4th of July parade to celebrate Craig community | CraigDailyPress.com

4th of July parade to celebrate Craig community

Local veterans stand proud on a float during Craig's Fourth of July parade. This year's event begins at 11 a.m. Friday along Victory Way, followed by a community picnic.

The time is nigh to show your patriotism.

Craig's fourth annual Fourth of July parade will take place Friday, officially beginning at 11 a.m., with plenty of floats, trucks, musicians, horseback riders and more to add their flair to the all-American march along Victory Way.

Parade organizer Johnny Garcia said those interested in actively participating in the parade should join in the preparation starting at 10 a.m. as those lining up ready themselves along Washington Street, winding through Craig City Park, starting next to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265.

He emphasized that there is no cost to join in as long as people are there on time.

"I've lost count," he said about the number of participants already committed. "It's going to be quite a handful; it's gotten bigger every year."

Working on organization weeks in advance, the parade can be "a pain in the you-know-where" at times, Garcia said, adding that the end result is well worth the effort.

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"It's worth it when you see the people lined up for it and the people who anticipate being in it," he said.

The parade is expected to last about 45 minutes to one hour, with the fun continuing with a free community picnic at City Park, put together by the VFW, the Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Post 62.

Organizer Mary Walters said the event will be great for all ages, with food from Brothers Custom Processing, Mountain Meat Packing and City Market and multiple activities for children.

People are encouraged to contribute a dessert to the meal.

Donations also will be accepted during the day for the Community Food Bank, Garcia said, adding that the VFW and associated groups take none of the proceeds.

Last year's recipient of this effort was the American Cancer Society.

"It's a big thing that you're giving it to us and we're giving it back out, but the actual donation is coming from everybody in the community," Garcia said. "They're the ones who deserve a big hurrah."

With veterans groups putting together most of the day's activities, it can be easy to forget that making Independence Day memorable is the responsibility of every American whether they've served in the military or not, he added. With a little assistance in planning and basic maintenance such as keeping the streets clean before and after the event, he sees no reason why the parade can't be an example of Craig's civic pride.

Garcia likened the need for as much community involvement as possible to the volunteers of the American Revolution, who were quick to step up when duty called.

"What we did way back in 1776, people need to remember we are still the minutemen of the United States," he said. "It is this land that they are defending, it is their rights and their freedoms. Not just ex-military people, but people who will do it right now when they're needed. We are needed 24/7."

He also pointed to those currently serving in the armed forces as examples of why things like parades are even possible across the nation.

"People think it's a three-day weekend, but why do you have that three-day weekend?" Garcia asked. "My freedom was not free. Someone died to give it to me."

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

If you go

What: Fourth of July parade

When: 11 a.m. Friday

Where: Victory Way

Details: Setup for the parade begins at 10 a.m. along Washington Street next to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3265. All are welcome to be join the parade, with no registration fees. A community picnic will follow at about noon, with free activities and food for all ages. People are encouraged to contribute a dessert to the meal. For more information, call 970-629-3345.

If you go

What: Fourth of July fireworks display

When: 8:45 p.m. Friday

Where: Moffat County High School, 900 Finley Lane