Main Avenue was filled with flags, cyclists and patriotic colors during the Fourth of July parade Wednesday evening.
Thousands of people lined the street for the Stars and Stripes Parade, despite the cancellation of Durango’s fireworks show because fire danger.
Durangoan Lucy Olson said she was pleasantly surprised with the turnout. She thought most people would stay home because of the many events that were canceled, including the fireworks.
“The turnout was great,” she said. “There was way more people than I thought, but I tell you – with our problems here, the parade was wonderful.”
Numerous floats and political candidates made their way down the street to celebrate Independence Day. Sheriff Sean Smith rode on a La Plata County Sheriff’s Office float with Smokey the Bear.
“Thank you so much for your support during the 416 Fire,” Smith yelled over a megaphone.
The crowd rose for a standing ovation when three fire trucks from the Durango Fire Protection District drove by. One truck even sprayed spectators with one of its hoses.
“There were a lot of signs for firefighters,” George Hepner of Durango said. “I don’t know if there were any firefighters here to see those signs, but there’s a lot of signs.”
Hepner made a full day of the city’s activities. He attended the All-American Gourmet Breakfast at Rotary Park on Wednesday morning before attending the parade. Although he was disappointed about the absence of fireworks, Hepner planned to grill for his family and have a couple beers in the evening to celebrate the holiday.
“I’m glad to see a lot of people down here,” Hepner said. “The downtown could use it.”
Several horses and a few donkeys were part of the floats that paraded down the street.
“We used to have different things in the parade, but I love the horses and love the animals,” Olson said. “I loved it, every bit of it.”
Allison Wright was visiting a friend in Durango with her family for Independence Day. She had been monitoring the fire situation before making the 17-hour drive from Houston.
“I’ve always heard awesome things about Durango, but this is a great turnout,” Wright said.