A major construction company was working with Colorado Springs officials on Friday to put some finishing touches on the signature float for the city’s 150th birthday parade.
A half-ton piece of steel, shaped to resemble the outline of Pikes Peak, will top off the centerpiece float for the city’s “Parade Through Time,” a procession that will feature highlights of the 15-decade history of Colorado Springs.
The parade is scheduled to go down Tejon Street on July 31 – the city’s birthday – from 11 a.m. to noon and will be followed by a day-long “COS 150 Festival” that will occupy a stretch of Vermijo Avenue from the Pioneers Museum to the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Museum.
The signature float is called the “America the Beautiful,” after the song Katharine Lee Bates was inspired to write after visiting Pikes Peak in the 1930s, according to parade organizer John O’Donnell. In addition to the Pikes Peak display, the float will feature a miniature replica of the newly-constructed Pikes Peak visitor complex. Both the Summit House and the “America the Beautiful” float were built by construction company GE Johnson, according to company logistics director Mario Elliott.
The float’s assembly has involved several teams of construction workers including carpenters, equipment operators and metalworkers, Elliot said.
“It’s been a collaborative effort involving a lot of different teams and specialties,” he said.
The float is one of more than 60 entries scheduled to participate in the sesquicentennial parade, according to parade organizer John O’Donnell. Other floats will include a 10-foot electrical “Tesla coil” to honor inventor Nikola Tesla, who built a laboratory in Colorado Springs in 1899; and an homage to the iconic Cotton Club and its owner, Fannie Mae Duncan. A “parade in the sky” will also feature several aircraft with historical ties to the city.
“It’s going to be a really, really busy hour,” O’Donnell said.
The parade and festival are the product of a collective effort by hundreds of volunteers, workers, and organizers, O’Donnell said.
“Everyone’s really going out of their way to make this happen,” he said.
The event’s organizers are hoping for a robust turnout for the city’s biggest event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“People have been cooped up for more than a year,” O’Donnell said. “So it’s a day to get out, and the weather’s supposed to be nice…you can’t beat it.”
This content was originally published here.