Tuesday marks Casper's unofficial close-downtown-for-some-fun day, otherwise known as Parade Day.

The parade marks the formal beginning of the Central Wyoming Fair and Rodeo, and is  sponsored by the Lions Club of Casper and the Reveille Rotary.

The 68th annual Parade Day's theme is "Natrona Strong," and that strength will be shown with many of the 220 entries including government officials, vehicles from area police and fire departments, floats sponsored by businesses and nonprofits, horses, bands, classic cars, gymnasts and cheerleaders.

And the sidewalks will flex that Natrona Strong muscle with thousands of cheering spectators after they finished their carbo-loading at the Casper Fire-EMS Department's pancake breakfast at Fire Station No. 1 at First and David streets from 7 a.m. until parade time or the food runs out.

Before the fun begins, city crews will begin closing off the streets downtown a couple hours before the parade starts. Vehicles must be removed from the streets of the parade route.

Parade participants are expected to be in place by 9 a.m.

The cavalcade commences at 10 a.m.

The route follows East A Street west to North Center Street, and turns south at Pioneer Park on Center Street.

The parade heads south and takes a left on East Second Street, where the rolling show turns east and winds through the serpentine street until South Beech Street, where it heads south for two blocks.

There, the cavalcade hangs a gentle right on East Collins Drive for several blocks until it rejoins South Center Street.

After a gentle left, the parade takes its final stretch southbound for four blocks past City Park until it ends at Ninth Street.

The parade is expected to end about noon. Many government and businesses offices will reopen in the afternoon.

CATC and The Bus will suspend their service from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., but after that will offer free rides for the rest of the day.

For those who don't have to work, the Mercer Family Resource Center invites people to Washington Park for its Seventh Annual Family Day from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The organization offers face painting, a bouncy house, a bouncy slide, field games, and hourly entertainment. It also offers a free lunch to all participants.

Remember fun comes along with some responsibilities:

  • Parade participants do not throw candy into the crowd. They are required to distribute candy and other hand-outs to spectators at the curbs.
  • Parade spectators should refrain from walking or running into the streets – especially to chase errant sweets — for their own safety.
  • Bring portable chairs.
  • Bring water and stay hydrated.
  • Wear hats.
  • Use sunscreen.
  • Respect others.
  • Ask law enforcement officials if you have questions and concerns.