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Festival enthusiasts enjoy patriotic parade





Bubbles flew in the air and candy filled the street. Children ran to observe the horses. The American flags shook in the wind as red, white and blue lined Main Street, marking the beginning of the annual Wild West Festival parade.

"We got here about 45 minutes early to get a good spot," said Margie Legleiter, who is the care taker of her intellectually-disabled brother, Eric. "He loves parades."

Legleiter has been taking her brother to the parade for approximately five years.

"He likes the floats and the horses and the candy," she said.

Eric waved his miniature American flag in anticipation of the festivities.

Ida Saadon, Russell, is attending the parade for the first time to support her boyfriend, who is in the Kansas National Guard. She was joined by his daughter, Delaney Crawford.

"We came out to support him and let her have some fun," Saadon said. "She really likes horses and is excited to see daddy carry his flag."

Saadon, who originally is from Singapore, has only been in Hays five times.

"My mom remarried and then I moved to Kansas," she said. "It's a lot more country here. I was at Wild West Fest for a couple days. I'm not used to that level of country, but people were having fun, and that's really cool."

Crawford said she enjoyed the funnel cakes.

"She had a lot of fun at the festival and now she's enjoying the parade," Saadon said. "I really enjoyed the crowd. You get everyone. It's a whole different bunch of people. You don't just get people who are into country music; you get people who aren't into country and then you get some who don't even know what's going on. It's a mixture and that's really cool."