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Traditions worth celebrating

Brooke Thompson, left, and Ella Galaty celebrate the holiday in style Monday during the Yampa Valley Bank Fourth of July Parade in downtown Steamboat Springs. Thousands of people showed up downtown to watch floats male their way down Lincoln Avenue as part of the annual tradition.
John F. Russell

— It was more than an hour before the start of Monday’s Yampa Valley Bank Fourth of July parade in downtown Steamboat Springs, and already, there were plenty of people who had staked out their seats for the big show.

Nancy Attanasio, 81, sat in a chair next to her great-granddaughters, Reese and Alyana, waiting for the show to begin.

“We are going to do it all today,” Attanasio said. “We are going to start with the parade and have plans to go tubing and then to the rodeo.”



The list of events would signal high times in most towns, but in the mountains of Northern Colorado, the parade, rodeo and fireworks are part of a much grander American tradition, Steamboat style.

“The Fourth of July parade in Steamboat is the thickest slice of Americana served up anywhere in this country,” said John Shipley, who was behind the microphone for both the parade and rodeo Monday. “The rodeo and parade all goes together. There isn’t a more perfect day on the calendar in Steamboat than the Fourth of July.”



Apparently, the thousands upon thousands of people who lined Lincoln Avenue Monday morning couldn’t have agreed more. They came from all over the country, hoping to be a part of Steamboatr’s long running tradition that includes fire engines, horses and dancers.

Of course, there were also plenty of other things to come out for, including the candy the people on the floats hand out to the children watching the parade.

When asked what she was most excited about, the first words out of Attanasio’s eight-year-old great granddaughter Reese’s mouth was candy. Her sister was also quick to point out the parade highlight.

For others, such as Ben Malloy, just being part of the community celebration was worth decorating his MG with red, white and blue ribbons and flags and heading downtown to take part in the parade for the first time.

Malloy, and his wife, Peggy, spend their winters in Dallas but call Steamboat Springs home at least part of the year.

“We keep it here at our place,” Ben Malloy said of the car. “It’s a wonderful summer car, and because it’s red … we figured we would dress it up and put it in the parade. We have never been in the parade before; this will be the first time.”

For The Malloys, simply seeing all the people who come out and knowing this is an event the community treasures makes for a special day.

“Just seeing all the people out, and all the people enjoying themselves,” Ben Malloy said. “I think that’s the best part of it … and you can’t ask for a better day.”

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966


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