Ped­als, paws kick off In­de­pen­dence Day

Pa­rade re­mains fun fam­ily pas­time for North­glenn

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Libby Rainey

North­glenn’s youngest (and cutest) res­i­dents were out in full force Tues­day morn­ing for the city’s “Ped­als and Paws Pa­triot Pa­rade,” a town tra­di­tion that brings kids and pup­pies to­gether to strut their stuff on In­de­pen­dence Day.

Fam­i­lies and friends sprawled across E.B. Rains Jr. Memo­rial Park for the fes­tiv­i­ties, dot­ting the edges of Web­ster Lake with tents and fold­ing chairs. Oth­ers took pad­dle boats out on the lake, while still more took refuge from the day’s heat un­der trees and um­brel­las.

The day’s heat was pal­pa­ble as the pa­rade kicked off around 10 a.m. Par­ents stood at at­ten­tion with cam­eras in hand as chil­dren lined up their tri­cy­cles, bi­cy­cles and scoot­ers. One young bi­cy­clist flaunted an Amer­i­can flag tem­po­rary tat­too on his bi­ceps. An­other brave soul dressed in a full red and blue Spi­der-man suit, de­spite the heat.

As the first group of pa­rade par­tic­i­pants, aged 2 to 6, gath­ered to be­gin their walk, city em­ployee Kate Fisher re­minded them, “Re­mem­ber, it’s a pa­rade, not a race!”

Mo­ments later, the kids were off. Scoot­ers raced ahead of the pack while some par­ents leisurely pushed strollers adorned with bal­loons around the lake. Hadley Lyons, 4, took up the rear in a pink toy car blast­ing Katy Perry. It was her birth­day and she was in no rush to fin­ish the pa­rade.

“I tried to con­vince her to ride a tri­cy­cle,” said her mom Lisa while try­ing to keep her daugh­ter from driv­ing off the path. “But she wanted the car.”

Next came the older kids, aged 7 to 12, who rode a longer course around the en­tirety of Web­ster Lake. So­phie Cleve­land, 10, spent two days dec­o­rat­ing her bike for the oc­ca­sion. She used plas­tic pipes and red, white and blue stream­ers to cre­ate a canopy over her bike — a handy way to pro­tect her­self from the sun. Her friend Con­nor Davlin, 7, rode be­side her in a bi­cy­cle fash­ioned to look like what he called a “Free­dom Uni­corn”. A rolled-up Amer­i­can flag formed the uni­corn’s horn.

Prizes were awarded to some of the most out­ra­geous and adorable pa­rade par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing 3 year-old Drexa Bez­jak, who wore red and blue but-

ter­fly wings. Brodie Sproveri, 6, a North­glenn na­tive, won the “Fire­cracker Award” for most pa­tri­otic cos­tume. He grinned for pho­tos fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, show­ing off his spray-painted red and blue hair and face paint. His suc­cess was a team ef­fort; his mom and grandma helped him dec­o­rate his bike.

City coun­cil mem­ber Jor­dan Sauers, po­lice chief Jim May and mayor pro-tem Carol Dodge served as judges. Dodge has been serv­ing in that role for four years.

“I keep com­ing back,” she said. “See­ing the smiles on ev­ery­one’s faces makes it worth­while.”

Some 75 kids par­tic­i­pated in the event, many of them in bikes and out­fits they had spent hours de­sign­ing and pre­par­ing.

“We have fam­i­lies that each year have to do big­ger and bet­ter,” said Fisher, who has been work­ing the Fourth of July pa­rade for nearly 20 years.

Bikes weren’t the only ones get­ting a makeover for In­de­pen­dence Day. The dogs of North­glenn were next to line up for the fes­tiv­i­ties, adorned with scarves, hats and leis.

Most dec­o­rated for the oc­ca­sion was J.R., a gray poo­dle owned by North­glenn lo­cal Theresa Hood. Hood dressed her dog in Amer­i­can Flag shorts with a hole cut for his puffy tail to poke through. She also shaved his fur to read “U.S.A.” on both sides of his body and spray painted his curly head bright red.

Hood and other dog own­ers were the last group to pa­rade around the lake. Joey Velotta and his daugh­ter, Brook­lyn, walked their dog Chase, a chi­huahuashih tzu mix dressed in a sparkly red hat. Some own­ers took a more min­i­mal­ist ap­proach to the In­de­pen­dence Day theme. An Aus­tralian shep­herd-bea­gle mix wore a sim­ple red hand­ker­chief around his col­lar. A bas­set hound rocked his blue leash and noth­ing else.

Al­though the cute­ness com­pe­ti­tion wrapped up around lunchtime, the city’s Fourth of July fes­tiv­i­ties were an all-day af­fair. Af­ter­noon events in­cluded con­certs and a car show, and plenty of neigh­bor­hood fun that lasted un­til the evening fire­works show.

John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

Tris­tan Lyons, 9, gets ready for the bike pa­rade as North­glenn hosted its an­nual North­glenn July Fourth Fes­ti­val on Tues­day.

John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

Tammy Sproveri puts the fin­ish­ing touch on son Brey­don Sproveri, 3.

John Leyba, The Den­ver Post

Phil Rowe, with Boy Scout Troop 89, flips a pan­cake at North­glenn’s an­nual July Fourth Fes­ti­val on Tues­day at E.B. Rains Jr. Memo­rial Park.

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