Old Spanish Trail parade on Saturday honors local veterans

The Third Annual Old Spanish Trail Veterans Parade makes its way through the Trinity River valley between Dayton and Liberty, as it is escorted by Dayton Police Officer Chris Duos and other Dayton police officers. The event was held on Nov. 6.

U.S. military veterans were the honored guests at the Third Annual Old Spanish Trail parade on Saturday, Nov. 6, in Dayton. Held just prior to Veterans Day every year, the OST parade also pays homage to the the historic Highway 90 that connected St. Augustin, Fla., to San Diego, Calif., and all the communities in between, including Dayton.

“We honor you, our veterans, by asking you to be our special passengers in the antique/classic cars that will parade to Liberty and back,” said Dayton Mayor Caroline Wadzeck. “I recently read that America, without her soldiers, would be like God without His angels. Veterans, your service and sacrifice has kept our country safe and free, and we applaud you.”

The Old Spanish Trail was built between 1919 and 1929. Starting in 2019 and through 2029, centennial celebrations will take place in communities all across the South.

Small U.S. flags were placed in the chairs for the honored military veterans at Saturday’s OST parade in Dayton. (Photo by Angel Rick Leal)

“The highway was officially designated as State Highway 3 upon its completion in Texas, but Dayton City Council minutes refer to it as the OST throughout the 1940s,” Wadzeck said. “The OST parade honors our veterans because our U.S. Congress made funds available for the construction of the highway after General John J. Pershing requested that the OST be a junket to move Army vehicles during World War I. Without him, the highway would have taken many, many more years to construct.”

Dozens of antique cars participated in the parade, which traveled along US 90 east to Liberty, and then returned to the Dayton Community Center for lunch.

Photos below were taken by local photographer Angel Rick Leal and Bluebonnet News editor Vanesa Brashier.

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.

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