Strawberry Days parade is memorable for locals and visitors alike
Glenwood Springs’ 119th annual Strawberry Days on Saturday featured its signature parade, attracting locals, people from across Colorado and vacationers stopping in or passing through.
Hundreds lined Grand Avenue as the “Back to the Future” themed floats cruised down the streets, children waved and held out their hands for candy — and many poured into Sayre Park afterward for strawberries and ice cream.
Here’s a sampling of impressions of small-town America at its best.
Shannon Jenkins sat in the shade with two friends as the parade passed by. Jenkins was born and raised in Glenwood and has been attending Strawberry Days since 1951.
“My mom used to make dresses for us for Strawberry Days when we were little,” Jenkins said.
Shannon herself has never been in the parade, but she remembers watching her father when she was a kid.
“My dad used to drive the Boy Scout float,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins now lives in Grand Junction, but she returns to Strawberry Days to enjoy the parade and the booths at Sayre Park.
Houston, Vanessa, Jacob and Kayle Burk are Glenwood residents. Both Houston and Vanessa were born and raised in Glenwood and have been coming to Strawberry Days for at least 32 years.
“We come for the family fun and strawberries,” Houston said. “It’s also a great place to people watch.”
When asked the same why he likes the parade and Strawberry Days, Houston and Vanessa’s son Jacob had a much simpler answer.
“Candy!” Jacob said as he sat on the curb, anxiously awaiting the first floats to make it their way.
Ed and Tracy Beck have been to Glenwood before, but never for Strawberry Days. The Denver couple were vacationing in Glenwood when they saw their trip coincided with Strawberry Days.
“We were going to be in Glenwood and saw the parade on the city calendar,” Ed said.
The Becks were lucky enough to find an open bench to sit on in downtown Glenwood so they could enjoy their impromptu parade pit stop.
The Coryelo family sat in the sun along Grand downtown. They have had family in the Glenwood area for generations. Although the family now lives in Silt, they still make it to Strawberry Days and the parade when they can. Lee and Dusty have been coming together since 1997 and now bring their daughter Tristan, too.
Dusty’s favorite part of the parade is the horses.
“There aren’t as many of them now as their used to be,” Dusty said. “They used to come from the Forest Service and some ranches. They are dwindling down now.”
Betty Goode watched from a shaded lawn chair in front of Centennial Park. Goode is a new resident to Glenwood, although she is very familiar with the area.
“I moved here in May of 2015 and made it in time for Strawberry Days,” Goode said. “I love Glenwood. People are very friendly here.”
Goode moved from Arvada, but has been coming to Strawberry Days when she has been able to since 1987. Her daughter lives in Glenwood, too, and now she has another reason to enjoy the parade.
“My granddaughter and great-grandson are in the parade this year on the Glenwood Medical float,” Goode said. “I love parades. They bring out the child still in me.”
Chris, Lanie and Sakura Fabijanic patiently waited for the arrival of their missing family member.
“Our daughter Lotus is on the Strawberry Princess float,” Lanie said.
This is the second year the Glenwood residents have attended Strawberry Days festivities. It’s the memories that brought them back this year.
“We love watching the children’s joy,” Lanie said.
Toni and Pete Davis awaited the beginning of the parade at the very start on Seventh Street. The couple hails from Sheridan, Wyoming, and was visiting Glenwood for the first time.
For the Davises, the parade was a nice break from the true purpose of their visit to the Roaring Fork Valley.
“We are staying in Carbondale for a memorial service,” Toni said. “But we heard about the parade and decided to check it out.”
Chuck Kimball was set up on the street, close to the action in his folding chair.
Kimball is from Glenwood and has been coming to Strawberry Days festivities on and off for 20 years. Kimball likes the parade but truly enjoys the more subtle scenes that Strawberry Days has to offer.
“I like to spend time at Sayre Park on Friday night when it is more quiet,” Kimball said. “I also enjoy watching all of the festivities Friday night.”
Don Vilarski sat atop a construction barrier reading the paper before the parade stops.
The Clifton resident has been coming to the parade for five years. He enjoys all aspects of Strawberry Days.
“I really like seeing the centennial band,” Vilarski said. “I enjoy the parade itself and the events and Sayre Park.”
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The Forest Service plans to replace the Carbondale Aspen-Sopris ranger district station with a newer, larger facility.