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Hailey Fourth of July Parade Tells Story of Yesteryear
Ringmaster Glenn Carter, who has carved hundreds of stools featuring zebras and other animals for Rainforest Café, seems to have Samson the Elephant safely in tow.
Saturday, July 6, 2024


Brooke Vagias and Saoirse Ellis needed no formal training when they decided to appear as juggling clowns in Hailey’s Fourth of July Parade.

The two had already learned juggling at Trinity School in Bellevue.

“Juggling connects the neural connections in the different sides of the brain, and research shows that it’s really good for boosting brain development,” said Vagias, a middle school student. “Then, it was just a matter of sewing my costume.”

The parade featured a variety of women wearing historical dresses in keeping with the story of Samson’s 1884 rampage.

The two girls added to the merriment in a Fourth of July Parade that seemed to soar above past parades, thanks to the addition of a circus contingent that included the juggling clowns, a bearded lady and Core Focus Pilates instructors evoking the idea of trapeze artists on a converted flatbed.

“We get to play and show everyone our Pilates tools like the Pilates Ladder Barrel,” said Jacqui Terra, who appeared with Alicia Pacalo, Gabby Rivello and Amanda Crockett.

Without equivocation, spectators like Robert Shuford, Allan Smith and Teresa Lipman called the parade, which paid homage to the story of a circus elephant’s rampage through Hailey in 1884, the best parade ever.

“My mother always told me, ‘Never miss a parade,’ and I’m glad I didn’t miss this one,” Lipman said.

Saoirse Ellis and Brooke Vagias learned how to juggle at the Trinity School in Bellevue.

Chamber Director Mike McKenna said the parade was the longest in recent memory at 1.5 hours, and it also had the most entries at 100. There were actually way more entries, however, he noted.

The circus, for instance, was registered as one entry but had 15 different floats and other moving parts in it.

Temperatures in the 70s made for pleasant spectating, but Little Jack Romero—a Saint Bernard in the parade—probably would have preferred the parade be held in December.

“You’ll get a steak when it’s over,” Marco Romero told Little Jack as the parade kicked into gear.

Maggie Canfield starred as Lady Liberty wearing a dress made in 1945 while the piano man took his bows—no need to play since it was a player piano borrowed from the Blaine County Historical Museum.

Cole Duncan and others with Karl Malone Power Sports evoked thoughts of Elbie’s buckin’ car as they drove bucking ATVs down the street. And Moment, Hailey’s new Porsche rental shop, paraded some of its new shiny cars down the street, offering a contrast to the classic Ford cars of the 1920s in the parade.

Ten dancers wearing neon green “Leo’s Zumba” T-shirts performed a jaunty little dance down Main Street, while members of Jiu Jitsu 100 Academy showed off their medals in a truck sporting such inspirational messages as “Winners are not people who never fail but people who never quit” and “Don’t Wish for it. Work for it.”

Ben Enders endeared himself to the children along the route as a clown dressed in red, white and blue with a big red rubber nose.

“Just watching everyone smile was so heartwarming,” he said. “Then two little boys came up asking for a hug. I wasn’t expecting that so that was great.”

The hoop man wore roller blades.

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