NOLANVILLE — Barely able to see under all their layers of clothing and blankets, the Alonso family had a great vantage point in front of their home to watch the Central Texas First Responders Holiday Parade on Saturday.

“It was too cold for us to wait for the parade, so when we heard the sirens we knew it was time to head outside,” said mom Marcella Alonso, who bundled up her family in blankets, hats and scarves.

With a loud blast from a fire engine horn, the fleet of vehicles made its way down avenues G and H toward 10th Street, where the Alonso family, along with others braving the cold weather, huddled together to watch the parade.

“I like collecting all the candy,” said Gracie Alonso, 9.

Her little brother, Elias Alonso, 4, said he liked seeing all the police and fire trucks rolling down the street with all their lights on.

The event, organized by the Nolanville Police Department, was the second holiday parade the community has seen in several years and included first responders from Nolanville, Killeen, Copperas Cove, Central Bell County Fire and Rescue, Fort Hood and Nolanville Cowboys’ football players and cheerleaders who wanted in on the holiday spirit.

“I like being able to ride in the float and wave to the people,” said Michael Miller, 9.

His teammate, Michael Garibaybartolo, 13, said he enjoys seeing all the people lined up along the parade route.

Police Chief Gary Kent said he was pleased with the turnout.

“When you plan events in the winter, you are taking the chance that it’s going to be cold out,” he said. Kent said he was glad the weather did not deter people.

“Regardless of how cold it is out here, I’m happy to see the community brave the cold and show their support,” he said.

Kent said the parade is scheduled to roll through the city the second week of December next year.

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

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