Chris Creek col

England native and co-parade marshal Pam Milhon brought the 48-star flag she was given when she became an American citizen.

Christopher Creek didn’t just eke out a new record it blew the door off the old one.

But let’s start from the beginning.

Parade morning was cloudy and brief sprinkles fell off and on, but not enough to settle the dust. Decorated ATVs were buzzing about town early. There was an air of excitement as we made our trip down to the mailboxes to visit the Firebelles’ bake sale table. There we found Deb Baldner of See Canyon in charge of sales. With purchases made we headed back up the Loop where we noticed folks unloading lawn chairs and coolers. It was barely 9 a.m. and spectators were arriving.

Shortly after 10 a.m. the first of the entries began to arrive and John Mitchell and his megaphone were there to get everyone lined up and pointed in the right direction. You had the sense early on that the numbers were going to be big.

Along with all the creatively-decorated ATVs, there were a half a dozen floats, four or five antique cars, the “train” from Christopher Creek Lodge, some bicyclists, Lee on his yellow motorcycle, some youngsters in their battery-powered cars and Sal Mesta on his homemade powered trike.

While more and more entries arrived there was yet to be a sighting of the parade marshals’ vehicle even though 10:30 had come and gone. Around 10:45 there were more arrivals and then we saw Duffy on his old, small tractor and the American icon, Evel Knievel, on his yellow Honda 50 trail bike ... but no yellow beast.

By 10:50 Mitchell is happy with the lineup and hurries back one more time to fetch the flag vehicle and to bring it to the front of the line. Now it’s five minutes until the parade is to start, the fire engine is in place and still no Pam and Mel — but, wait, there is a yellow vehicle coming down the Loop from way up the hill. With just minutes to spare the Milhons arrive and fall into line.

Parade marshals Pam and Mel Milhon are driving a bright, Slingshot yellow 2004 Chevrolet Super Sport Roadster, provided by Hunter Creek’s Ron Kotnik. Pam was born in England and was waving a 48-star flag given her upon becoming a citizen.

The 2019 parade to celebrate America’s birthday was off. Once the entries got into single file it was a long procession — so long that the front of the parade caught up with the end of the line after making a circle on Apple Lane to return to the Loop. With the fire engine now leading us up the Loop, it was then one began to realize how huge the crowd of spectators was. There had to be twice as many as ever. The parade route passed through the Creekside RV Park and the Creekside restaurant parking lot before again heading back down the Loop.

It was there that the official counter made the official count. Mackensie Werlinger was driving the magical 100th entry, a tiny, blue mini-quad. When the last unit made the turn onto Columbine Road the final tally was 110 entries, smashing the records from previous years.

There continued to be tremendous crowds of folks, young and old, along the length of Columbine Road. Then it was across Mimi’s Crossing and back up to the Landmark where the parade ended. Later Irma Armenta and John Mitchell issued a statement thanking all the hundreds of folks who participated along with a plea for help for next year’s event. It was a great parade.

The balance of the day was spent eating. C Canyon RV Park was the first picnic barbecue. There were about 85 folks there enjoying the great food and entertainment by Don. On the way home a stop at the free snow-cone venue was a must. That was at the Bo and Karen Ficula cabin.

It was bags and shoes to the delight of spectators at the Creekside RV Park prior to their barbecue that evening. Robert Shaefer at Christopher Creek Cabins continues to upgrade the facility with that new gazebo, new kiddie playground and new signage. One of the highlights of the parade was the new van with the cool wrap with all the logos and scenery. And then, they threw out all the Frisbees along the parade route.

Last week we had a nice visit with Marcia Delasandro. She is now at Payson Care, Room 508. She is enjoying all the company she is getting.

Where do you shop for a birthday present to give your mother on her 95th birthday? Why, the CKFD Firebelles bake sale, of course. There was this floral arrangement of cupcakes, created by Lee Sullivan, also known as FooFoo. She is a Valley schoolteacher and works at Tall Pines in the summer. Her spectacular creation was just perfect for the occasion. Thank you FooFoo ... and that’s another week in the Creek.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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