TOWN 'N COUNTRY — Dozens of paradegoers lined the sidewalks along Hanley Road to kick off Veterans Day weekend with a parade, which, for a moment, looked more like a celebration for County Commissioner-elect Kevin Beckner.
A few cheered as deputies' motorcycles with screaming sirens drove by and the parade marshal's car passed, but the loudest shouts erupted when Beckner walked down the parade route.
"Yay, Kevin! I voted for Kevin!" a woman yelled. Beckner jogged up to her and hugged her.
Still wearing the green campaign shirts and holding campaign signs, about a dozen of his supporters no longer needed to ask for votes. Instead, they yelled "Happy Veterans Day!" as Beckner shook hands and returned pleased voters' thumbs-up signals.
The rest of the parade featured veterans groups, Boy Scouts, Webb Middle School's band, and Alonso High School's ROTC.
While dozens of veterans rode by in floats and vintage cars, a few watched from the sidewalk.
Ronald Sharps, a World War II veteran, rode his motorized scooter down to the parade, an American flag waving from the back. "I honor the flag," he said. "The flag is everything to me."
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2443.