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BURNET — Forecasters were calling for a 90 to 100% chance of rain and thunderstorms on Saturday, but that was not a deterrent for Junior Miss Five Hills Hayley Sawyer. Even Mother Nature could not dampen her excitement. It was the day of her first parade in which she would get to ride on the City of Copperas Cove float. She was going to be there regardless of what The Weather Channel was reporting.

For two years, Sawyer watched as her sister represented the City of Copperas Cove in parades and she longed to do the same. Sawyer competed in the Miss Five Hills Scholarship Pageant last year, winning first runner-up. Determined, she returned to the pageant this year and captured the crown. One of her duties is representing the City of Copperas Cove in parades across the region. The Burnet Bluebonnet Parade on Saturday made Sawyer’s dream a reality.

“The whole experience was amazing. Even though the rain came down, it was the best,” the 8 year old said. “I loved taking photos up on the float with the royalty and representing our community with pride.”

Copperas Cove Five Hills Ambassador Briana Liles understands the responsibility of representing the City of Copperas Cove in parades as she reigned as Preteen Miss Five Hills last year and participated in more than a dozen parades. But, Liles’ role is different this year. As the ambassador, she is required to introduce her city and fellow royalty to the judges at parades when the float is scored. It is a growth opportunity for the fourth grader who is inherently shy. Liles was forced to get out of her comfort zone and speak loudly and proudly about Copperas Cove.

“It felt amazing especially because it was our first parade this year. I got to talk to the judges and introduce the royalty for the first time which was also an incredible experience,” the 10 year old said. “It’s great to represent Copperas Cove in other communities because people might not know how terrific our community is and it’s a wonderful opportunity to show who we are.”

For the second consecutive year, the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty captured first place in the Burnet Bluebonnet Parade bringing home top honors again to the city. The titleholders will participate in 12-15 parades this year representing The City Built for Family Living. The royalty’s next parade is the Copperas Cove Rabbit Fest Parade in May.

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