By Paula Abernathy
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS Cute babies wobbling on unsteady legs and fancy-dressed puppies and kittens drew large crowds Friday at the Spring Ho Diaper Derby and Pet Parade.
About 65 little ones from crawlers under 9 months to new walkers at 24 months participated in the Diaper Derby. Divided into five categories, the young contestants crawled, tottered and ran from one family member across the mats to another.
Some were excited about the challenge, others confused. At least one little guy just sat down and enjoyed the excitement, and one little gal so enjoyed the running that she nearly didn't cross the finish line she just ran back and forth between her parents.
The Beta Mu Soroity has organized the Diaper Derby for over 25 years as a community service project. Each winner was given a small prize.
A few minutes after the Diaper Derby finished, the Pet Parade began. More than 100 entries filled the area next to the County Courthouse as the pets and their owners showed off their finery.
Led by a police escort and McGruff, the parade included "floats" made of playpens, strollers and wagons, many decked out to illustrate the Spring Ho theme, "Restoring the Past."
The festival continues today with the Spring Ho Grand Parade, beginning at 11 a.m. at South Street and Key Avenue in the downtown area.
Other events, including a carnival, games, arts and crafts, a barbecue cookoff and food booths, will be available all day in W.M. Brook Park, Hancock Park and at the Gavin Garrett Soccer Field.
The winners of the Diaper Derby competitions are:
0-9 months Kharis Castaneda, first place, parents: Monica Maldonado and Chris Castaneda;
Cooper Greiner, second place, parents: Clay and Jennifer Greiner;
Madison Vega, third place, parents: Chris Vega and Michelle Marez.
0-9 months Preslei Havins, first place, parent: Mariesha Havins;
Laurcy Belle Bender, second place, parents: Shawn and Traci Bender;
Avery Smith, third place, parents: John and Somer Smith.
10-12 months Kalista Buchanan, first place, parents: Christie White and Mark Buchanan; Erin Hornback, second place, parents Jackie and Stormy Hornback; Joshua Hudson, third place, parents Jody and Jeri Hudson.
10-12 months Dax Brookreson, first place, parents Larry and Sophie Brookreson, Quinn Pace, second place, parents: Margo and Ian Pace; Maci Jones, third place, parents: Benjamin and Denise Jones.
10-12 months Nathan Shuford, first place, parents: Kim and Charles Shuford; Jera Hudson, second place, parents: Jody and Jeri Hudson; Daelyn Ellis, third place, parents: Bryan and Tiffany Ellis.
13-15 months Tiley Hamilton, first place, parents: Jason and Juanita Hamilton; Houston Bockelman, second place, parent: Rebekah Bockelman; Kash Corbin, third place, parents: Casey and Joy Beth Corbin.
13-15 months Braeden Hopson, first place, parents: Chad and Christina Hopson; Kyli Davis, second place, parents: Chris and Sandi Davis; Zac Dishman, third place, parents: Dale and Becca Dishman.
16-19 months Kellie Kozma, first place, parents: Brian and Shelley Kozma; Stone Schwartz, second place, parent: Mikki Grime; Landon Sanders, third place, parents: Wayne and Joanna Sanders.
16-19 months Landon Mulcahy, first place, parents: Jeremy and Shelly Mulcahy; Peyton James Underwood, second place, parents: Jamie and Ashley Underwood; Lee Ann Parker, third place, parents: David and Beth Parker.
20-24 months first place - not claimed; Willie Sanchez, second place, parent: Maria Sanchez; Savannah Ebersole, third place, parents: Jeremie and Elizabeth Ebersole.
20-24 months Kylee Eckermann, first place, parents: Brandy and Heath Eckermann; second place not claimed; Brandon Straley, third place, parent: Shelly Straley.
20-24 months Lexy Ide, first place, parents: Kathy and Chad Ide; Holten Ramsey, second place, parents: Amy and Jesse Ramsey; third place not claimed.
Some parents did not turn in winners' slips to the event organizers.
The pets were judged in several categories:
Best of Show: Major, Tyler and Loden Atkinson, and Christopher Ybarra for "Dukes of Hazzard."
Reserve Grand Champion: Jack and Destiny Ratliff as Bull Rider and Farmer.
Best of Dog: first place Major, Tyler and Loden Atkinson, and Christopher Ybarra for "Dukes of Hazzard;" second place Tyler Jordan and Bubba Bear Connell with "Golden Hippies" and third place Tristin Lewis with his dog.
Best Use of Theme: first place Charlotte Morrison, Breana Slagle and Ronnie Taylor with "Construction Restoration Team with Dogs;" second place Braeden Howell and Beagle Bailey; third place Christiana De LaRue, Michaels and Jonathan Ellison with "Team Texas."
Best Group of Pets: first place Cohen M. White and River B. Ware; second place Jack and Destiny Ratliff as Bull Rider and Farmer; third place Katie and Sara Rowe and Tori Liverman in "Mardi Growl."
Most Unusual Pet(s): first place Cohen M. White and River B. Ware; second place Carmen Gonzales and Snowball in a covered wagon. (Also Honorable Mention in Best Use of Theme); third place Preslie Haven and Amanda Harbin with "Flintstones' Pebbles."
Best of Cats: first place Ashley Straley and Callie with "Stray Cats Struttin' to Spring Ho"; second place Cheyenne Burr, Seth Stair, Daphne Standefer and Rachel Standefer with "Kittens on Parade"; third place Katie and Sara Rowe and Tori Liverman in "Mardi Growl."
Best Dressed Pets: first place none chosen; second place Braedon Raub, Dawson Raub, Kade Norwood and Tye Dog; third place Mackentie Martin, Makayla And Makenna Martin and Layla the "Hot Dog."
Best Dressed Children: first place Jack and Destiny Ratliff as Bull Rider and Farmer; second place Braedon Raub, Dawson Raub, Kade Norwood and Tye Dog; third place Tyler Jordan and Bubba Bear Connell with "Golden Hippies."
Contact Paula Abernathy at firstname.lastname@example.org