We spent 3 nights in Pagosa Springs, CO over the 4th of July with our daughter and family this year. Pagosa is a mountain town at the southern edge of central Colorado that sits at over 7,000 ft elevation. We lived in Pagosa from 2000 to 2008. Our daughter has lived there for 17 years now. I love celebrating the 4th in mountain towns. Over the years we’ve visited, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Pagosa and I’ll even add Dahlonega, GA for their 4th of July parades and festivities. The parades in mountain towns are the best anywhere – always totally patriotic – completely unpretentious – and the turnout and enthusiasm of locals and tourists just astounds. Pagosa Springs fills up with tourists during the summer – town this year was packed as full as I’ve ever seen it. We drove into downtown at 7:15 AM this 4th to get a sit-down breakfast at our favorite, The Rose, cafe. People had already lined the 8 block parade route with their camp chairs, 4 deep in places, for the entire length of the scheduled 10:00 AM parade. We stood in line to get seated for breakfast for nearly 30 minutes – the green chile smothered, bacon, breakfast burrito was way worth it, though.
There is some time-lapse on the fireworks photo. Fireworks were held at dark in downtown the night of the 4th. The town puts on a really good fireworks show.
A color guard of retired armed forces local residents leads the parade.
On the 4th small town politics is not too vicious – I watched as Republicans applauded the Democratic float with smiles on their faces and vice-versa.
A local ultra-light, powered glider flew around before the parade started, and as the parade began a squadron formation of 5 single engine vintage war planes buzzed the parade route.
It seems like we’re bombarded continuously with politicians from both parties telling us that America isn’t great any more. I’m a fairly average, lower middle- class American – my life has never been better, and as I observe friends and neighbors there is no seeming lack of prospering wherever one looks. It’s pretty much always been that way everywhere I’ve lived in America in my lifetime. America has always been great. Much of the complaining, maybe, is mostly just whining with the intent of advancing a self-serving agenda. Spending a July 4th on the streets of the mountain town of Pagosa Springs shouts that greatness of America at me. I’m thankful for and proud of this great country.