By Dorothy Elder | Staff Writer
Due to the Colorado Department of Transportation McCabe Creek construction project, the regular Fourth of July parade route will alter this year.
The construction project has closed South 6th Street, which is regularly the starting point for the parade, Town Manager Andrea Phillips stated at the Pagosa Springs Town Council meeting on May 19.
At the meeting, Phillips presented town council members with two options for alternative routes.
The first option starts and ends the parade route at the empty dirt lot south of The Springs Resort and Spa. The second option would start on Hermosa Street and end in the Pagosa Springs High School parking lot.
Council member Madeline Bergon suggested that the town go with the first option because it seemed easier to implement after Phillips explained potential issues of congestion with the second option, which council member Gary Williams agreed with.
Council member Mat deGraaf suggested that it was not necessary to hold a parade at all.
“Over the years, I think that the parade and its grandeur has diminished each and every year,” deGraaf said at the meeting, “and it seems like it’s more of a platform for … people who are running for office or real estate agents, and that’s about it … I don’t feel like our parade is a very great representation of our Pagosa Springs community.”
In response, Mayor Shari Pierce said that the parade is a tradition in the community and that it is too short of notice to entertain the idea.
If the town council wants to pursue ending the parade, she explained, it would need to host community discussions.
In the end, the council unanimously chose the first option.
This option means the parade is set to head north from the parking lot on Hot Springs Boulevard to U.S. 160 and head east to 2nd Street, where it will turn south and then west on Hermosa Street. The parade will then return via Hot Springs Boulevard, back to the empty parking lot.
In total, the route is about 1.2 miles.
The management at The Springs Resort have agreed to let the town use the parking lot as long as the town provides proof of insurance and ensures that cleanup is done correctly, Phillips stated at the meeting.