For nearly an hour Saturday, Carlsbad residents did not think about COVID-19 or the flooding rains that hit the community earlier in the week.
Instead residents focused on the the Fourth of July parade which was the start of Independence Day festivities. The parade was the first major event in Carlsbad this year since COVID-19 health restrictions started easing months ago.
“An Old Fashioned Patriotic Fourth of July Parade” was sponsored by Carlsbad MainStreet, Creative Carlsbad, City of Carlsbad and Eddy County. The parade lined up on Church Street and Walter Street and proceeded downtown with a mix of entrants ranging from hot rods to fire engines and ambulances from the Carlsbad Fire Department, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and multiple Eddy County volunteer fire departments.
Shannel Hartlerode from Grand Junction, Colorado visited family in Carlsbad and was sitting on a bench near Canyon Street waiting for the parade.
She said it was time for people to get outdoors and the community to come together.
“We’re not from here. So just meeting up with the community and being part of an Independence Day parade and everything that means to our country and our society,” she said.
Retired Carlsbad City Administrator Michael Hernandez and his family volunteered for the event as part of Carlsbad MainStreet.
“I’m actually a board member of the Carlsbad MainStreet and we’re volunteering our time to set up and prepare for the veterans World War II ceremony and the parade and just make it a great time to celebrate Carlsbad and the Fourth of July,” he said.
Hernandez’s daughter, Kelsey, was helping set up for the parade and the ceremony honoring World War II veterans at the Eddy County Courthouse lawn.
“There’s tons and tons of people out here which I’m so excited to see. It shows that our community has persevered through COVID (19) and all those hard times. It’s just so nice to see everybody out here,” she said.
Hernandez, 22, is a Carlsbad native and participated in past Fourth of July parades with her family.
“Just to see all these people coming out for this parade, it just shows again that we’ve come together as a community and just to see all these happy smiling faces,” she said.
Mike Smith can be reached at 575-628-5546 or by email at MSmith@currentargus.com or @ArgusMichae on Twitter.