The Pueblo West View

Wet and wild, parade never disappoints

Battle erupted in Pueblo West Thursday as thousands of people gathered along Joe Martinez Boulevard for the annual Independence Day Wet and Dry Parade.

Armed with water cannons of all shapes and sizes, children and adults alike celebrated this Fourth of July by soaking each other to the skin.

“I got attacked!” said Angel Leamon, 51, there with her two dogs, Lucky and Maggie.

“They snuck up behind me and then they ran,” she said, laughing. “I found the culprits, but it was really funny,”

Dante Green, 8, said that the best part was “squirting people.” There with his family, he said he had gotten “a ton” of people wet.

“Like 50!” Dante said.

Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office SUVs heralded the beginning of the dry parade, featuring vintage automobiles, marching bands and many waving hands. Water gun fights were discouraged during the procession, but as soon as they passed the ceasefire was off.

Families advanced on one another with everything from Dollar Store squirt guns to handheld cannons. For many people, the preferred reload vessel was the bed of a pickup truck, filled to the brim with water.

Some groups, however, were there for a longer haul.

Joe Clason, 43, said he filled up the five water tanks on his trailer for $50.

“We first started out with water balloons,” Clason said. “They discontinued those, so then we came out with two tanks, and now we come out with five. And they’re the biggest tanks out here.”

Or they were the biggest until fire trucks arrived. Following the more immaculate floats and vehicles of the dry parade, the fire engines and water tankers added a new dimension to the event. Riders with hoses and buckets gave the crowd as much firepower as they received, and all had smiles on their faces.

“Oh I love the parade!” said Laura Montoya, 19. “It’s beautiful and it’s so festive.”

She said she lives just down the road from the event, “so I’ve gone tons and tons of times.” According to her, the best part was “just getting wet, getting wild.”

Dan Sabus, 40, was there with his son, nieces and nephews, ranging from 1 to 10 years old. When asked about his family arsenal, he reported “lots of power weapons, a few squirt guns, and a whole bunch of kids.”

“I’m letting them do the dirty work,” Sabus said. “My son’s been going around for two hours, getting anybody he can.

“It’s just total mayhem,” he added. “It’s fun, the kids get to have a good time, and everybody’s in a good mood.”

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