Independence Day Activities

Held Annually since around 1977. The dates and times are the same every year.

Bike Decorating
July 3rd
Steele Gazebo, Between Weber St. and Nevada at Del Norte,  3 – 5 pm
Patriotic decorations will be provided for bikes and strollers as well as cookies and lemonade

Bike Decorating

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kids Parade

July 4th
Boddington Park (Washington and Wood Ave.)
9:00 am
We encourage everyone to bring a snack to share after the parade.

parade photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History of the July 4th Parade 

By Pat Doyle

In circa 1977, Donna Gutherie, Liz Bevington, and Vicky Kipp, young mothers of children at Steele Elementary School and friends to many Steele parents and other North End neighbors, joined hands to organize ONEN’s first Fourth of July Parade.  It was the brainchild of Donna Gutherie, who had read about such an event elsewhere.  To Vicky Kipp, it would be reminiscent of July 4th celebrations enjoyed at her aunt’s and uncle’s home outside Columbus, Ohio.

Before social media, communication to the entire neighborhood was difficult.  Invitations had to be typed and printed.  Red card stock was used that first year.  Each card was decorated with a U. S. flag sticker.   Pertinent information on the cards indicated the date, time, and place of the parade, and included a request that families bring cookies to share.  Children were encouraged to decorate and ride their wagons, bikes, or scooters in the parade.

The completed invitations were laboriously hand-delivered to every home in the Old North End!  At the time, Dan Kipp, CFO of the holding company for McDonald’s local stores, arranged for McDonald’s to donate orange drink and balloons.  Tables were set up at the top of the Boddington Field (Park) hill.  Neighbors gathered.

The parade route began at the corner of Boddington Field (Park) and Wood Avenue, continued south along Wood Ave., west on Del Norte St., north on Alamo Ave. and back to the park.  An intergenerational crowd, some colorfully dressed, lined the streets along the route.  Many held flags and greeted friends.  Vicky Kipp has a special memory of General Rocky Crawford in front of his house on Wood Ave.  Attired in red, white and blue, he sat waving more than one U.S. flag.

Picture the day as sunny, the clouds as wispy.  Pikes Peak and the Rockies are an impressive background.  The parade has ended.  Parents, their neighbors and many children form a line before a length of tables laden with a variety of homemade cookies.  Colorful balloons dot open spaces between the table and a line of dark green firs beyond.  There are sounds of laughter, the hum of conversations, and the energy of playful children.  A wonderful North End tradition has begun.

In a few years, the baton was passed to Cate Boddington and her friends, who continued to laboriously Xerox and cut the invitations and pass them out door to door.  Cate remembers she carried her invitations in a little, red wagon.  Fortunately, by then, signs that advertised the event were put up in strategic locations throughout the neighborhood.  By then, too, as he does today, Tim Boddington stood before the crowd and raised his trumpet to announce the start of the parade with a  “Call to the Post.”

Gathering after the ONEN July 4th Parade in 1977

Gathering after the first ONEN July 4th Parade circa 1977

 
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