The annual Trinity Valley Exposition Baby Parade has always been a joyous event in Liberty, Texas. Young families and couples proudly walk their infants and toddlers through the downtown area, showcasing their cute costumes and cheerful smiles.
Standing along the sidewalks, waving and calling to the children, are their family members and local residents who are happy to see the tradition of the baby parade continue 100 years after it started.
However, like most events and traditions, the baby parade is facing a new challenge since COVID-19. Participation has declined, with only seven entries present in the parade last year. This year, there were 14 entries in the baby parade, giving organizers a glimpse of hope that it might soon return to the 30-40 entries that the parade had prior to the pandemic.
Brittany Hudnall, one of the organizers of the parade, is worried that it may be too late. On Saturday, prior to announcing the winners in the baby parade, Hudnall said that TVE is considering canceling the baby parade.
“This is usually the time when we announce the theme for next year’s baby parade. I cannot promise that there will be a next year for baby parade. TVE does not want to continue because we are not getting the participation,” Hudnall said. “If you have any suggestions for themes, we will go back to TVE. I am going to fight for the parade as I have been for the last 10 years.”
The winners of the parade categories are:
- Walking – first place – Duck, Duck, Goose
- Riding – first place – Clue: Mystery at Tudor; second place – Old Maid; and third place – Let’s Play Monopoly
- Western Riding – Derby Day Horse Racing
- Small Float – first place – Barrel of Monkeys and second place – Rock Em Sock Em
- Large Float – first place – Mouse Trap and second place – Go Fish
- Best Costume – Old Maid
- Best Performance – Ava Monk
- Best Overall – Toy Story
If you missed the baby parade, the good news is that most, if not all, of the floats and participants will be featured in the TVE Rodeo Parade on Wednesday, Oct. 18, in downtown Liberty. That parade starts south of town near Main St. and Jefferson Dr., and travels south to the Liberty County Courthouse Square. The parade time is 10 a.m. If you come, bring a chair, blanket and any refreshments you might need as the TVE rodeo parades are generally more than an hour long.