For the Weld County Freedom Riders, performing in the presidential inaugural parade is nothing new.
The six women, who range from the age of 16 to north of 60, have performed in the 2004 inauguration of President George W. Bush and the 2009 inauguration of President Barack Obama.
On Jan. 20, they will be performing again in Washington for the inauguration of President-elect Donald J. Trump.
Their performance will consist of the women “six horses abreast, walking down Pennsylvania Avenue” and carrying 6-foot by 8-foot American flags, according to Tami Inskeep, the marketing director, and a group rider.
But for these women, it’s not about who was elected.
“I really think it’s important right now that America comes together and focuses on what’s important. This is a way for us to come out and do that,” said Inskeep.
The group is committed to supporting rodeos, families and the military, and they perform at grand openings, parades, banquets and other special events.
The group practices about once a week before a performance, but it’s not entirely performance-oriented. “There’s a social aspect to it, all of us women love spending time together,” said Inskeep. Some of the members, like Lee and Taleah Barrett, who are mother and daughter, even do it as a family.
The group is a welcomed part of their community in Colorado. To get to Washington they have to fundraise, and the community helps them. “The community has been absolutely fantastic in coming together with sponsorships. All the local franchise owners came together and donated money to helped us,” said Inskeep.
The group is looking forward to performing again in this year’s parade because of their wonderful experiences in the past.
Shira Stein is an intern for The Durango Herald in Washington, D.C., and a student at American University. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @stein_shira.