Fourth of July fireworks were set off in downtown Steamboat Springs on Monday.

Photo by Scott Franz

Fourth of July fireworks were set off in downtown Steamboat Springs on Monday.

Steamboat's Fourth of July parade, fireworks display bring bang to Independence Day

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2011 Fireworks Show

The Steamboat Springs Fireworks Display on July 4, 2011.

The Steamboat Springs Fireworks Display on July 4, 2011.

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Steamboat's Fourth of July parade

Thousands of spectators lined Lincoln Avenue for the annual Fourth of July Parade.

Thousands of spectators lined Lincoln Avenue for the annual Fourth of July Parade.

— The sirens started promptly at 10 a.m., causing some of the hundreds of children sitting along the curb on Lincoln Avenue gripping American flags to scoot forward and look anxiously to the northwest, where a convoy of fire engines kicked off Steamboat Springs’ annual Fourth of July Parade.

Behind them were clusters of horses, classic red Corvettes and white sports cars that complemented the day’s color scheme, and even a dragon car that periodically blew smoke to cheers from the thousands gathered to celebrate Independence Day.

Walking toward the front and carrying the flag of the Civil Air Patrol, Steamboat Springs High School sophomore Garrett Pohlman said the march through town was exciting and fun, but also an honor.

“I was proud to be able to walk with other branches of our military and to represent my peers,” he said, adding that he hopes to someday be a pilot in the armed forces.

His father, Greg, said their family spent the rest of the day enjoying being outside and visiting with relatives, all while remembering the spirit of the holiday.

“One of the meanings of the Fourth is celebrating our independence and supporting our troops,” he said. “It’s been a great day so far.”

While some thought about the historical meaning of the holiday during the festivities, others simply enjoyed the candy throwing, water balloon tossing, and dancing that swept quickly through the crowd on Lincoln Avenue as the parade progressed.

In between her many trips to collect the candy that had spilled onto the streets, Samantha Klein, 4, was content petting the goats, horses and dogs that strolled by, and 7-year-old Cooper Rhoads was carefully eyeing each float that passed, waiting to toss a water balloon at an unsuspecting parade-goer.

“I’m going to throw it at someone that’s open,” he said without taking his eyes off the parade.

Rolling through the parade on her unicycle, Stacey Gibbons high-fived spectators as she celebrated her 57th birthday on the 30th anniversary of her first ride in Steamboat’s parade.

“My birthday is on the Fourth of July, and I wanted to act like I wasn’t my true age,” said Gibbons, who was wearing red, white and blue face paint, oversized blue star sunglasses and a USA tiara. “The reason I love this parade so much is that so many people know me. I like listening to people in the crowd yell ‘Happy birthday’ as I ride by.”

After the parade, hundreds of spectators walked over to Tread of Pioneers Museum to enjoy Routt beer floats, and free admission to the museum, all while listening to a swing band.

Others went the other direction, to picnic at Howelsen Hill and watch ski jumping.

Kara Givnish, the Steamboat Springs Chamber and Resort Association’s special events director, said 61 groups participated in the parade that lasted about an hour and a half.

“There were smiles on everyone’s faces,” she said. “This is one of my favorite events that we put on every year.”

Some spectators said they’ve noticed Steamboat’s parade, a longtime tradition in the Yampa Valley, change slightly every year as it brings in more spectators.

“We used to say there were more horses than people in town, but today there were a lot more kids in the crowd than we’ve seen,” Jane Stein said after the parade. “It shows how family oriented this town is.”

Comments

rexrox77 2 years, 9 months ago

It was a good 4th, and the fireworks were really loud and colorful, no doubt. We all had a good time, as usual, the food, friends and festivities were great!

Not to be unpatriotic, but if that was the state's biggest, then I am Mark Twain!

The paper said it would be 22 minutes, it was barely 11, and many of the recent years were longer, more fun and bigger, even when it rained.

We don't need a lot of BS hype to sell the fireworks, folks will show up in any case, even Brian Harvey didn't believe it, did you hear how hard he laughed at the guy on the radio?

The Rockies put on a better display every year, as do most of the suburban malls, and the civic center show can't be outdone in this state, I don't think Wendy DuBord has ever seen the shows down there. "based on an informal study of other communities"?, which ones?, Oak Creek and Hayden?

I guess they blew most of the budget on the 14 inch thing, which was no big deal. I was hoping for a Beldar Conehead thing, ever see Coneheads?, it was a small nuclear charge.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

it's just the constant marketing and selling of steamboat.

do you know winter park is Mt Bike Town USA?

yes folks right down the street is Mt Bike Town USA.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

which I'd like to say has far better biking and far better infrastructure to accomodate the people they bring in.

the base area at their ski area is rocking!!!

