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Patriotic Parade attracts participants, spectators

By Angela Ward
May 27, 2012 at 11 p.m.

The sounds of engines revving up filled the air in Longview on Sunday, but it wasn't from broadcasts of the Indianapolis 500; it was 195 motorcyclists associated with Party in the Pines getting ready to participate in the annual Patriotic Parade through Longview.

"Things went very well," said Officer Steve Burnette with the Longview Police Department. "It was a slightly smaller group than in the past couple of years, which made everything a bit simpler, and both participants and spectators along the route seemed to enjoy it."

The parade, which began and ended at the Longview Fairgrounds, took about 40 minutes, he said.

Matt Seyer and his 12-year-old son, Skyler, were among the riders in the parade.

"We do it every year," the senior Seyer said. "I like the patriotism it evokes and the positive response we get from people as we ride by."

While many of the parade participants are veterans, Seyer said he was never in the military, but that his father was and he wants to show his support for those who serve their county in the armed forces.

J.R. Canaguier is a Vietnam veteran and member of the Patriot Guard Riders who said he rides in order to honor those who serve.

"When we came back from Vietnam, our reception wasn't the greatest," Canaguier said. "We're trying to change that situation for the younger generation of returning veterans."

Kathleen and Harry Riggs of Groesbeck were new vendors to the Party in the Pines this year with their H&K's Signs and Gifts offering everything from customized signs to jewelry and T-shirts.

"This is a really well-organized festival and people have been very nice," she said. "We've done festivals from Alaska to Florida and are really enjoying this one."

The parade was part of a three-day event which began Friday and included music, a joker run and a Texas Hold'em Tournament.



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