Communities Celebrate International Cultures and Unity

Krysyan Edler, VHS Editor

Parade Celebrates Intercommunity Strength

A Tale of Two Cities Parade and Festival joined together the communities of Avondale and Goodyear through an international cultural celebration to honor the heroes in blue on February 4. The fifth annual parade took place at Estrella Mountain Community College with over 8,000 community members in attendance.

Officers from the Avondale Police Department are honored on a parade float in the A Tale of Two Cities Parade on February 5. The officers are joined by children of the community and the K-9 Unit. “The police were the wow factor. They went all out. They had swat vehicles and a huge float with the K-9 units. They were definitely the wow factor of the parade,” said Robert Clark. Photo taken by Krysyan Edler.

The purpose of this year’s parade was to honor the local police officers. The parade featured tributes to the local police, fire departments, and military veterans. There were multiple floats dedicated to the men and women in blue along with the officers that rode alongside the parade on motorcycles and bicycles.

“I really enjoyed the submarine veterans float because I served on submarines in the U.S. Navy,  but the police were the wow factor. They went all out. They had swat vehicles and a huge float with the K-9 units. They were definitely the wow factor of the parade,” said Robert Clark, a snowbird that resides in Goodyear during the winter.

A naturalization ceremony kicked off the parade, which would celebrate and embrace the cultures and heritage of these new citizens.  The prime focus of the parade was unity despite the cultural differences. There were cultural floats from Caribbean Zone Productions and the horse riding group Cabalgando por Arizona.

“What an honor it was to speak during the naturalization ceremony at the Tale of Two Cities festival!” said Goodyear Mayor Georgia Lord, via her Twitter account.

The parade was led by Mayor Lord of Goodyear and Mayor Kenn Weise of Avondale. The mayors were then followed by a stage coach, trolleys, and floats from local businesses.

“All of the floats were neat. I loved watching the horses trot to the music. You could tell a lot of time had been put into it,” said Clark.

Local schools decided to join in on the celebration, too. The Avondale Elementary School District had a float featuring pictures of students at work in their classrooms, held by student participants. Student leaders that participated in the Kids At Hope program, which focuses on helping all children experience success and provide education and career readiness, were chosen to be in the parade.

“It was really fun, but scary at the same time because all of the people watching. I am proud to be a part of the parade because I am a Kids At Hope school,” said Sheridan Edler, a student at Desert Thunder Elementary School in Goodyear and a parade participant.

The students at Desert Thunder were excited to participate and enjoyed having a fun time with their community.

“My job was to sit still, wave, and look good doing it. My favorite part of the parade was everything. I had so much fun,” said Sydney Searle, a 4th grader at Desert Thunder and a parade participant.

The parade was a great way for community members to show their respect and appreciation for local law enforcement.

“When the police officers went by, everyone was clapping and rallying around them. The police officers were smiling, knowing how much they were appreciated,” said Rheta Clark, and snowbird whom visited the parade with her husband Robert Clark.

Food, fun, and a parade brought together the two communities. The residents of Goodyear and Avondale were reminded of the importance of their communities. After months of hostility towards law enforcement, the heroes in blue were reminded that their actions do not go unnoticed and are appreciated by their community members.