Parade Day: The Path And A Few Precautions For Rolling Paradise
To the rest of the world, it’s the second Tuesday in July.
To downtown Casper, it means the world stops as central Wyoming shows and struts its stuff on wheels, hooves and feet.
Thousands of residents will line the streets for the 67th annual spectacle of hundreds of floats, classic cars, bands, dancers, public officials, candidates, cowboys, cowgirls, horses, and Shriners doing doughnuts on go-carts.
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.
Susan Thomas, chairman of the Fair and Rodeo, said many of the nearly 200 entries will be decorated along a theme of "united we stand."
"We are about being united in our county, our town, our state," Thomas said.
The parade marshals will be representatives from branches of the military, wearing their dress uniforms, she said. "They're going to have an American flag, and music, and it's going to be very impressive."
The impressiveness starts at 10 a.m.
However, police will begin closing off the streets near the route that starts at A and North Durbin a couple hours before that. Parade entrants are required to be at their designated positions by 9 a.m.
The route follows A Street west to North Center Street, and turns south at Pioneer Park on Center Street.
The parade heads south to take a left on West Second Street, where the rolling and riding show turns east and winds through the serpentine section of downtown until South Beech Street.
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 it final stretch for four blocks past City Park until it ends at Ninth Street.
The parade is expected to end by 1 p.m. Many government and businesses offices will reopen then.
A few precautions are in order.
- 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.
Finally, have fun.
"Get there early, and get the shady side of the street," Thomas said. "And clap a lot, especially when the flags go by; there will be lots of them."