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skidattle 2 years, 9 months ago

We definately need to form exploratory group to see if Steamboat IS the biggest, best, most awesome place in the state to celebrate 4th of July. Then go to city council and ask for say, 50k, to become '4th of July Town USA'.

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Tamera Manzanares 2 years, 9 months ago

I applaud the people and groups who put time and creativity into their parade entries. The dragon, singers/performers and animals added interest to what has become a long, hot and rather boring parade.

Parade organizers should strongly consider further limiting entries and making more rules. It seems silly that tow trucks (three, really?!), resort services and other business should be able to advertise their services at this community event. Why not highlight nonprofit groups only and give businesses the opportunity to sponsor the event? Signs clearly identifying organizations would be helpful too. Maybe some prizes to motivate groups to spend more than an hour with a six-pack of beer on their entries. A few people and balloons does not a float make.

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rexrox77 2 years, 9 months ago

Buggacat, I totally agree with you, I have not been to the parade since I saw a semi truck, (a full sized reefer), advertising Tony Lama boots in the parade, in 2002 I think it was. Is this what we want to portray as American?, a big sell out?!, to me its disgusting commercialism!

Keep the advertisers, marketers and politicians/political parties out of the parade!! They can have their tents and pass out their flyers, keep the parade about the community and the kids!, we will all enjoy it much more!

We get enough commercials on TV, Radio, and the internet, we don't want more in our parade!!!

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ybul 2 years, 9 months ago

Aw common if a business wants to be in the parade they should be allowed to. They just ought to have to put more thought into their parade entry than a semi with an ad.

Focus on quality not quantity, make rules for entries so that you encourage more dragons and such. Recruit prizes for entries so that people want to come see the parade from around the state and people want to actually put effort into their entries.

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bubba 2 years, 9 months ago

A parade that draws people from around the state would really work nicely with the Fourth of Julytown USA initiative!

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rexrox77 2 years, 9 months ago

We should make a rule that if a semi or a tow truck with logos, etc. wants to be in the parade, it needs to be 90% covered in crepe paper. If you Google images for "crepe paper float", you will see some great examples.

This will keep the lazy ones out of the parade. How many of us like tow trucks?!, to me they only represent money lost to a toothpick chewing driver!, except the AAA trucks.

Yes, quality would be good, but many have no sense of it, so they can't present it.

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scott selby 2 years, 9 months ago

I am sure the parade orginizers would welcome the time, energy and finincial contributions from all of the posters above.

1999-- I found a link that might help you.

http://www.uhaul.com/

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

thanks scott!!!

I think my point should be pretty evident.

WP...Mt Bike Town USA............ actually has put money and time and thought into improving infrastructure to become MBTUSA where as SBS is only interested in selling hotel stays and restaurant visits using a title that so far is not needed nor earned.

They actually walk their talk.

a vastly different approach I'd say.

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exduffer 2 years, 9 months ago

Anyone notice that the "close the gate behind them crowd" is now wishing they had not asked to have it welded shut?

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scott selby 2 years, 9 months ago

1999- Always happy to help, lol. We (Steamboat) have a long history of self-promotion. Take a look at Mr. Howelsen's circus posters at the Treads and it does not take too long to realize that or the fact that we registered Champage Powder or that we ARE Ski Town USA. The purchase on Emerald, the new trails on Mt. Werner (or at least the discussion of them) and all of the other activities are underway. I know "If you build it they will come" but sometimes it does take money from tourists to pay for those things. I would bet that revenue generated from those hotel stays and those restaurant visits may have even actually enabled some of those activities. The reality is that a town with the population of Steamboat could in no way afford all of the amenities we have without tourist dollars. Go and survey your neighbors and ask if they would support an increased sales tax or property tax to pay for amentities. I would wager that the result would be about the same as the vote on the rec center (I know it was over priced). My point is, be patient. There are obviously numerous bike issues that need to be resolved. They are more complicated than when the Werner's started operation, but I would bet some of the sentiment is the same. (Yes I do realize bike issues/traffic issues are not the same as skiing).

If the issues are not resolved to your satisfaction, you always have the link I provided to fall back on, lol.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

Scott I have lived In SBS, owned a business and payed taxes for over 30 years. I am hardly a "close the dooor behind me" crowd. I think the BTUSA push has been happening with out one iota of public discourse or opinon.

they just keep pushing it through.

To suggest that anyone who does not agree with the scene should move out is both shortsighted and undemocratic. (are you some sort of commie?) wink wink.

But sadly that is the exact opinon that seems to be popular with city council and RRBC.

they see dollar signs. That seems to be the only resounding concept availible today.

