Old Fort Days Rodeo Kicks Off With Annual Parade

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FORT SMITH (KFSM)—Hundreds of people lined Garrison Avenue for the annual Old Fort Days Rodeo Parade, Monday (May 29).

The parade is always a spectacle to see with sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Marshals waving the American flag on horses, wagons vintage cars, beauty queens and the Old Fort Days Dandies. Local marching bands also put on a performance.

Jennifer Jackson brought her six- and seven-year-old daughters to the parade. She said while her kids enjoy the candy, she is also teaching them the importance of Memorial Day as we remember those who sacrificed their lives while serving in the country's armed forces.

“We talk about what the American flag means and why it's there, so that's the important thing that we've started with this year,” Jackson said. “Their uncle's now in the military so he leaves in July for boot camp so we've kind of explained that entire process with them and what he's going to do when he gets out of boot camp.”

The parade is known as the official kickoff of the rodeo.

“It's just a good day for everybody to be able to come out, be a part of this,” said army veteran Jerry Galloway. “It's been going on for years and years and it's just a very good day to be here.”

The largest grand entry of the week begins Monday at 7 p.m. at Harper Stadium. It’s also Wrangler Patriot Night, which honors area veterans.

The 84th annual Old Fort Days Rodeo continues through Saturday June 3. Click here for the full schedule of events.