Annual parade part of the Glenwood Springs tradition
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Tammie Glammeyer grew up around here, so coming to the Strawberry Days Parade Saturday was no stranger thing than getting up in the morning.
“I was born and raised in Garfield County,” Glammeyer said. “So Strawberry Days is a ritual.”
The parade kicked off Saturday morning with a dated version of a Colorado State Patrol car blasting the song “I Fought the Law” with the driver waving. People lined the curbs of Grand Avenue. About 50,000 people were expected to attend the festival.
Cathlene Glammeyer, Tammie’s mother-in-law, is no stranger to Strawberry Days, either. She said her family dates back in the area to 1886.
“My great-grandfather was the first naturalized citizen in Garfield County,” Cathlene Glammeyer said. “We’ve come every year since we moved back to Glenwood.”
Glammeyer spent some time growing up in Denver. But the festivals there just didn’t have the same feel.
“It’s just the small-town friendliness ” and these festivals are just fun,” she said.
A procession of classic cars rolled down Grand Avenue at the head of the parade.
Drivers waved and showed off by blasting horns and revving engines. A nearly endless stream of anything from skateboards to floats, a marching band and miniature cars followed, most bearing some sign of the parade’s Alice in Wonderland theme. Musical acts, a magic show, carnival rides and other diversions went on throughout the day.
The parade is just one of the rituals that make Strawberry Days come alive with its small-town feel. It’s all of them together that make the festival what it is.
Kids scramble for candy thrown from the parade. A man brought a cooler full of water to the sidewalk and passed out water bottles in case anyone was feeling the heat on the cloudless, blue-sky day. One smiling woman and kids nearby ran up to cars and floats in the parade to share more water.
As the parade was gearing up, a young woman and her teenage brother from Glenwood held a tiny puppy they hoped to adopt.
“We came to the events to see the parade today, and we found these cute little puppies, and we’re just in love with them,” Collin Porterfield said.
His older sister, Elyse, said, “I live in Greeley, but I came back here because we come to this every year ” so we’re here visiting, and hopefully bringing home a puppy.”
At the end of the parade masses of people stood up from their seats along Grand Avenue. They headed to the sea of tents at Sayre Park, many on their way toward another tradition: Past an air castle and a giant slide with an inflatable King-Kong size Gorilla were the sacred strawberries and ice cream.
“I thought (the parade) was great,” said Peg Fuller. “And the best thing was the music.”
Fuller remembers when in the early 1960s women would prepare and hand-dip the strawberries. The festival these days also seems to her about three times as large, and it has to be at two locations both in Sayre Park and in a parking lot near Wal-Mart farther south. But she says the changes don’t diminish her enjoyment.
“I just always look forward to it because I love to see all the different crafts and what they’ve come up with,” Fuller said.
Fuller’s family member Virginia Loomis came to Strawberry Days for her first time from upstate New York. She’s lived in a small town and seen her share of small-town festivals, but she declared simply, “This is far better.”
Contact Pete Fowler: 384-9121
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