2010 JULY 4TH
Wild Over Water - Pueblo West
paraders go to great lengths to get wet.
written by John Norton of the Pueblo
As Kathy Elser, part of the
Independent Heart Home Care contingent
in the Pueblo West’s annual Fourth of
July parade, reached the end of the
route, she could be heard to say,
“Squirt me, squirt me. Toward the end, I
just wanted them to squirt me.”
Pueblo West’s “Hometown Parade — Wet
n Dry” has seen hotter days but even as
the temperature hovered between the high
70s and low 80s Sunday morning, people
marching the almost two-mile route along
Joe Martinez Boulevard still appreciated
a cool spray of water.
Elser was in the “Dry” portion of
the parade, and while spectators armed
with a colorful array of water guns,
respected that, they spared little time
drenching one another and the marchers
in the wet portion of the parade that
Pueblo West’s annual parade has
become a regional draw, bringing
anywhere from 15,000 to 20,000 people
lining Joe Martinez Boulevard to squirt
each other and be squirted by the
passing parade entries.
The Pueblo West Chamber of Commerce
said there were more than 68 entries in
the parade, all but 15 in the wet
category, meaning they could be squirted
by the spectators. “We were getting
phone calls from Canon City, Pueblo, La
Junta and as far away as Lamar,”. “We
even had people from Ohio who just gave
us a donation.”
Nearly everyone attending the parade
had a water gun of some kind — from
hand-held pistols to Supersoakers and
syringe-like pump squirt guns four and
five feet long.
A trio of young snipers positioned
themselves in the bed of a pickup at the
end of the parade. Nathan and Drew
Jones, 10 and 13, and Jackson Brunetto,
13, had five plastic totes in the pickup
bed filled with more than 100 gallons of
water they brought to fill their guns.
Nathan and Jackson said they came up
with another idea — using the lids from
the totes to line the back of the truck
bed like ramparts. After the parade,
Nathan said it worked well when parade
participants opened fire on them, even
though by then he’d gotten soaked after
leaving the fortress.
Nearly everyone along the front
lines was wet by the time the parade
ended. For an hour before it started,
spectators were squirting each other
individually and at times, forming
skirmish bands to attack the people
across the street, only to be countered
with a barrage of water from the
This being an election year, there
was no shortage of politicians on hand.
County Commissioners John Cordova
and Jeff Chostner got a drenching as did
state house hopeful Angela Giron.
Most of the parade participants
fired back, including the Pueblo West
Fire Department, experts at spraying
water. Some of the trucks along the
route and in the parade had massive
water tanks to provide enough
ammunition. One float, from the Secal
Swim League, had gun ports to protect
its members as they sprayed spectators.
Pueblo West celebrates (really) wet
Fourth of July
written by Mike Spence of the Pueblo
than 20,000 spectators participate in
the annual event.
West has long been known for its
traditional "wet" parade where the
spectators and the parade participants
trade volleys of water along the way.
celebration was so inviting that Mother
Nature decided to join in, sending
celebration goers scrambling for cover
during a rain-drenched afternoon.
extra rain didn't do much to dampen the
festivities. More than 20,000 people
attended the morning race, Lions' Club
Breakfast and parade and partook of the
offerings of vendors, including a Bounce
Town set up for children, horseback
rides, helicopter rides and a variety of
food and drink. The July 4 festivities
were an early birthday of sorts for
Pueblo West, which will officially
celebrate its 40th birthday this fall.
Members of the Pueblo West History
Association opened the Pueblo West time
capsule after the parade concluded. The
capsule was last opened 20 years ago.
The PWHA is looking for submissions to
put in a new time capsule that will be
sealed during Pueblo West's official
40th birthday celebration.
Spectators chilled in the afternoon to
the music of Hi Fidelity. The evening
dance took a break for the 30-minute
event was an unqualified success.
Despite the difficult economy, the
Pueblo West Chamber of Commerce saw its
hard work pay off. More than 20
additional vendors participated this
year. In a year in which many fireworks
shows were canceled across the state,
the chamber recruited Loaf 'N Jug and
St's Pourhouse to sponsor the fireworks
Grand Marshall's choice - Southern
Colorado Pop Warner
Best theme - Studio Rio
Judges' choice - Pueblo West
Honorable mention - Pueblo Chapel