BRAWLEY – By Thursday, lawn chairs and haybale-filled pickup trucks had favorite locations staked out in order to watch the upcoming annual Cattle Call Parade. Early Saturday, downtown Brawley was buzzing as many parade-goers started off the day with favorite traditions, including the early morning pancake breakfast founded decades earlier by the local Lions Club. Now manned by the Imperial Valley Cancer Support Center, once known as Between Women, the breakfast cooks shelled out hundreds of grilled items for hungry cowpokes.
In the meantime, parade judges walked the back streets inspecting the floats and other marching entries to award prizes and trophies as a reward for month-long work parties.
Hat stands and other pop-up vendors lined Main Street doing brisk business as street vendors pushed their carts overflowing with colorful trinkets. Food carts added to the smells and sounds as the crowd waited in anticipation for the western parade.
As the entries began moving, motorcycle groups, gymnast clubs, and high school marching bands put on shows for the crowds. Western horses, bad hombres, and badder wild west widows added to this year’s Cattle Call theme of “Cowboy Boots and Country Roots.”
Besides the food vendors meeting the needs of a hungry crowd, a new Irish pub, Paddy’s at the Rock, had opened in time to give parade watchers a cool environment and an answer to their thirsts.
As the two-hour parade wound down, people scrambled to their favorite barbecue spots and bars to refuel for the upcoming 2 p.m. rodeo, as others gathered their paraphernalia, their newly bought gadgets, chairs, blankets, and children to return to their homes.
The parade winners included: Sweepstakes Trophy Winner – Brawley Christian Academy; Western Spirit Trophy Winner- Challenger Little League; Queen’s Trophy Winner: Pioneers Memorial Health District; and Mayor’s Trophy Winner: Westmorland Drill Team.