Some floats won’t fit in this Fourth
VAIL – This is JoAnne Moore’s 21st year organizing the Vail America Days parade and festivities, but her enthusiasm for the whole shebang makes it sound like she’s ready for another decade or two at the helm.”Expect the unexpected,” Moore said, while rattling off a laundry list of highlights and happenings for the upcoming long weekend. “I encourage everyone to stick around – everywhere you turn, there’ll be something going on.”President Gerald Ford will be on hand for Monday’s parade, Moore said, both to celebrate with the town and to mark his own birthday – he’ll be 92 on July 14. The Pentagon has confirmed a fly-over of F-16 fighter jets at some point. And fear not: the famous Lawn Chair Drill Team will be back as well.”They’re one of the favorites of the community, and people drive from out of state to see them,” Moore said. This year, the slate of events will feature several bands – including the 20-piece Bill Parish Orchestra – playing in Ford Park after the parade and into the evening. For the first time ever, the Vail fireworks display will be coordinated with live music from the orchestra.
Another band of interest this year is Lucid Dissent, a Colorado Springs-based rock quartet featuring four West Point graduates who also served in the Iraq war. Lucid Dissent will perform on a float in the parade and also from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Ford Park on Monday.For the parade, old favorites will be back, such as the Denver Pipe Band, plenty of cheerleaders, horses, stilt-walkers, fire engines and more. Members of the famed 10th Mountain Division will serve as this year’s parade grand marshals, and other veterans will make up the color guard.But leave those Super Soakers at home: Moore said the town will enforce the “no water battles” rule again this year, and squirters could be scolded or cited by cops.”We had an injury a couple of years ago, and some people just don’t like getting wet,” Moore said.
Parade routeWith an expected 60 or so entries in this year’s parade, it’ll be quite a sight, Moore said. But there will be some restrictions due to construction around Vail Village and the Lionshead area. Some of the longer floats of previous years, she said, simply won’t make it through some of the tight spots.Even so, she said, the parade route will be more or less intact. Line-up begins at 8:30 a.m., when parade participants need to start checking in at the registration tent to get their place assignments. At 10 a.m., the parade will begin.Because the Vail Recreation District isn’t doing its usual kids’ bike parade this year, Moore said children who want to decorate their bike and be in the parade can still do so. Parents should accompany children to the registration tent, where the kids will be put in a safe part of the parade, Moore said. Parents should also plan on walking along with their kids.
All parade participants should leave their cars in the parking garages and walk to the staging area, Moore said. There’s no room for drop-offs.”It’s going to be festive,” she said. “The weather will be perfect. We’ve had the order in for months.”Alex Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 615, or firstname.lastname@example.org.Vail, Colorado