Monday, July 6, 2009

Desert Destination: Ely's Fourth of July Parade

On Saturday we went to Ely, Nevada to view their Fourth of July parade. It's been years since I've seen a parade, and I don't think Desert Boy had ever seen one, so we decided it was time. Ely has a very wide main street--four lanes plus parking on each side.

The park between the middle school and library/courthouse was full of spectators. We decided to sit on the "sunny" side of the street because there were fewer people, and fortunately there were lots of clouds for most of the parade.

The parade started off with a couple trucks from the White Pine County Sheriff's office.

Soon came the marching band. They weren't big in number, but they played well.

Ely Fire Department showed off their new, shiny Ladder 1 truck.

They also had their brush truck. In these small communities, brush fires are more common than structure fires.

Most people driving vehicles waved at the parade spectators, but this truck driver caught my attention because she was so busy talking on her cell phone.

Desert Boy (and Dad) liked scampering for the candy some participants threw. Desert Boy also really liked watching the horses.

Some of the spectators.

A truck advertised the White Pine Horse Races, a popular event in August held at the fairgrounds.

The Pony Express Reriders had a good contingent of horses and riders. They help reride the Pony Express trail every June.

One of the BLM wildland engines was in the parade. The BLM has a large district office in Ely with a strong fire program.

Not all the firefighters got to ride in the trucks--several hiked the parade with their fire packs.

The Ely Historical Car Club had a beautiful set of entries. Some of the vehicles looked brand new because they had been restored so well.

Desert Boy really liked the tractor. It was pulling some of the 4-H participants.

The ambulance from the nearby community of Ruth was in the parade.

The Forest Service also had a fire truck in the parade, with their famous spokesperson waving--Smoky the Bear.

No parade is complete without a few motorcycles.

There were a few patriotic entries, like this big bell.

Some dancers did a routine as they moved down the street. They were very well choreographed. Due to a new regulation that the parade could only last an hour, groups that used to stop and do routines couldn't do that this year.

The VFW had a colorfully-decorated truck.

Both Desert Boy and his dad really liked this John Deere 60. It was in tip-top shape.

We really enjoyed the parade. There were many more entries, but I didn't get good photos of all of them. 

Another reason I wanted to see the parade is that I'm organizing one for the Snake Valley Festival on July 25. I had talked a bit with the Ely parade organizers, and they gave me helpful tips. I never realized how much work goes on behind the scenes to make a parade happen. Not only do people and floats need to be recruited, but a permit from the state department of transportation must be obtained. In Nevada, that requires a million dollar insurance policy (the Great Basin Service Club who sponsors the Ely parade pays $1,000 for this), signatures from the sheriff's office and state patrol, and city approval of the parade and detour routes. 

Thanks to all those who make parades happen all over the world, plus those who participate in  and watch them. Parades are a great way to show off a community's pride and interests. I'm looking forward to the next one! (Oh, yeah, that's the one I'm organizing.)


The Incredible Woody said...

What a wonderful parade!! Good luck with the organizing!

Vol Fan's cousin is in Ely for the summer - doing an internship with the forestry service.

Caroline said...

Love small town parades. It's what America is all about!!

Anonymous said...

Were some of those marching fire fighters working on passing red card?

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