By David Taylor
Two years ago, it was a dream. On September 23, 2023, her dream became a reality, and Donna Davenport could hardly contain her excitement and enthusiasm.
“I was totally blown away,” she said. “The parade was Crosby’s largest ever and I never imagined that.”
For an hour and 15 minutes, the more than 200 entries wound its way down FM 2100 with an estimated 550 participants.
Standing on the side of the road herself, Davenport watched along with several thousand spectators as the stars of the Crosby parade—community organizer and sports photography enthusiast Annie Michalsky, historian Jody Fuchs, and one of the oldest organizations in town the Crosby Rodeo and Fair board—led off the festivities.
Davenport is the first to say she didn’t do it alone, but with the help of more than 60 volunteers who led committees affecting almost every event right down to cleanup after the day was done. The event was led by Davenport and the Crosby Historical Society and Kim Harris and the Crosby-Huffman Chamber of Commerce.
Virtually every organization in town participated in some way, including the school district.
Davenport knew it was going to be special when the band appeared in full uniform cranking out favorites for the crowd followed by the drill team and cheerleaders.
“It was so good to see so much participation from the schools too with their entries and the board of trustees float,” she said.
One of the things that tugged at her heartstrings was the participation of 16 different churches.
“They were all under one roof, working together and providing old-fashioned games and fun for children,” she said.
Another impressive stat was the more than 3,000 to 4,000 who staffed and visited the 90-plus booths and static displays surrounding the rodeo fairgrounds.
“There was no grass growing under the feet of our volunteers,” she said. “Even items such as getting fans under the canopy for vendors and attendees, our sidewalks were washed down and cleaned at the request of Velma Ellison, and the work done on the fairgrounds by volunteers prior to setup was amazing,” she said.
She refused to offer a thank you list for fear of leaving out someone but was grateful to all who had any role in the success of the bicentennial celebration.
“There was so much done including the caboose in our park being repaired and prepped for our big day that will last for years to come,” she said.
Throughout the day, Budweiser sponsored several bands to play various genres of music including Czech and country.
Across the meadow at the American Legion Hall, inside the air-conditioned facility was a heated cornhole tournament and outside a vintage car show that attracted hundreds of visitors.
Throughout the day, folks from the Alamo in San Antonio, fired off the vintage cannons. A Life Flight helicopter landed and there were tours for everyone on the multiple apparatus from the Crosby Volunteer Fire Department, Crosby EMS, Harris County Constable’s Office, and Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
Children enjoyed the live animals from St. Francis and the carnival rides.
Birthday cake was provided by the culinary arts program at Crosby High School.
“I hope we taught a lot of kids and teenagers what community service is all about. It’s not always about getting paid for everything but giving back,” she said.
Davenport also envisioned the businesses of Crosby setting up booths and selling their wares in a different venue and helping to give back to them.
“They are the backbone of our community,” she said, many of them making new contacts and friends in the process.
She believes all the expenses have been covered and there may be a little profit left.
“We will have a debriefing, final meeting and go over anything they want to talk about including what we will do with any leftover money,” she said back into the community.
While the big day has come and gone, the celebration continues in the community through the sale of the Crosby Cookbooks, the newly created salsa named 1823 by members of the Crosby Rodeo and Fair, and various other artifacts for sale through the Historical Society.