In a recent post, I have been talking about planning; planning your trips for next year, selecting campgrounds you want to visit and planning attractions you want to see. This past fall, I also included a number of events and attractions for your consideration. But this post concerns an event in a place that everyone should experience, at least once in his or her life: the Arroyo Seco Fourth of July Parade.
For those unfamiliar with it, Arroyo Seco is a small village on the way to the Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. Known simply as “Seco” to locals, and boasting a mere 1,149 full time residents, the population swells to thousands each year on July 4th. I wrote a post detailing this picturesque village that published on September 8, 2013. But the time to visit Arroyo Seco is on the Fourth of July as it boasts a parade like no other event in this country.
Locals and tourists alike begin to gather along the one road through town about 10 am in anticipation of the parade with begins at noon. Large by any standard, in spite of the size of the town, once it begins the parade will easily last in excess of an hour. The beauty of it however, is that in addition to the politicians and community groups, this event is open to anyone with a creative idea and a sense of adventure.
Different every year, the parade is always memorable. Last year, our first to witness this event, we spotted an old pickup up truck labeled NSA, shortly after the news came out that the US government was spying on its citizens. As the vehicle passed, the tailgate was visible which noted, “We are watching you!” It came complete with NSA agents dressed in fatigues.
Another entry was presented by the Columbine Hondo Wilderness Coalition. Lovely young women depicting creatures from the woods encouraged parade goers to save the wild areas and protect their habitat. An old school bus was painted and carried kids from a local day camp while another old pick up was decorated with polka dots. A beautiful woman dressed as Uncle Sam, carried a trash container along the parade route and invited the crowd to make a “contribution;” a lovely way to avoid trash on the streets and sidewalks. And one kind soul prepared and threw hotdogs to the entire crowd!
If you are anywhere in the vicinity of northern New Mexico or southern Colorado on July 4th, 2014, or can get yourself there, you owe it to yourself to visit this large event in a very small town. It is a slice of Americana not to be missed. And after the parade, everyone heads over to Abe’s Cantina for a burrito or Sabroso Restaurant for a pig roast with all the fixings. It’s a community affair. It’s an event you won’t soon forget! See you there!
Read more about New Mexico camping and things to do in New Mexico.