Aspen needs fewer fumes, more creativity in next July 4 parade |

Aspen needs fewer fumes, more creativity in next July 4 parade

Recently I learned the July 4 parade is canceled due to the need for social distancing and the safety of everyone. I know this is disappointing for many! However, maybe this is an opportunity to rethink our Fourth of July parade for next year and years to come.

While I write about this, I don’t want to ignore or minimize the serious challenges we as a town, county and country are facing right now. I applaud the courage and fortitude of so many demanding change at this critical time in our country.

Part of this change must also acknowledge that climate chaos is real and affects us all. In Aspen we have an opportunity to redirect the emphasis in our lives from carbon and oil, to a new vision. One way to do this is through one of the most important community events of our year — the Fourth of July parade. In recent years the parade has been dominated by huge trucks, buses, ATVs, motorcycles and souped-up coops etc. This, in the town that says we are committed to combating climate change by encouraging innovation and ideas from the Canary Initiative, CORE, ACES and others. I realize the parade is more than a year away, but it takes time to shift directions and plan. So here’s an idea.

I’d like to challenge the city of Aspen and chamber to change the parade. With the exception of the fire department trucks, the calliope and those vets or others who cannot move easily on their own, allow only entries that walk, run, jump, skip, roll, glide, scoot, are pushed, pulled, or otherwise move under human or animal motion. Nothing motorized. Let’s see what kind of ingenious designs people come up with to propel themselves or their floats. Invite a marching band or two! Then offer prizes for the funniest, cleverest, most unique, most beautiful or weirdest etc. Let’s showcase what Aspen is so famous for: exploring other ways to imagine and cultivate a better life for everyone, with humanity, ingenuity, creativity and humor.

Stephanie Soldner


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