YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollectionsBrawley

Cattle Call Parade means tradition

November 10, 2001|By DARREN SIMON, Staff Writer

BRAWLEY — All along the parade route on Main Street here during the Cattle Call Parade one word rings out louder than any other — tradition.

For some, like 3-year-old Johnny Vallejo of Brawley, who was decked out in Western wear Saturday from his hat to his mock sheriff's badge, are just beginning to learn that tradition.

Others, like Bob Laughrin, 54, of Brawley, who was raised in Brawley and whose grandfather helped build the All-American Canal, Cattle Call is a longtime tradition.

It is what he is helping introduce to his 2-year-old granddaughter, Faith Laughrin, who has been coming to the parade since infancy.


The Cattle Call Parade drew thousands of people from all over the Imperial Valley and from areas outside the Valley.

Many interviewed said they have been coming for decades, adding that Cattle Call is something of a homecoming.

Others have never lived here but have found themselves drawn to the parade and the rodeo.

Esther Grant of Brawley has lived in the Valley for 40 years. In a couple of months she'll turn 90 — a fact she points out proudly.

"I wouldn't miss this," said Grant, taking a few moments to talk with a reporter. "I like the horses, the bands; I like the whole thing."

Edward Ramirez of Brawley has been bringing his children to the parade since they were born. His three daughters — Exlyn, who is 8, and the twins, Jissel and Yairett, both 5 — sat next to him in their finest Western attire.

"It's fun for the kids so they can see the bands and the horses," Ramirez said, adding, "It's very American."

Exlyn had a lot to say about the parade because she wants to be in the parade, riding along the route like the cowgirls she watched so intently.

"I like the horses because I want to be a cowgirl," she said.

It seemed everyone was having a good time Saturday, even those with perhaps the most difficult job of the day — following the horses and shoveling their droppings from the street.

Lauren Hutchinson, 15, of Brawley, was one of young people assigned to the task. She and her partners, Peter Rebik, 13, of Brawley, and brothers Travis, 13, and Thomas Cox, 15, of Brawley were busy riding around in green golf carts.

When they spotted some of the horses' leavings, they grabbed their big shovels and went to work.

"It's more fun to do this than just sit there and watch," Lauren said.

Also enjoying the Cattle Call experience were those performing in the marching bands.

Rocio Padilla, 11, a student at Holtville Junior High School, stood with his fellow band members waiting for their turn to march.

"I'm excited," Rocio said, adding, "I just like it, and I like playing the clarinet.

Alix Martinez, 13, a student at Wilson Junior High School in El Centro, said: "I get to see my family members" watching him march.

This year a number of parade floats took home awards.

Among them, the Centinela State Prison float won the sweepstakes; the American Beauty Academy float won the mayor's trophy, and the Pioneers Memorial Hospital District float won the queen's trophy.

The other winning floats were the Imperial County District Attorney's Office Family Support Division, which won the community service award; the United Family Inc. Brawley Preschool won the commercial award; Family 4-H won the youth award; Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Brawley took home the religious award; and Jordan Central Implement Co. won the novelty award.

The Phil Swing Panthers drill team won the award for the best drill team; the best walking entry with three or more members went to the Calipatria State Prison honor guard, and the best walking entry went to Imperial Valley Gymnastics.

The Korean War veterans youth color guard won for best color guard entry and La Gente Car Club won best car club. The best antique auto went to Ron Leimgruber Farms.

A list of school band winners was unavailable Saturday. That information will be published this week.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

>> Staff Writer Darren Simon can be reached at 337-4082.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles