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Georgetown’s July 4 parade an old-fashioned celebration

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‘It means America’

By Corinne Westeman

Sixty-eight years ago, Bob Hurrell spent the Fourth of July serving in the Korean War.

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Last week, he spent part of his holiday playing with the Jeffco Brass Ensemble in Georgetown’s annual Fourth of July parade, just as he has every year for the past 20 years.

“It’s the greatest thing in the world,” Hurrell, an Army and Air Force veteran, said of the holiday. “You don’t know what this day means until you’ve spent it out of the country.”

Hurrell, who lives in Arvada, said the parade is one of the best in the state, and he and his bandmates look forward to it every year. His colleagues even plan their vacations around the event.

“The people in it are so cool to talk to,” he said. “It’s good to be with hometown people.”

The parade truly has become an annual event for Hurrell and his family, as his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren came out for Thursday’s celebrations.

His daughter, Bobbie Garrison of Arvada, has been coming to the parade for about 20 years along with her family members. And, last year, she asked whether her Corvette group would be interested in participating as well.

So, on Thursday, 35 members from the Looking Glass Corvette Association drove down Rose Street, doubling last year’s participation. She said her group had so much fun in 2018 that more members wanted to participate this time.

For Garrison, it’s a unique experience to be in the parade, see everyone waving, and all the children smiling and getting excited about the floats. Plus, she enjoys coming every year, because it’s a good, old-fashioned community event where people are friendly and outgoing, she said.

“It’s a time to celebrate our freedom and those who gave their lives so we can celebrate openly like this,” she continued.

An appealing community

Sitting on the sidewalk next to City Park, Empire’s Michelle and Kenny Jackson and their three kids were enjoying their fourth year at the parade. The kids were excited to see the fire trucks and even more excited to collect candy.

Michelle and Kenny said they decided to spend part of their holiday at the parade to support a local event and see their friends and neighbors.

“We wanted to celebrate independence in our local town and show that we’re patriotic Americans,” Kenny said.

From her front porch, Georgetown’s Beth Sagstetter and her friends watched the line of cars, dogs, musicians, book enthusiasts, fire trucks and others stream down Rose Street.

Sagstetter had never been to the parade or anything similar until she moved to Georgetown from Denver eight years ago. It was a wonderful introduction to the community, according to Sagstetter, who said it was a perfect example of small-town Americana.

“It makes you feel all warm and fuzzy,” she said. “… It creates a buzz in the air. Everyone’s in a good mood.”

Since moving to Georgetown, Sagstetter has watched the parade from her porch every year. She especially enjoys seeing the old cars and Jeeps, as well as the dogs from Charlie’s Place. But, even more so, she enjoys seeing how much fun the children have watching the parade.

“It means America — the way I picture it used to be,” she said.