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DeSOTO (CBS11) – The City of DeSoto has canceled its annual holiday parade on Saturday because of a major conflict: The high school football team has a playoff game the same day.

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“Actually, it was kind of a no brainer,” said Rachel Proctor, DeSoto’s Mayor Pro Tem. “It just made sense. We’re going to postpone it–who’s to say we won’t be able to do another parade celebrating something bigger…maybe another state championship.”

Proctor said DeSoto boys’ basketball and girls’ track teams have already won state championships this year, so adding another is at the top of the city’s wish list.

“Even though we’re a town of 50,000,we’re still a small community… and we have that one high school,” said Proctor. “So it wasn’t a lot of discussion or need for discussion to say that we’re going to support our young people and their exciting accomplishments right now.”

So instead of having fans line up along Hampton Road for the annual holiday parade, they’re encouraging fans to make a beeline for AT&T Stadium, instead.

“It’s big for us,” said Jamie Galvan, owner of Tuscany Itailan Bistro Desoto. “It’s big for our community.” Galvan’s restaurant sits on DeSoto’s Town Square and was ready to welcome a rush of post-parade guests.

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With the parade canceled, he’s losing some customers. But, that’s okay with Galvan. “I thought it was pretty cool. I thought it was a cool thing. Great.”

So, any parade pushback?

“This is football country,” said Maurice Bonner, a DeSoto Eagles fan. “So, we live and eat and drink football and basketball around here. So we should go to the game.”

Just call it the best of small town Texas, where football fever is both welcomed and encouraged.

“You have to be here to feel it. You can’t explain it,” said Galvin, of his “community sticking together, backing the kids and giving them the support they need.”

Adding to the excitement, the playoff game pits DeSoto against nearby rival Cedar Hill. Kickoff is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium.

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