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Rotary Independence Day Parade a great success

It is with great pleasure that we thank so many people for making the Pagosa Springs Rotary Club Fourth of July Parade the success that it was.

This local club does so many worthy deeds for the community every year, but the task of putting on this monumental two-hour effort is by far the happiest for locals and visitors alike. We are happy to sponsor, financially support and organize this family event.

Our committee was responsible, committed and first hand problem solvers who are a pleasure to work with. From starting the planning six weeks prior to the day of the event, to cleaning up the high school parking lot after the last float and animal left, once again, we can say we are proud to be a Rotarian.

Along with Rotarians, it takes a village to accomplish the parade. The Chamber of Commerce and The SUN did an outstanding job of getting application forms to entries. Your efforts made it easy for everyone to enter and surely was partially the reason this parade was a success. Our appreciation also goes to Will Spears and KWUF for obtaining the sound equipment and providing public service announcements prior to the parade and coverage during it.

Safety is a major concern. Chief Rockensock and the Town of Pagosa Springs Police Department and the Mounted Rangers did a great job of redirecting traffic and manning crucial spots in and around the parade route. Thank you for keeping everyone safe. The town Parks and Recreation Department made sure traffic cones were in place, traffic information was given to businesses that would be affected and making available a Port-A-Potty in the high school parking lot for the entrants.

It was a pleasure to honor Don and Barbara Ford as the Grand Marshals for the 2011 parade. The Fords understand the spirit of community and have helped make Pagosa a better place to live. A special thank you goes to Milo Smith who drove the lovely surrey for the Grand Marshals. At the Fords’ request, they walked to leave the surrey empty in honor of those community men and women who are serving in the armed forces and couldn’t be with us. Yes, the Fords understand the spirit of community. The horse, Teddy, was donated by Superior Farms.

Our judges, who were visitors at Elk Meadows Campground and RV Park, did an outstanding job and judged with no bias. Lovely gift baskets for those judges were supplied by Brenda Eaves of Rainbow Gifts.

Mike Branch and Karl Isberg once again acted as the best announcers this side of the Rockies and brought to the onlookers humor as well as information. They have graced the announcers stand for many years and it just wouldn’t be the same without them. ’

Day Lumber donated the use of the flatbed for the announcer and judge’s stand. Archuleta School District 50 Joint allowed us to use the high school parking lot as a staging area.

The ever-popular and gifted pilots of the San Juan Squadron, aka Pagosa Angels wowed everyone on the ground with the two fly-overs they did to start the parade. We have heard nothing but rave reviews about them and so appreciate their donated time, talent and expenses to make this a very special event. Our “Air Force” grows every year and this display of daring aviation was the best yet. Please thank Jim Lane, Ray Laird, Michael Arbuthnot, John Wiebener, Tom Broadbent, Dave Peart, Mike Rice, Tim Gallagher and Craig Taylor when you next see them.

From the proud flag bearers of the American Legion leading the parade, to the 83rd entry of that great band rocking all the way, Los Mitostitos, the parade celebrated the freedom of our country and exhibited the diversity of our community. Thank you all for helping us celebrate this year’s theme, “Celebrating Community.” See you next year.

Parade results

Non Profit

First: Community United Methodist Church.

Second: American Legion.

Third: Upper San Juan Search and Rescue.

Commercial

First: Tri State Care Flight.

Second: Parelli Natural Horsemanship.

Third: Painted Pony.

Youth

First: PSHS band.

Second: PSHS cheerleaders.

Third: Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts of Pagosa.

Family/Individuals

First: Stacey Fitzwater.

Second: Moe Mollendor.

Third: Lori Parrott.

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