Glade Park loves a parade: almost 70 entries
The last time Glade Park had a parade it was 1982, and the procession consisted of a 4-H Club float and a Glade Park Fire Department vehicle.
Midway through the route, Steve Miller said, he and the fire chief got in a water fight.
“We trashed the 4-H float, and everyone was mad at us for a while,” Miller said Saturday afternoon outside the Glade Park Community Center.
He had no such problem this year attracting parade participants for the town’s first Fall Fun Fest and Parade on Saturday. Nearly 70 parade floats, cars and construction vehicles rolled along the parade route, which went from the community center to the new Glade Park Community School. Miller organized the parade, while school organizers handled the festival on school grounds.
The parade also celebrated the school, which reopened this fall with kindergarteners through second-graders.
Glade Park teacher Tree Humbert said she knew before school opened in August that she wanted to have seasonal festivals. Miller suggested the parade, and community members and people working with various federal agencies in and around Colorado National Monument pitched in to organize it. They made cookies and cider and set up food and game booths outside the school for the parade and festival.
“Everyone wanted something to do with it,” Humbert said.
The event puts Glade Park’s community pride on display, said resident Debra Pace. She and her husband, Gerald, rode their horse-drawn carriage in the parade.
“We thought there’d be five or seven people in the parade, but 70 or so turned out,” she said. “It’s a small, close-knit community.”
So small, nearly every bystander seemed to be in on an inside joke in the parade. Kitty and Tom Anderson, who run a trash disposal business on Glade Park, have had “a horrible year for bears,” Tom Anderson said. Bears climbed into their truck more than once to sniff out trash, so the Andersons decided to poke fun at their problem and attach about a dozen teddy bears to their truck and drive it through the parade. A man dressed in a bear costume trailed the truck.
Kitty Anderson said she was amazed by the number of people in the parade as well as people from Glade Park and the Grand Valley who watched.
“I can’t believe how many people turned out. I thought it was just going to be the community,” she said.
Charlotte Briggs rode on the 4-H float on a bale of hay in front of a pen with two prize-winning goats and a dog. Briggs said people will try to host events such as chili suppers or pancake breakfasts out of a sense of community spirit, but that the festival really pulled in a crowd.
“Because we live so far apart, (the parade’s) a good way to get to know our neighbors,” she said.
Miller said he hopes the day’s events brought the community members closer to each other and the school.
“We’re pretty isolated. If something happens, we’re on our own. We know we have to depend on each other. Somehow we’ve gotten away from that. But what brings a town together better than a school?” he said.