Breckenridge Fourth of July parade makes triumphant return
After a year with few in-person festivities, the Breckenridge Fourth of July parade made its comeback this year with hundreds of spectators lining Main Street to celebrate the holiday.
The Firecracker 50 mountain bike race kicked off the event, followed by floats from front-line workers and local community organizations marching down Main Street from French Street to Park Avenue.
Members of the Boy Scouts marched while holding a large American flag, while local firefighters, police and other first responders honked their horns in front of them. Leading the Boy Scouts were two boys holding a banner that read, “In celebration of all we missed and in anticipation of what’s to come. Happy Independence Day.”
Breckenridge Creative Arts appeared in a truck adorned with bright yellow, orange and red flowers, Breckenridge Grand Vacations led a tiki-themed float, University of Nebraska students threw foam footballs into the crowd and dozens of horses marched down the street with representatives of the Blue River Horse Center.
Another group in the parade was the Jingle Singers, a group that performs nonstandard arrangements of holiday carols, leading the way for Santa in a red Corvette.
Lyndee Iozze, one of the Jingle Singers, said coming back to Breckenridge felt like coming back home. She said seeing the smiles on kids’ faces light up when they saw Santa was “pretty sweet.” Another of the Jingle Singers, Miranda Bath, said she almost felt like she was in Disneyland with the large crowds of people.
“It’s almost like last year didn’t even happen,” Bath said. “I’m so shocked about how quickly it all came back, but I’m super grateful for it.”
The Jingle Singers agreed that the lack of fireworks was “kind of a bummer,” but they said they understood that mitigating fire risks was more important.
Rochelle Ulrich, of Denver, brought her kids to watch the parade and to support her husband, who raced in the Firecracker 50. She said they came to Summit County because there were traditional Fourth of July celebrations all around the area.
“When you think of a small town, you think of a parade and community — and (my kids) think about candy — but that’s what it’s all about,” Ulrich said. “The feel is different in a small town, and we wanted to really embrace that small-town feel and celebrate the festivities.”
Ulrich’s kids said their favorite part was seeing all the floats; in particular, the Star Wars characters waving to them made their day.
Ulrich also said she understood why there were no fireworks, and she said playing it safe was smart given the fire danger. The family planned to go see fireworks in Fairplay after the race finished.
Sheila and John Pollmar, of Florida, came up for the holiday to stay at their place in Beaver Run. They said the hometown atmosphere and people are what made the parade most memorable for them. The couple brought their niece and nephew up for two weeks to celebrate the holiday in Summit County and see the parade.
“It was a lot more than I expected,” John Pollmar said. “It is so nice to do this, and it’s great to be outside in this beautiful weather. And the people are always so friendly here.”
Karen Johnston, a frequent visitor from Milwaukee, brought her two kids to the parade, who stood on the fence catching candy the whole time. Johnston said seeing the community come back to life and get together for a holiday celebration was the highlight of the event for her.
“We’ve gone through so much this last year, so anything that we can get is great,” Johnston said.
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