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Posted: September 04, 2013

I love a parade

Celebrating small business in Wheat Ridge

David Sneed

Wheat Ridge used to be “The Carnation Capitol of the World.” Still is, as far as you know. Well, for nearly 50 years, Wheat-Ridgians have celebrated this honor with a Carnation Festival, kicked off with a parade down 38th Avenue.

And not the modern, high-tech, fancy-float-night-lights kind of parade, either.

This is the shoelace-trailing-can’t-keep-time-color-guard parade from old-timey America. The one where you watch a float go by and ask if Becky doesn’t look like maybe she gained some weight. Well Bobby’s been staying out late, you know, down at the Dew Drop.

Here are some entries from the 2013 edition which took place last week:

  • The website ambulance. A repurposed 1982 that now sells web design.
  • The apparently-used-to-going-faster-than-this mountain bike club.
  • An at-least-they-have-spirit WRHS marching band.
  • A confused seeing-eye dog trained, rightly I think, to go the other way.
  • The broiling Optimist Club in long sleeves and pants on a cloudless 90 degree morning (though rain was forecast.)
  • The roofing company dog/signboard combo.

Again, it was pretty warm, and I was a mile down the parade route. The unhappy-dog-dragging-from-the-shade-to-just-finish-for-Christ’s-sake-we’re-almost-there end of the parade route.

Have you ever taken your 12-year-old daughter hiking and she says she doesn’t need to bring water but like a trooper she toughs it out and arrives at the end arms dragging and flushed with heat exhaustion, and even though she can barely move she keeps going because she doesn’t want to admit that you were right and knows that the A/C is just ahead if she can just get there? Well, that was the entire gymnastics club.

Mini buses, macro buses and the Shriners; as well as horses, goats, and the Fire Department – 90 entries in all.

And just six miles from Downtown Denver.

So two things:

  • If you want to take your kids to a fun local parade, this is the one. Plenty of room to sit and lots of parking.  Put it on your calendar for next year.
  • This was an event sponsored by small business for locals who support small business. It’s pretty easy to be a part of a community—if you just participate in it.

Figure out what community you belong to and support them. They’ll support you back.

David Sneed is the owner of Alpine Fence Company,and the author of" Everyone Has A Boss– The Two Hour Guide to Being the Most Valuable Employee at Any Company." As a Marine, father, employee and boss, David has learned how to help others succeed. He teaches the benefits of a strong work ethic to entry and mid-level employees. Contact him at

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Readers Respond

I heard the Rebel Fit Zumba chicks ( were particularly entertaining. From my vantage point, it sure was nice to see all the spectators out spending money at local bars getting snockered on Mimosas while (half-heartedly?) supporting the sweaty and dehydrated parade participants. If we grace you with our crowd-pleasing moves and a smattering of Tootsie rolls, the least y’all could do is pass us a Gatorade! By Richard Simmons on 2013 09 05
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