Labor Day weekend means relaxation with family and friends for most people. But, for the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty, the holiday weekend is full of opportunities to represent the city of Copperas Cove.

“Having the opportunity to represent Copperas Cove is always an honor,” said Five Hills Ambassador Dawn Hale. “But to get to invite those outside of our city to come and see all that our community has to offer is even more special. We are the City Built for Family Living and the royalty open the door for conversation about how Cove is nestled among five hills and encourage guests to come for a visit.”

The royalty braved the heat in their formal wear waving to the crowds at the Hamilton County Dove Festival Parade that rolled down Main Street with sidewalks on both sides filled with spectators.

“I was able to greet and fellowship with some of the newly-crowned queens from Hamilton,” said Preteen Miss Five Hills Dorianna Gilbert. “There were so many friendly people that spoke with us and complimented the royalty for representing our city very well.”

Junior Miss Five Hills De’Ziyah Gilbert said she was thrilled to see the crowd.

“I was excited to see such a big crowd that came out to support their local community,” she said. “Being in the parades is fun, but it is really about letting other communities know what we are good neighbors and care about them and want them to be successful too.”

Hana Hendrix, mother of Miniature Miss Five Hills Haelyn Hendrix, said she heard the city get recognition in the parade.

“We love that we were able to show our support to Hamilton,” she said. “This is important because it shows how impactful supporting another city can be. There were several local people who were excited to see our float and yelled out, “Oh, Copperas Cove.”

Following the parade, the Copperas Cove Five Hills royalty competed in the dove festival’s diaper derby and watermelon eating contests followed by the WestFest kolache eating contest on Sunday.

Little Miss Five Hills Braelyn Liles, 5, proved that age is not a factor in these contests.

“Braelyn may have been the youngest in the watermelon eating contest, but that surely didn’t stop her from showing them that Cove girls are not quitters and even pageant queens can make a mess of themselves to represent our city.”

Young Miss Five Hills Emily Kimball competed in both eating contests including diving into watermelon face first.

“Small Texas towns are the backbone of our neighboring communities. Participating in the parade and the contests they offer are not only fun experiences for us but also a great way to show our support,” Kimball said. “We had so many gracious people who loved us bringing our float to their small city. I love watermelon but I earned through this contest that it’s really hard to eat food without use of your hands.”

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