I"v e done my time cutting trails with Gretchen, working the bike weekends and promoting biking within our community.

I'm far from anti biking. I would bet I bike 300 days a year. I didn't even own a car for 10 years.

so just know that before you judge my motives.

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scott selby 2 years, 9 months ago

1999--- I do know (from your previous posts) that you are an avid mountain biker. I also have read your posts about cutting trails. I was not judging your motives. I was just pointing out that some of the tourist dollars that come into town are being spent to improve mountain biking. It may not be fast, but it does seem progress is being made. But, yes we do sometimes seem to be the Don King of mountain towns.....Comrade

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Kevin Nerney 2 years, 9 months ago

Let's get back to the orginal message of the article---That is the Parade and Independence Day. As an American and a retired Firefighter I've been to my share of parades and celebrations of all sorts and even a few sporting events. To the best of my recollection (despite having sometimers disease) every single one of those events STARTED with the National Anthem, preceded by the colors. I'm sure my brothers in the Fire Dept. would not have felt slighted if they were third in line to kick off the parade. The God Bless America Squadron (men's choir from the Holy Name Catholic Church) sang the National Anthem from a side street behind the announcers platform after the Fire Trucks went by. I don't think the organizers mapped it out this way intentionally but in the future the order of things should follow the way the rest of the country and any military organization would lay things out.

P.S. Brian Harvey -love ya man and thanks for sitting in the hot sun throughout the day however, The Cops are the Finest -- The Firefighters are the Bravest!!

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Scott Wedel 2 years, 9 months ago

Mr Selby, But the huge difference between the purchase on Emerald, etc. and the Bike Town USA Initiative is the the purchase on Emerald was action. It is actually supposed to do something beneficial. Meanwhile, BTUSAI has so far been about not taking actions to improve bicycling, but about promotion.

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scott selby 2 years, 9 months ago

Mr. Wedel: I am in no way debating that point. I agree with you. I knew 1999 was a mountain biker and was mainly referring to that. Aren't the taxpayers on the hook for the work at the base area if the bottom falls out? I am not sure if Champagne Powder® or being Ski Town USA will help too much with that either. The city has obviously made the decision to support the ski industry. I am not complaining about that. I guess the question will soon need to be answered as to whether the city council or county commissioners will put the same investment (of tax payer dollars) into biking (excluding the Emerald purchase) and whether they can overcome the issues related to what seems, at least to this point, to be a lack of buy-in from either a majority or at least an outspoken minority of residents. But either way, the promoters will promote and hopefully help create a few jobs along the way.

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rexrox77 2 years, 9 months ago

If you want to turn off the tourists and watch their summer holiday money disappear just make the parade more commercial, silly, tacky and cheesy than it is, with every yokel with their own money promoting agenda. Bore the crap out of them and just see if they ever come back, who wants to watch tow trucks go by?

I know this for a fact, I had people come here years ago and were not impressed with the parade, and have not been back in the summer. Its supposed to be about America, not 1-800-BUY-MYSTUFF!, 1-800-BUY-MYSTUFF!, 1-800-BUY-MYSTUFF!, like we hear on the radio all the time.

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

scott selby...Please list here the action BTUSA has taken.

so far the city council has written them a huge check with no results. to my knowledge the emerald purchase was spearheaded by the Nordic Council and the hardworks of Dan Smilkstein.

So far BTUSA has brought us an IDEA of a nifty mural and an IDEA of bathrooms at Howelsen.

they have done alot of promoting with no actual physical benefits that would go to make us a great biking destination.

do you see the difference?

something like continuing the bike path at key locations, funding an over/underpass to the bike path for future west end growth, etc etc. would actually make us a bike freindly town. NOT a mural or bathrooms.

promoting doesn't make us bike friendly..action does.

sure it may bring some dollars but that is not making us a great bike place. it's just promoting an idea. (and selling t shirts)

do you understand the difference?

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1999 2 years, 9 months ago

oh and the Don King reference was funny..it almost slipped by me.

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scott selby 2 years, 9 months ago

@1999----I get your point. Actually, hasn't Jon Quinn been wanting the bathrooms for years and didn't Cedar's daughter come up with the mural idea on her own. I do get the irony of it being put on the side of a bike shop. I also agree with you that there needs to be a lot of work done, It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of someone who has come to town because of the BTUSA! efforts. Sort of like the skier surveys they do on the mountain. There impression may be totally different than someone who lives here.

@Rexroxx77----I am sure the organizers will appreciate your help next year. I just hope you don't need a tow truck anytime soon. They may not be quick to respond

If you don't like the way an event or something in town is being handled....get involved. You might not get your way, but it does add a little legitimacy to your complaints. You have had quite a bit of time since the last parade you went to was in 2002.

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