Singers compete to honor military

Winner sings national anthem at parade


The Paseo del Rio association held auditions Saturday to select the singer of the national anthem to kick off the Armed Forces river parade on May 18.

Dozens of competitors took the stage at the Arneson River Theater, including 10-year-old Isabel Sanchez.

"When they clap it makes me very excited and I run up to my dad and say, 'Did you just see that?' said Sanchez after belting out a powerful rendition. "It's really exciting so I like it."

Nancy Hunt, the executive director of the Paseo del Rio, said the winner will get more than just local recognition on the evening of the parade.

"It'll be locally televised and syndicated nationally as well as on the Pentagon Channel, so it will be shown in every military installation in the world," said Hunt. "These people have just been amazing and this is going to be a tough decision to make."

Hunt expects an even larger crowd than last year's inaugural event. The association is also selling yellow ribbons for $5 for anyone wanting to honor or remember loved ones who have served.

The ribbons will line the trees of the River Walk for two weeks prior to the parade.

The route begins at the Arneson River Theater and the parade runs from 6 pm to 8 pm.