Go Fourth and celebrate: Craig takes to the streets to honor Independence Day
Even 243 years later, the spirit of 1776 was alive and well in Northwest Colorado.
Craig’s annual Fourth of July parade hosted by local veterans provided fun and energy for Moffat County residents young and old alike as the processional of individuals, businesses and organizations bearing the red, white and blue took off Thursday along Victory Way.
Led off by vets and first responders, the parade featured all types of entries celebrating Independence Day, ranging from full-blown floats to classic cars and motorcycles to riders on horseback to folks marching on foot carrying banners, bearing candy, or just waving ecstatically.
While many in the parade and on the sidewalk were clad in shorts and t-shirts, Debbie McLain was in less contemporary clothing, with a lacy white dress and leather vest to promote this fall’s Historic Ghost Walk, set for early October.
“It’s a lot more comfortable than my colonial clothes,” she laughed.
McLain regularly dresses in period garb to promote the Augusta Wallihan chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.
Her work with the organization rang especially true to her during the parade.
“It’s always hard to see everything when you’re in it, but it looked like there were a lot of people,” she said. “It’s important to celebrate those traditions and our independence and have stuff like this in our community.”
Moffat County Commissioner Ray Beck was likewise celebrating American history in his own unique way, behind the wheel of a 1931 Ford Model A two-door Tudor alongside friend Larry Kunkle, who helped him fix up the classic car.
“When it comes to maintenance, he can tune anything,” Beck said of Kunkle.
Beck said he has a lengthy attachment to the auto, which began with his father.
“My dad was a Model A buff, he had six of them when we were growing up,” he said. “When I turned 16, he gave me his 1929 coupe to drive to school. I held on to that one for a few years before I sold it. Then my sister got this one, and she wasn’t able to keep it up, so I brought it up for here two or three years and never touched it.”
Beck said he sold the car and then saw it passed around to several owners before eventually purchasing it again five years ago from Ron Fortney, who had made upgrades to the engine.
Since then he’s made it a project, which is about 90% complete.
“Glad it’s back in the family,” Beck said.
Putting the car in the parade was a special moment for the current commissioner and former Craig mayor, though the date itself was the real focus for him, enjoying both the collection of people who hit the streets and the accompanying community picnic at Craig City Park provided by the veterans.
“The parade is such a great way to bring people out and celebrate our independence,” he said.
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When you hear an unholy shriek or a cacophony of chest-pounding hundreds of feet high, you know you’re about to see something fantastic.