Tuesday, July 27, 2021
 
 
Days of the Old West Fourth of July Parade Roars Back
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Loren Wood took this photo of Sun Valley’s fireworks following its Sun Valley on Ice Show from Penny Hill.
   
Monday, July 5, 2021
 

STORY BY KAREN BOSSICK

PHOTOS BY LOREN WOOD AND KAREN BOSSICK

JoAnn Levy has driven her 1963 Cadillac in nearly every Days of the Old West Fourth of July Parade since she got the white Cadillac. Sunday’s parade may have been the biggest and most memorable, however, as it marked a return from the pandemic that has limited public gatherings for more than a year.

“A lot of parades and a lot of memories with this car,” said Levy. “I love the Fourth of July and this is a hometown parade so that makes it so special.”

 
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Stilt walkers added to the fun of Sunday’s Fourth of July Parade.
 

Hundreds of people, sometimes three and four deep on the sidewalk, turned out to watch Hailey’s hometown parade make its way down Main Street despite an unprecedented heatwave that sent temperatures into the lower 80s.

“It’s so nice being outside with people without cringing!” quipped Bret Gelber, who moved to the valley from Florida last year only to find a dearth of opportunities to meet new friends, thanks to the pandemic.

“This is great,” added his wife Cathy Gelber. “It’s a wonderful small-town feeling.”

About 20 fire trucks of assorted shapes and sizes were available to lead off the parade, despite extremely dry conditions that have had valley residents on edge fearing wildfire.

 
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Beth Riall was among those biking for The Senior Connection.
 

“Happily, we’re able to be here right now,” said Stevie Alletag, a firefighter who was tasked with handing out candy to scads of youngsters dressed in red, white and blue. “We’ll see what this afternoon brings,” she added, alluding to a thunderstorm that was forecast.

Following the fire trucks was Friedman Memorial Airport’s new gigantic snow plow, which probably would have delighted spectators had it been spraying snow their way Sunday afternoon.

Tyler Peterson was delighted to show off the monster plow.

“It can blow a lot of snow real fast,” he said. “It can go through a 5-foot-tall berm at 10 miles per hour and launch the snow a hundred feet away. And it has back steering, too.”

 
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Actors with the new Liberty Theatre Company entertained spectators with shootouts and more.
 

Thespians with the new Liberty Theatre Company, formed in the wake of Company of Fools’ dissolution, showed up with a float sporting the age-old theater’s architectural motif. Actors performed short bouts of fisticuffs for the crowd’s entertainment.

And Duane and Deida Runswick showed up with four miniature donkeys decorated in unicorn colors and other motifs that they have rescued at their Sky Ranch north of Hailey.

“Donkeys have personalities like dogs,” said Deida Runswick. “They’re affectionate and docile.”

Rafael Chavez showed off Winn Compost’s Komptech Topturn X63, a giant compost turner.

 
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Otis Greenberg got a sky-high seat on Friedman Memorial Airport’s monster snow plow.
 

“I can drive it down a 10-foot-high line of compost,” he said of the machine whose cab rises up above the turning mechanism below, evoking thoughts of a Transformer toy. “And, boom! It goes in. It turns the compost to make materials decompose quicker. It’s a giant version of what you do when you turn compost with your shovel at home.”

Hailey’s Fourth of July celebration was capped with a fireworks celebration near Wood River High School. The public celebration was permitted despite Hailey’s ban on personal fireworks because of extreme fire danger posed by a two-year drought.

Irrigators watered the fields surrounding the high school for two days leading up to the fireworks show. And it didn’t hurt that Hailey got a brief monsoon Saturday afternoon.

Firefighters from Hailey and Bellevue stood by Sunday night just in case.

Normally, the number of personal fireworks going off in Hailey over Fourth of July evokes thoughts of war torn Beirut, sending resident dogs scurrying under desks and into closets. But even Sunday night the skies above Hailey were void of fireworks except for the 20-minute show put on by The Chamber that sent fireworks in the shapes of backwards S's, mishapen hearts and colorful Chrysanthemums into the skies.

Hailey Mayor Martha Burke applauded people for adhering to the fireworks ban.

“Normally, you hear fireworks from June 30 through July 4 in Hailey, but I haven’t heard a single one.”

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