When the Quail Fire bathed Park City in smoke and ash on July 3rd and fireworks shows in Summit County were cancelled, I wondered if it would put a damper on the Park City Fourth of July Parade. With news that the residents in Alpine were safe as firefighters contained the fire, and the smokey skies quickly cleared, it turns out that was not a problem!
We decided to take public transportation to the parade but as we waited at the bus stop, a rust colored Jeep carrying two ladies pulled up. Our neighbor and her friend offered us a ride and it didn’t take us long to jump in the backseat. Now I can cross “riding in an open Jeep with the wind in my hair” off my bucket list!
Our ride dropped us off near the Miners Hospital in City Park (close to the BBQ) and the parade end. The parade route was packed even though we got there an hour and a half early. The shady spot we found on the grass was about four rows deep. Walking up the street, I was excited to see parties on every porch and every spot on the curb taken by eager onlookers waiting for the parade to start. No worries about lack of participation this year.
Who gets an F-16 fly over from Hill Air Force Base at their hometown parade? We did and the crowd went crazy. The fly over signaled the start and before long we were enjoying marching bands, parade waves from classy cars, a parrot riding on the handle bars of an 1890’s bicycle, karate kids executing spin kicks, horse drawn wagons, mariachis, and float after float. We overheard people excitedly announcing the upcoming floats, “Hey there’s …. Deer Valley…. Skull Candy…. US Ski Team…. Park City Luge Team…Montage… Park Silly Market, etc”
After the parade, we headed to the BBQ at City Park, shared a table and ate pulled pork sandwiches and cole slaw while listening to the band. Someone from Frontier Bank inflated a beach ball and got the crowd going as the ball bounced from the dancers back and forth to the picnickers providing additional entertainment for everyone. I only observed one casualty – a lone beer spilled in the process.
Maybe it was the shared experience of the fire threat the day before that set the tone but I noticed something different – everyone seemed friendlier. It could be that it was always that way but I was just paying more attention this year because I live here now. I don’t know. I have to believe there something magical was in the air.
Think about this. Just when Park City needed it the most, it rained. Did it rain on July 4th? No. After record setting consecutive days of no measurable precipitation, it rained on July 5th. It was just enough rain to perk up the grasses to give them their lush green color (hence the name Park City) and just enough rain to ensure the Quail Fire was thoroughly doused and no longer posing a threat to our precious town and our neighbors on the other side of the mountain.
But did it rain on our parade? No. Of course not.
Magical, isn’t it?