Pedals, paws kick off Independence Day
Parade remains fun family pastime for Northglenn
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.
Tristan Lyons, 9, gets ready for the bike parade as Northglenn hosted its annual Northglenn July Fourth Festival on Tuesday.
Tammy Sproveri puts the finishing touch on son Breydon Sproveri, 3.
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.