Grand Valley parades its spirit
Post Independent Staff
For about 45 minutes, the sky opened a small pocket of sunshine giving children, parents, old-timers and newcomers a clear route in the Grand Valley Days Parade.
By the time JD the DJ began blaring the “The Star Spangled Banner,” everyone had lined the curbs of Second Street in Parachute.
With their hands on their hearts and hats at their sides, locals paid tribute to the U.S. and began their “Salute to Volunteers,” the theme of this year’s parade, which just happens to match the spirit of the community.
“It really brings the community together,” Carol Morton, of Battlement Mesa, said of the parade.
Every year, the women of the Grand Valley United Methodist Church have a bake sale along the parade route, but this year they realized that in order to satisfy everyone’s sweet tooths, they would need a little extra help.
“We announced in church that we needed baked goods, and just look what we have,” Cindy Day said, pointing to the dozens of brownies, cookies, and pastries volunteers baked. Somewhat surprised at the overwhelming response from her neighbors, Day said, “We just think that’s wonderful.”
Now living in Rifle, Dustie Haskins said she knew she had to come back for Grand Valley Days. There, she and her sister Tammy could watch the parade, remembering how it felt to grow up in Parachute.
“It’s still a small community,” Tammy Haskins said. “It’s all about stickin’ together and bein’ with the people and helpin’ everybody out,” she said.
“Volunteers are extremely important,” Haskins said. “They should get more recognition than they do.”
For that reason, parade organizer Sarah Orona and the Grand Valley Days Committee voted to dedicate the parade’s theme to volunteers.
Though people in town typically jump at any opportunity to aid those in need, Orona said kids ‘ needs usually generate a load of people willing to give of themselves.
In the midst of honoring town volunteers, those who came out to this year’s parade also took a moment to honor another member of their community. In a 20-second pause of silence, locals stopped to remember 9-year-old Taylor DeMarco, who died earlier this week.
“Everybody that was here had the DeMarco family in their hearts,” Orona said.
As the DJ played Lee Greenwood’s rendition of “God Bless the U.S.A,” signaling the end of the parade, Second Street reopened giving passersby a glimpse of people handing out snowcones, kids jumping in potato sack races, and locals smiling and praising the works of their neighbors ” an optimal portrait of what it’s like to live in their small town.
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