TEMPLE — The timeline was extremely tight.

Mother Nature was not helping and neither was the traffic.

But perseverance paid off for the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty, who captured not one but two first-place awards in Christmas parades on Saturday.

Having just wrapped up the Krist Kindl Charity Pageant, the titleholders rushed to the Copperas Cove Christmas Parade, scurrying to get the city float looking a lot like Christmas in less than an hour before the judges came to view the entry.

With winds gusting up to 30 mph, the royalty struggled to get their float uncovered and hold on to the three layers that protect the tourism equipment.

With the help of Fort Hood soldiers also in the parade, the group added the final touches just as the judges arrived to score the entry.

Ultimately, the city of Copperas Cove float, complete with a lighted Christmas tree, giant light up ornaments, and the royalty all dressed in formal wear in holiday colors, captured the First Place Float Award.

When the parade ended, the titleholders rushed to pack up the float, heading to Lampasas for its lighted Christmas parade.

The float rolled into Lampasas at 4:50 p.m. with judging beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Parade officials agreed to judge the entry last.

With the parade theme of Barnyard Christmas, the float was completely transformed with bales of hay, wagon wheels, a giant lighted cowboy boot, and lighted fencing around the top of the float.

The titleholders had also transformed from formal wear to western wear complete with boots, belts and cowboy hats.

After receiving third place in the parade last year, the royalty hoped to do at least as well this year. The float did indeed capture first place honors which included a $300 cash prize.

“Winning first place in our hometown is certainly great. But going to another town’s celebration and winning first place there as well was a huge accomplishment,” said Ms. Five Hills Ashley Coombs. “We always try our best to represent Cove well. But when those efforts are recognized by others, it’s a great feeling.”

The royalty represented the city at the Temple Christmas Parade on Monday and placed second out of 150 entries capturing a cash prize of $500.

The titleholders participate in both the Gatesville and Killeen parades on Saturday wrapping up more than a half dozen parades this holiday season.

“Representing Copperas Cove is so important to our city to not only show that we are a good neighbor but to also promote all that we have to offer in our community,” said Emily Kimball, Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador. “By winning first place at both parades on Saturday, we represented our amazing community very well. All the hard work decorating paid off.”

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