Irving—The Valley Ranch community in Irving presented its annual Popsicle Parade and Festival in Saddlehorn Park on Friday, July 9.
A hula hoop contest, bounce slide, playground and some lawn games kept the festivities going, and the sparklers came out after dark.
“Uncle Sam” on stilts was a prominent part of the celebration. The man behind on the sticks, Daniel Barron, thrilled kids and adults alike with his colorful costume and massive height.
Food trucks from Boardwalk Bites offered tasty snacks, and free popsicles were provided by Hip Pop. The event was so popular that they ran out of the frozen treat.
The carnival ride “Pirates Revenge” took riders back and forth in a pirate ship, which gained height with each swing, thrilling riders.
Sheryl Kingery played basketball with the younger people.
“To me, it is celebrating summer,” Kingery said. “It’s just a lovely celebration. I’ve been here for the past two years, and I live around here, so it’s nice to see neighbors and meet new people.
“Last year’s parade was right after the beginning of COVID. It was like the last of the city celebrations before we all had to go home and quarantine. This is the first time since COVID that we’ve come together as a community.”
Swati Mehta came to the celebration with her 18-month-old son Mahdur and her husband.
“[Mahdur] is having his first popsicle ever,” Mehta said.“I think he likes the watermelon popsicle the best.
“We love to come out to have fun. He loves bouncing houses. I live around here, so I found out about the event while taking Mahdur to the park.”
“This is my first time here, and I’ve been around in Irving for years,” said Ronald Parks, who brought his son, Brian, who regaled other people with his Michael Jackson impression.“I saw the advertisement last week. I was nervous that it would rain.It rained early this morning, but by the time we got here, it was all cleared up.”
Emma Daskam came to the festivities with her friend, Christopher Jackson, her German shepherd, Obi, and two other friends.
“Everybody’s trying to insert themselves into the community and find a group of people that have stuff in common with us,” Daskam said. “We saw the signs for this event, and it was on the Facebook Community page. We wondered what it was, so we came out and are having a great time.”
“We actually moved into the area last August, so this is kind of like our first event in Irving,” Jackson said. “We are trying to learn the community.”