Wednesday was the annual Month of the Young Children's Parade between Seventh and Ninth streets on Lincoln Avenue, so princesses, fairies, kings and even a dragon did laps up and down the two city blocks waving at no one in particular because that's what people in parades do.
Steamboat Springs Two blocks may not seem like a long parade route, but try telling that to more than 100 children.
Wednesday was the annual Month of the Young Child's Parade on Lincoln Avenue, between Seventh and Ninth streets, so princesses, fairies, kings and even a dragon did laps up and down the two city blocks waving at no one in particular, because that's what people in parades do.
The parade remains one of the most popular activities for children during April, which is the Month of the Young Child in Routt County.
"It's great," said Stephanie Howle, director of First Impressions of Routt County. "The kids can be creative, put their costumes on and make things with their schools. It's a huge confidence booster. The street is blocked off just for them."
Kindergarteners and younger children were invited to participate in Wednesday's parade. There were no horses - a Steamboat parade staple - but Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue officials handed out plastic helmets to children.
The children marched with their parents, with day care providers or with their preschools.
Discovery Learning Center's kindergarten class was the last group to stop walking laps Wednesday.
"We did 101 laps," said Marley Noble, 5, who added that he wanted to keep walking.
Nationally, states celebrate one week in April as Week of the Young Child, but Routt County dedicates an entire month, which is filled with activities for children and meetings or workshops for parents and educators.
"Communities can show it's important to value our youth," Howle said.
Petra Norland stood with her daughter Kelsey, 1, before Wednesday's parade and said she and Kelsey participate in many of the activities that doctors and educators recommend parents do with their young children.
Those activities include singing, reading and playing with young children. Howle's suggestion that Wednesday's parade offered children the chance to be creative was exemplified in a myriad of ways - Olivia Hale, 1, and Ava Rose, 2, brought strollers to push their own baby dolls in the parade, and Abbie Boyce, 1, stopped in the middle of Lincoln Avenue to dance to "Disco Inferno."
Howle said gathering a group together to participate in the Children's Parade is never a problem. After Wednesday's parade, before returning to Discovery Learning Center for lunch, three members of the center's kindergarten class, dressed as Trojans, shared what they love about being a young child and having an entire month dedicated to educating them, helping them and recognizing their importance.
"My favorite part about being a young child is I always get to buy stuff," said Gabe Aigner, 5.
"My favorite part about being a young child is I get to be in school," said Patrick Sumner, 5.
"My favorite part about being a young child is there is a lot of fun stuff to do," said Mi-ri Frasier, 6.