Families danced, played carnival games, checked out the vendors. They were enjoying Westfest, but they’re also experiencing steps toward recovery.
"You look this way and you wouldn't know anything happened four months ago,” said Robert Fleming, a former West resident. “But if you look back over my shoulder, you still have a lot of signs of destruction. A lot of homes have not been rebuilt, a lot of businesses. A lot of people are still hurting."
Fleming is the former West Intermediate School Principal. That school was nearest to the explosion site. He lost seven military awards he had in his office, but while at Westfest, he was presented with replacements.
"I tell everyone I come into contact with, I hate to say it, but it couldn't have happened to a better group of people,” Fleming said. “These people are so close and so tight, so family oriented, if anybody will rise up, it'll be the people of West."
Fleming has just one wish.
"If you're out there and you're watching, please don't forget about West and West ISD," he said.
Judging from the crowds Saturday, West is not forgotten.
Brent Dvorak came from Houston.
"I've been coming here for twenty years and to not come here one year, wouldn't be the same," Dvorak said.
And he's noticing the support.
"It seems a lot busier than last year,” Dvorak said. “I'm thinking a lot more people are coming out to support the community and the town of West."
A town that still has far to go, but is making great strides in getting life back to normal.