Three-year-olds Gracey Keller, front, and Maya Peilet celebrate the Fourth of July at the parade in Yampa.

Photo by Luke Graham

Three-year-olds Gracey Keller, front, and Maya Peilet celebrate the Fourth of July at the parade in Yampa.

Yampa parade a 4th of July tradition

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— Nora Phillips sat along the side of Moffat Avenue in Yampa as person after person came up.

Phillips had her left leg elevated, sharing the story to each who passed. Phillips was going to band practice when she tripped on some stairs.

The result was a broken knee.

As the leader of The Band, it was the first time in 17 years that Phillips wouldn’t lead the group down the street for onlookers at the annual Fourth of July parade.

“It sucks,” Phillips said from her camping chair. “But we do it every year, and we will do it every year. We have a lot of members. A lot of people just show up to this. The best thing about this is just look at the entire thing.”

Yes, the entire thing is something to not marvel at, but rather take in.

Yampa’s parade has character, in the small-town vibe, the people who participate and the people who are just there to observe. People didn’t have to fight for spots to stand, drinks were flowing and if each child didn’t walk away with at least a pound of candy, they weren’t trying.

It’s not big city. It’s down home.

“It’s the celebration of Routt County,” said Sean Luciano, who was leading the South Routt Texas Rangers Little League team in the parade. “I lived in Yampa for 12 or 13 years. It’s become a tradition. We do it because we like the little town feel.”

A long line of horseback riders, classic cars, floats and tractors all cruised down the street in what has become one of the small South Routt town’s best celebrations.

It seemed that every person in the parade was awarded with something. And while the day also featured a pancake breakfast, live music and events for children, it’s always the parade that keeps people coming back.

“It’s recognition of what our troops have done to allow us to live here and do what we want,” Yampa’s Matt Newman said. “This is a pretty good collection of Yampa every year. It’s a hell of a good time.”

To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com

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