Vail America Days announces winners from the 2017 Fourth of July parade |

Vail America Days announces winners from the 2017 Fourth of July parade

VAIL — The parade category winners of the Vail America Days parade have been announced. Here are the winners:

Most Distinctive, The Gerald Gallegos Award

Alpine Arts Center.

This year’s Alpine Arts Center parade float was designed during kids art camps. They made everything from scratch including float decorations and costumes, in honor of this year’s theme, “America the Beautiful.”

Most Original​

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Green Elephant Fruited Planes.

Local retailer Green Elephant Juicery celebrated the American farmer with local, fresh & organic products.

​Best in Show​

In Flanders Field

Joe Shankland, a U.S. veteran, recreated this float which was originally inspired by father, who was born July 4, 1940. It’s in remembrance of all those who have given their lives so we can express our freedom, and no matter what you believe in or what color you are, your opinion is just as valuable as the next person’s. There’s not a single race in America that hasn’t served our country so when you look at the person next to you remember that they too, may have lost somebody so you can believe whatever you want to believe.

​Best Youth

Mountaineers for America.

The Vail Mountaineers Hockey Club is a non-profit youth hockey organization dedicated to providing hockey opportunities for boys and girls, both recreational and competitive, through the principles of fair play, respect and sportsmanship with an emphasis on fun, the development of character and the individual potential of hockey players in a safe and healthy environment. The club works closely with both the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District and the Vail Recreation District. Those organizations manage the ice rink facilities in Eagle and Vail.

Best Float​

Canine Companions for Independence.

Canine Companions for Independence is an organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly trained assistance dogs. This year’s float represented the great Vail Valley junior and adult chapters, and of course, the great dogs that make miracles happen.

​Best Motorized​

DanJul Family Foundation.

The award-winning, Aqua Blue 1962 Morris Cooper was sponsored by the DanJul Family Foundation. The Foundation brings hope to abused and neglected children by providing educational scholarships, dental assistance and works closely with other groups providing for the needs of these children.

Best Marching/Musical

Gora Gora Orchestra,

Gora Gora Orkestra brought the sounds of the world to the Rockies. Formed in the fall of 2009, this 10-piece brass band is dedicated to making audiences dance with its infectious rhythm and own brand of feel-good music. The sound blends old world melodies of Eastern European Balkan Folk and New Orleans second line, with the backbeat of American funk and the sultry sway of the South American tango.

The Gallegos Corporation has supported the Vail America Days parade and provided the awards for the floats for the past 22 years. ​This year, parade awards were designed and created by Gallegos employees Mike Hawley, Dennis Hawley and Kris Kortuem and were ​custom crafted in the Gallegos Marble Shop from Colorado buff sandstone and a bronze base.

Vail America Days is presented by Town of Vail, Supergoop!, HealthONE and Gallegos Corporation and is sponsored in part by KZYR The Zephyr.

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