Colorado Days a fun fund-raiser
HAYDEN — Jared Shorma was wide-eyed with wonder as cars, horses and clowns on bikes rode by him on U.S. Highway 40.
“I’ve never seen a parade like this,” the 4-year-old from Boulder said. “I just came for vacation. This is way better than Boulder.”
The parade was Saturday’s highlight of the weekend-long Colorado Days held in Hayden.
The events kicked off Friday evening with a bratwurst picnic and street dance. A pancake breakfast and the parade were followed by a barbecue in the park, and the festivities wrapped up Sunday morning with a Dutch-oven breakfast.
Shriners dominated the parade with their well-known Leapin’ Lena car and other sports, vintage and miniature cars.
The Hayden Chamber of Commerce, Hayden Lions Club and local Shriners organized the events, which are designed to raise money for the organizations.
“We do it for the children’s hospitals,” Bobby Robinson Jr. said.
He is a Shriner, and his father, Bobby Robinson Sr., was too. The elder started Colorado Days 23 years ago to celebrate the territory becoming a state.
The Shriners cook donated meat and sell lunches to raise money for a children’s hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. That’s the one of 22 hospitals nationwide the Colorado clubs sponsor.
“That’s what all this is about,” Robinson said, “promoting the hospitals.”
Shriners hospitals provide medical treatment for youths at no charge to their families. They also foot the bill for travel and hotel accommodations for the patient and a parent.
“Just to help the kids,” Robinson said.
In addition to members of the Northwest Colorado Shriners, nearly 60 Denver club members made the trip for the festival.
Mac Blanton was one of them. He has been coming to Colorado Days for six years.
“We want people to know what the Shrine is and what we do,” he said.
Robinson thinks events like this certainly help. He appreciates the Denver Shriners making the trip, and understands their motivation.
“I think that’s why we’re all here,” Robinson said, “for the kids.”
Michelle Perry may be reached at 824-7031 or email@example.com
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