If the success of the 99th Greeley Stampede was a portent of the future, the 100th Greeley Stampede far exceeded those expectations.
The 2022 event not only attracted some well-known rodeo athletes like the Wright family, Tilden Hooper, Josh Frost and Paige Jones and standouts like Killer Bee, Mt. Everest and Black Furry, but also high-profile talent like Brad Paisley, Jo Dee Messina and Restless Road to Greeley.
Stampede organizers brought back old favorites like the daily Parade in the Park, Tea with the Queen and Hot Rods and Horsepower Car Show, as well as new events like the Whiskey and Cigar Tasting, the Lego Creation Festival and Hoverboard Barrel Racing.
However, one of the most popular events takes place outside of the park and arena grounds at the end of the Greeley Stampede.
The Independence Day Parade draws thousands of local and international people, businesses, organizations and civic associations to come together to celebrate the United States of America.
The parade is so popular that the Greeley Tribune and the City of Greeley are required to make annual announcements to let people know when they can stake their spot.
Some people have occupied the same parade ground for years, while those new to the parade have learned why getting to the parade route early is imperative.
“I just can’t believe how many people are here. We have friends here who kept telling us it was a big parade, but I didn’t expect that from Greeley,” said 36-year-old Robyn Henderson of Broomfield. “Well, we’ve learned that lesson. Come early or don’t come at all.”
In addition to rows of festively dressed fans of all ages, this year’s parade performances were some of the best the parade has seen in a long time.
Months before the Stampede even began, Kevin McFarling, marketing coordinator for the event, urged the community to put on their thinking caps and work gloves to host more float-style parades, which were hugely popular at the start of the event.
And boy, did the entries meet McFarling’s request.
The Culver’s of Greeley gang created a fun farm wagon with inflatable farm animals, tissue paper decorations, a Thank You Farmers sign and other colorful accessories.
“We work with the Greeley West FFA. Community support is important to our restaurant and we are happy to get involved when we can,” said restaurant owner Austen Thompson. “We’re pretty new to this, so I think we’re getting a little bit better every year.”
Alongside tractors, horse-drawn carriages, marching bands and other entries, the Little Theater of the Rockies’ first-time parade participants, featuring the king himself, Elvis Presley, showed up in honor of the theater’s upcoming productions.
“You know, I want to say that it’s been a while, maybe five years or more, since we’ve been to the parade. We’re basically promoting our upcoming productions ‘All Shook Up’ and ‘The Revolutionists,'” said Artistic Director Megan Van De Hey. “We’re back and strong and ready for the parade!”
Members of the Rocky Mountain Quarter Midget Association had to hurry to decorate their trailer on the parade stage.
“We just handed in our submission on Thursday and realized we had to decorate the trailer,” says Melissa Steinke, laughing. “So I was like, ‘Come on, we have to go to Michael’s.'”
The parade began with a flyover at 9:00 a.m. Monday, followed by a procession of longhorns who led the parade down 10th Avenue.
As participants in the parade walked down the street throwing treats like candy, water bottles and other loot, rows of fans cheered and waved.
After the parade ended, the celebration of the 100th Greeley Stampede continued on the park and arena grounds with a demolition derby, duck races, a sea lion show, vendors and a variety of carnival foods.
The Frontmen of Country wrapped up the event’s live music on the Civitas Park Stage at 8:00 p.m. before guests could enjoy a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m
The annual Greeley Stampede takes place during the last week of June through the first week of July with a PRCA Pro rodeo, concert series, Western art exhibition and more. For more information, including updates on the 2023 season, visit www.greeleystampede.org.
https://www.greeleytribune.com/2022/07/04/annual-independence-day-parade-kicks-off-last-day-of-100th-greeley-stampede/ The Independence Day Parade begins on the last day of the 100th Greeley Stampede