfaro said. “You can call the city for details.”

Tournaments such as cornhole and horseshoe were part of the day’s entertainment, and music was provided by Mariachi Gema out of Lubbock.

Professional fireworks took place at City Park at about 10:30 that evening, drawing “a really, really huge crowd,” Alfaro said.

Mule Days and Kickin’ Night also drew large numbers, their biggest turnout yet, according to their Facebook site. The crowd heard music from Gionvanie & The Hired Guns and American Aquarium. American Aquarium was scheduled to make their Grand Ole Opry debut in Nashville during the next week.

A portion of the proceeds from the concert went to support Muleshoe Meals on Wheels and Bailey County EMS.

“I’ve had a lot of good feedback on the parade, the live music and the mariachi group,” Alfaro said. “It went really well all around. Our hope is to keep growing and make every year bigger and better.”

Gail M. Williams

Muleshoe Journal Correspondent

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