Baby Parade coming to Liberty Oct. 13, sign-ups under way

The TVE Baby Parade is believed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, baby parades in existence. This picture from 1921 shows one of the entries in the Liberty County Fair Parade, which later became the Trinity Valley Exposition. The first county fair was held on Oct. 30, 1909 with a baby show as part of the events. In 1914, the baby show became a "parade of babies." (Photo courtesy of Sam Houston Regional Library)

Everyone loves a parade. They love showing off their babies even more, so what could be more perfect than a parade of babies?

Not much, believes Jennifer Regen, one of the organizers of the Trinity Valley Exposition Baby Parade, which returns to Liberty at 10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 13.

The TVE Baby Parade, which started a century ago as the Parade of Babies, originated with the Liberty County Fair. The first fair was held on Oct. 30, 1909, with contests for Fattest Baby, Prettiest Baby and Brightest Baby.

The TVE Baby Parade is believed to be one of the oldest, if not the oldest, baby parades in existence. This picture from 1924 shows one of the entries in the Trinity Valley Exposition Parade. TVE began as the Liberty County Fair. The first county fair was held on Oct. 30, 1909 with a baby show as part of the events. In 1914, the baby show became a “parade of babies.” (Photo courtesy of Sam Houston Regional Library)

In 1914, the first parade with floats and walking entries was added to the annual event. The parades were held annual with the exception of 1918-1920 due to World War I and 1941-1945 due to World War II.

A few years ago, there was some talking of doing away with the baby parade due to lack of participation. However, a concerted effort from the organizers has led to more entries in recent years. This year, with a month still left before the parade, already 14 entries have signed up.

This year’s theme is “Song Titles,” so people considering an entry should pick a song around which they could build a float or walking entry. Some of the songs already picked are “Baby Shark,” “Under the Sea,” “The Greatest Showman,” “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Surfin’ USA.”

Five people have signed up for large floats, six for riding and one for small float. So far, no one has signed up for Western Riding, and Regen hopes to rectify that situation before the parade.

“The child has to be on horseback,” she advised. “We really need some Western Riding. We didn’t have any [entries in that category] last year.”

The cost to enter the parade is $20 per float or entry. The deadline is Thursday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m.

“They must call to make sure that what they are wanting to do is not already taken because we do not allow duplication within each division,” she said. “If they call, we will hold the spot for 72 hours. We must have the entry form and payment for it to be a permanent hold. If the entry form and payment have not been turned in within the 72-hour window, we will open that song title up for someone else to use.”

Once signed up, entrants will receive a call on the Thursday before the parade to receive their lineup number.

Walking and riding entries must line up by 9:30 a.m. on Cos Street next to the First United Methodist Church. Regen said entrants are welcome to park in the Methodist Church parking lot.

Western Riding entries will line up by 9:30 a.m. on Cos next to First Baptist Church. Trailers can be unloaded on the streets around the driver’s license office in Liberty, located on the 2100 block of Cos St.

Small and large floats need to have the floats in the Baptist Church parking lot by 9 a.m. but children can arrive up until 9:30 a.m.

The parade route will take them south on Main St. at Cos St. They will turn west on Sam Houston and then north on Travis St. They will continue down Travis St. until they return to their original destination.

“Spectators need to know the roads will be blocked off beginning at 9 a.m.,” Regen said. “If they are running late, they will need to park on the side road and walk their child in.”

Entry forms can be turned in at Sterling Realty, 1211 N. Main St., or the TVE office, 321 Wallisville Road (FM 563), in Liberty.

For more information on upcoming TVE events, go online to www.tvefair.com.

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