Holiday parade, picnic, fireworks show Craig’s patriotism |

Holiday parade, picnic, fireworks show Craig’s patriotism

Mutlicolored fireworks light up the nighttime sky to conclude the events of Craig's Independence Day last year. This year's show is slated to go forward as scheduled.
Andy Bockelman

It was 238 years ago that the Second Continental Congress came to the agreement that the United States of America’s days of being under English rule were a thing of the past.

Although much of this came about on the second day of the seventh month of 1776, it wasn’t until two days later that this statement became official and changed the world for years to come.

Founding father John Adams advocated for the earlier date, but regardless of the exact part of the calendar, he maintained in a letter to his wife, Abigail, that the holiday known as Independence Day, “ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shews (shows), games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires and illuminations from one end of this Continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

More than two centuries later, those traditions still are in effect, and Northwest Colorado is no exception.

Craig’s Fourth of July festivities had many residents commemorating the anniversary of one of their country’s proudest moments. The Spirit of ‘76 was alive and well as people turned out along Victory Way, decked out in red, white and blue and ready for the fourth annual parade.

The excitement was high with patriotic music from the Moffat County High School marching band, American icon Uncle Sam, and multiple local organizations, churches and businesses that put together floats with people waving banners and handing out goodies, all following the lead of the groups that helped make the cavalcade a possibility in more ways than one.

Mark Wick, with Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265, said he was pleased with the turnout, which he found to be “good as always.”

Although it’s only in recent years that organizers have been able to put together the event, it’s one Wick is glad his fellows with the VFW, Ladies Auxiliary and American Legion Post 62 have brought to life.

“We wouldn’t be able to do it without each other,” he said.

Wick also mentioned during the following activity, the community picnic in Craig City Park, that the community support showed itself to be something special, with materials provided by the likes of Brothers Custom Processing, Mountain Meats Packing, City Market and Pepsi.

Besides the plentiful free food and drinks, a money pit with coins provided by Yampa Valley Bank also offered some fun for the younger residents.

Karrissa Garcia cheered on her daughter, Brooklyn, 6, as she dug around for quarters and other change in the park’s sandbox.

Although Brooklyn enjoyed the time in the park, it’s the bigger, brighter, louder part of the Fourth that she appreciates.

“I like the fireworks,” she said. “I love seeing them up in the air.”

Between spending time with family and friends, honoring veterans and enjoying the summer sunshine, Karrissa said her favorite part of this year’s Independence Day has been seeing the people of Craig join for a common goal.

It was in mid-March that it looked like the city wouldn’t be able to fund the annual fireworks display at Moffat County High School, but only two weeks after the announcement, residents and businesses rallied to make it happen, collecting more than $9,000, enough to back the show entirely.

Karrissa said this meant a lot to her family, who gather regularly for the show’s colorful explosions against the dark sky.

“I think that was a great, great effort from the community,” she said. “They came together, and now we get to celebrate!”

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or

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