A Small Town 4th of July Parade

It has always been a tradition in my family to spend Independence Day with my grandparents and other relatives in Springerville, Arizona. Springerville is a small town in the White Mountains of the state and it is where my mom was born and raised. It is joined with the town of Eagar and together they make up what is called Round Valley, a beautiful place that holds lots of wonderful childhood memories for me (and it is also twenty degrees cooler than Phoenix).

I hadn’t been up to Springerville for a few years, though it is only a 4 hour drive away, so my cousin N and I decided to tootle up last Tuesday morning to spend the holiday in the cooler weather. One of my favorite parts of Independence Day in Round Valley is watching the annual parade that runs through the center of both towns. I’ve loved it since I was little. The parade has had its ups and downs over the years and I’ve heard my family bemoan the declining quality of the floats, but the basic elements of a great parade remain intact to this day. These are the essential components that are always present in a great Round Valley parade:

The anticipation before the parade gets to your part of the street

Members of the sheriff’s department on their horses

 A Rodeo queen

A Live band



Macho trucks advertising local establishments

 Vintage tractors

Amazing homemade floats

And an opportunity for kids to get wet.

A bonus: If you need a break from the non-stop parade action you can turn around and see this

It was lovely to spend time watching the familiar pattern of the Independence Day parade with my family and reliving the marvelous traditions of my childhood. What are some of your favorite family traditions?

14 thoughts on “A Small Town 4th of July Parade

  1. Thanks for giving us a flavour of your corner of the world and showing us the scenery. That 20 degrees cooler than Phoenix sounds perfect to me but four hours seems like a long drive away. That would take us about a third of the way down Britain! Our family traditions all revolve around birthdays, Christmas and Easter, when we just stuff our faces!


    1. Katrina, I love the ‘stuff our faces’ traditions. I have plenty of those!
      It’s so funny how 4 hours seems pretty mild for me, but it would take you very far into Britain. How forget how big the US is sometimes!


  2. Thank you for sharing this, it’s always fascinating to learn more about other nations. Our family traditions tend to be around food or phrases. I also like the haphazard way new traditions are sometimes created.


  3. Thanks for sharing your pictures with us! I’m glad you enjoyed the parade. And I agree with Katrina that most British people would consider a 4 hour drive to be a long way!


    1. The parade was really a delight – I’m glad I could show some of it to you!
      4 hours is just about bearable for me. In September I am driving to Colorado and that is about 10 hours!


  4. How wonderful this looks! The best fourth of July I ever had was in Warren, Vermont, a small town in the Green Mountains. There was an old-fashioned July 4th parade that went right past our hotel, and afterwards a barbecue in the back yard. I loved it. Your part of the world is beautiful. So happy to see those photos!


    1. That 4th in Vermont sounds great! I’ve always wanted to visit Vermont – it looks so green and lush.
      Independence Day in Springerville beats Independence Day in Phoenix hands down!


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