More than 24 hours before one of the signature events of Buc Days, the Navy Army Night Parade, countless families are lined along the route to continue their longtime traditions of camping out. However, many of them are in new locations because of changes to this year’s route due to construction on the new Harbor Bridge.
Carlos Torres has been camping out for about 20 years. He usually sets up along Leopard near the corner of Carrizo, across from the Nueces County Courthouse. He told KRIS 6 News he was beat to the site this year by a family that moved spots because of the new route. But he said he’s rolling with the changes.
“There’s no problem with it. I love it. As long as family comes out and enjoy themselves, that’s all that matters,” Torres said.
Janie Chavez and her family and friends are now enjoying that spot. We spoke with her last year further down on leopard where the parade previously traveled. When she found out about the route changes a few months ago, she wasted no time planning, with a little guidance from the buccaneer commission.
“They said, ‘Now, on the S.E.A. area, you cannot mark or anything because they’re very strict. I said, ‘No problem. I’m going to go up, further up.’ So we came over here,” Chavez said.
Even though this tradition dates back fifty years for this family, Chavez says there’s a new spin to their celebration.
“This year, my grandson that came from Germany is going to be here this year. Last year was the one from Kuwait. This year is the one from Germany.”
That’s why Chavez insists even *rain won’t ruin their parade. They have everything secured to withstand Friday night’s storms.
The same goes for Carlos Torres, who says he and his family are committed to staying along the route until the parade is done.
“We’ve been here when they had bad weather. You know, it even rained at 11 o’clock at night. We still stayed out here. Hopefully, it don’t rain on the barbecue but we’ll be here.”
This year, overnight camping for the parade is only allowed on Staples, Leopard and Schatzell along the route. Anyone who wants to view the parade along Chaparral can claim those spots starting at 8 a.m. Saturday. Those spots cannot be marked in advance.