By Lyndsie Ferrell
SOUTH FORK— The Town of South Fork was packed on Tuesday, July 3 for their annual Third of July celebration with several fun activities for guests of all ages. The day began with clear blue skies, a light breeze that carried smoke from the Spring Creek Fire burning south of Alamosa away from the San Juan Mountains offering a breath of fresh air to those who came out to celebrate the holiday in style.
At 10 a.m. the South Fork Fire Department opened their doors for their annual cat fish fry fundraiser, giving people a chance to enjoy several vendors in the back parking lot behind the station. Tables were set up by the doors laden with donated items for the silent auction and included everything from baskets full of merchandise from local businesses to Creede Repertory Theatre tickets. People gathered around to put in bids on the items, with all proceeds going to the department for equipment and training.
Firefighters and volunteers began the process of preparing the lunch with 900 pounds of catfish, gallons of iced tea and all the fixings. Hungry guests gathered by the serving stations, ready to get their fish fix. At the end of the day, the department reported having served just over 900 people. The fish fry was a huge success and a big thanks goes out to all who participated as well as those who spent their time helping to make the event possible.
The rest of the afternoon allowed guests to wander the many shops in town as well as swing by the local farmers market to get homemade gifts, local honey, kettle corn and fresh produce from vendors outside of the visitors center. The market stayed busy all day, with people coming and going at a regular pace.
Lisa Strang with Green Acres Hemp Farm commented that this was the busiest she had seen the market in quite some time. “It’s great to see al of these people coming out to enjoy the warm weather and support local markets like this one,” said Strang.
The afternoon really kicked off to a great start as the annual parade drew closer. Guests lined the frontage road along Highway 160 in preparation of the event. Close to 50 floats, decorated vehicles, the Shriners and other area organizations walked the road, throwing candy and bead necklaces to the eager crowd. This year the town invited everyone to join in on the parade, and thanks to the many who signed up, it was one of the best the town has put on so far.
The day came to a close with music provided by the South Fork Music Association at the visitor center where many gathered to dance or sit in lawn chairs and rock to the beat of some good old fashion tunes. Once the free concert was over, guests headed over to the Rickel Arena to watch the rodeo put on by Burris and Sons.
It was a wonderful day that was enjoyed by all and though the night did not end in the annual firework show, spirits were high and South Fork’s Third of July celebrations went out with a bang.