DEL NORTE— Grand Avenue in Del Norte was lined with hundreds of people on Saturday in celebration of the annual Covered Wagon Days parade and events. The beautiful Colorado blue sky welcomed gusts to the area and festivities kicked off at 10 a.m. with a fly over from three local pilots. This marked the beginning of the parade as the Color Guard marched down the street with nearly 50 floats following.
Children rushed out into the street to grab candy, beads and small toys as floats made their way east, downtown. An enormous American flag rustled in the breeze while guests enjoyed a car show, craft and food vendors that were set up along Columbia Avenue. A grandstand was set up on the south end of the street where the announcers named businesses, organizations and parade participants as they passed by.
The week began with a potluck dinner on Thursday night at the River Valley Inn Nursing Home. According to nurse Chelsea Velasquez the night was a huge success. “We had a great turnout from family, friends and community members. It was a wonderful night and we had so much food,” said Velasquez.
On Friday, the annual pig roast community dinner was also a great success with several members of the community coming together to raise funds for the Homelake Veterans Center. Guests gathered at a tent set up just east of town for live entertainment and a delicious meal prepared by local chefs.
Saturday morning, before the parade, early risers could be seen sifting through hundreds of books at the annual Del Norte Public Library book sale. According to Library Board President Glynnis Williams, the library raised over $1,200 to help purchase a new bike rack for the building. “We had a great turnout and are so thankful for the support of the community,” said Williams.
Later in the day, following the parade the Del Norte Fire Department opened their doors and welcomed hundreds of hungry guests to their annual barbeque lunch and fundraiser. The department only hosts one fundraising event each year and funds collected are used to purchase new equipment, pay for further training exercises and operating costs.
The Rio Grande County Museum also welcomed guests with a quilt show display set up specifically for Covered Wagon Days. The San Luis Valley Quit Guild set up shop at the museum and offered a wide variety of colorful, homemade quilts for sale while guests could enjoy some ice cream and the rest of the museum.
The weekend was a huge success and marked the beginning of August with flair. A huge thanks goes out to the Town of Del Norte, Del Norte Police Department all of the volunteers and parade participants for helping to make this year one of the best for Covered Wagon Days!