Parade Day!

Woke up to 53 degrees and clear skies. I couldn’t wait to get up and dressed and on my way to the parade!  This is my favorite parade of the year – the Boulder County Fair Parade.  The fair itself kicked off last night, but the parade is truly the highlight of the whole thing.  The weather this year was going to be perfect, and like a little kid, I just couldn’t wait to get to Main Street, grab some snacks from the Simply Bulk Market and Winchell’s Donuts, and settle in to my lawn chair.

The next door neighbor, Al, along with  and his buddies were getting their antique cars ready. Phyllis, his wife, was windexing the windows, pink curlers in her hair as she gets duded up to ride in the parade. By the time I biked to downtown, an hour before the parade began, the side streets were already filling up with parked cars, and the park where lineup starts was already filled with dancers stretching their legs, horses prancing impatiently, and antique cars revving their engines.  On Main Street, in front of Barbed Wire Books, I met up with Klown and Tater, and soon the Perfect Child joined us.  Tater quickly found a friend and wandered off to sit with her instead of us, and that was okay.  That’s the kind of town this is – you know your neighbors and it’s okay to let your child go on her own to visit with her friends.

While we waited, I had a very enjoyable conversation with a couple sitting next to us.  They were in their 70’s, we got to talking about gardens, making pickles, how to cook kohlrabi, and how annoying it is to try to grow tomatoes here.  I love Longmont’s rural roots, and how those roots still show plainly in a day and age when buses, air conditioned houses, and big-box stores are on every corner.

The Boulder County Fair is small, but it shows our rural roots clearly.  There were at least four 4-H groups in the parade.  There were also tractors, farm trucks, and political candidates walking in cowboy boots and hats.  As big as our town is, we still act like a little town.  For all our urban sensibilities, we are still a rural place.  And I love that.

The only sadness of the day is that I will have to wait a whole year to see the parade again.

Tomorrow I’ll go hang out at the fair.  Tater can ride the rides and roll around in the giant hamster balls in a pool of water.  I’ll look at goats and chickens and bunnies, and ooh and ahh over the quilts, fabulous cakes, and giant vegetables with blue ribbons.  We’ll eat ribbon fries and funnel cakes and frozen chocolate-dipped bananas, and watch the cowboys practice for the rodeo.  And later this week, we’ll go back to watch the demolition derby.  It’s that kind of town.  And I love it.

Parade of Flags – first year I’ve seen this in the parade.  It was kind of awesome.

Guy on a lawn tractor, pulling a snake-like collection of trailers with flags sticking up from them

Back end of the parade of flags


Our favorite hardware store, locally owned, always has their little car in the parade.  I spend so much money in this store I should have an assigned parking space at the front.

Ace Hardware Car


What would a parade, and fair, be without goats?



Goats being useful - pulling a cart with a kid inside.



Of course there were horses…lots of horses…

Horses with pink riders


And a truck that thought it was horse-powered… (click the picture to see a video of the horse “running” with the truck)

Horses running with truck.

And there have to be firetrucks.  Especially old ones.

Antique firetruck

Plus stiltwalkers, and the world’s most famous clown.


Ronald McDonald

Gotta have some Red Hat Ladies, too.

Red Hat Ladies Smart Car

The Hover House Ladies…

Hover House Ladies, dressed for their time.

And from the Old Mill Park, a recreation of the olden days…

The Olden Days from Old Mill Park - women in period dress

Hispanic dancers, one of my favorite parts of the parade.  Click the picture to see a video of the dancers, mariachi band, and dancing horses from the Mexican rodeo…

Hispanic dancers in colorful dresses

There were lots of baby farmers…they will be growing our food someday.

Children of farmers

And we saw that not all cowgirls ride horses…

Cowgirl on an ATV

It’s not a parade without a marching band.  In this case, the St. Vrain Valley School District All-District High School Band!

Marching Band

Antique cars…of all kinds…

VW Bug

Baby Blue Convertible

Baby Blue Thunderbird

Gold and Red Car

Purple Thunderbird

This beauty hangs out at a house on the next block from ours.  I saw him washing it in the alley last night in preparation for today’s parade!

Red Corvette

Every possible old truck was also here, including farm trucks and trucks that were not yet restored.

Old Farm Truck

Blue Ford Truck

Chevy truck

Grey Chevy Truck

International Truck

Lifted Red Chevy

Red Farm Truck

Restored Chevy

Shiny restored truck - make unknown

But the stars of the parade – the TRACTORS!  First, a Gibson.

An red Gibson tractor

A red Farmall…

Farmall Tractor

Then there were the John Deere tractors – my dad calls them “poppers” because of the way they sound when they run. First here’s the old Deere…

Old John Deere

And a small Deere…

Small John Deere Tractor

Followed by a bigger Deere…

Big John Deere Tractor

And finally, the biggest Deere…

Biggest Deere Tractor

You know he parade is over when you see the street sweeper…

The End - street sweeper!

Until next year…I will wait as patiently as I can!!

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