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Lehigh Spring Festival winds down with parade

March 22, 2017
By CHUCK BALLARO ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Thousands of residents lined up and down Homestead Road on Saturday as thousands more made the slow journey as the Lehigh Spring Festival held its annual Grand Parade to signify the final day of the event.

The parade, which started at Beth Stacey Boulevard and ended at Arthur Avenue, featured everything from floats, clown cars and Cub Scouts, to singers and rappers, which thrilled the parade-goers.

For those who participated, it was a way to give to the community while bringing attention to their cause.

Article Photos

The Lehigh Raiders Pop Warner football program had silver and black greatness written all over its float at the Lehigh Spring Festival on Saturday.

Among those who took part was the Lehigh Raiders Pop Warner football program, which brought its silver and black-clad float decorated with helmets, making people believe that Derek Carr and Kahlil Mack were going to hitch a ride.

"We're Raider Nation out here. We want to get the kids out there for football and cheer," Fletcher Burch, safety coordinator for the program, said. "Registration is slow right now, but it will pick up as the season gets closer."

Another participant was the Cervaceros softball team - Spanish for Brewers - which plays in Lehigh Acres and Cape Coral. They came together with other Latino organizations, including a jeep and motorcycle club and a live band, Fuego Latino, to help unite their community.

"I've been here for 15 years and it's the first time we've been involved in the parade," said Louis Barrios, a Cervasera and singer, who lent his vocals to the float. "A lot of friends got together and decided this was a good thing to do for our community."

"It's not just about partying, it's about being together,"?he added.

You could hear his singing throughout the parade route, as well as the rapping of Ronny "Flipman" Quiroz, who busted rhymes in the name of God.

All the beauty queens also took part. Not only was the festival royalty on one float, but also Miss Teen Fort Myers, as well as the Lehigh Acres Senior Citizens Center's 2017 king and queen.

And what would a parade be without the Araba Shriners, who took up for large chunk of the parade with their clowns, motorcyclists and Flintstone cars.

Don Wells, Chief Rabban of the Shriners and second-in-command, said they had everything a parade could want.

"We like getting out in public and letting the children see the clowns and people see what we do. We have the hospitals we support and we want to let people know we're around," he said. "The important part is having fun and helping the kids."

The parade served as a fitting climax to the final day of the festival, which included the daily scavenger hunt, craft show, cloggers, Nick's Be-Bop show and ZStoneZ, a Rolling Stones tribute band that played in perfectly with the festival's theme, The British Invasion.

Throughout the week, the festival had everything from eating contests, to horseshoe competitions, royal family look-alike contests and Idol competitions.



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