At 10 a.m. Aug. 15, the flashing lights and wailing sirens of the police escort will announce the honor guard is on its way as the Western Welcome …
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At 10 a.m. Aug. 15, the flashing lights and wailing sirens of
the police escort will announce the honor guard is on its way as
the Western Welcome Week Grand Parade steps off.
The parade begins at Gallup Street and Littleton Boulevard,
heads west across the bridge, down Main Street to the end of the
route on Rapp Street. In keeping with tradition, the parade will
feature marching bands, floats, equestrians, classic cars and a
variety of other entries.
This year’s theme is “Encourage Green — Reduce, Recycle, Reuse.”
The grand marshal is Bobbie Sheffield of South Metro Land
Each year, hundreds of people line the route for a lengthy
parade that usually takes about two hours to pass by.
While the parade has been a Western Welcome Week tradition since
the event began in 1928, founder Houstoun Waring said in a recorded
interview that the early parades weren’t very long or
Waring discussed the early years of the parade during a
interview that was taped when he was the event’s grand marshal in
He said the parade was established and Western Welcome Week was
started in 1928 as a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the
founding of the Littleton Independent newspaper.
In the interview, he said the first parade was small with one
band, a few floats and cars. However, Waring said Littleton people
liked the idea of a community celebration and decided to make it an
annual event when the volunteer firefighters and post master
stepped up to the planning and organization to keep Western Welcome
In the early years, the parade was always on Saturday and always
started at 2 p.m. Waring said the start time was natural because
most businesses closed down about noon on Saturday and the 2 p.m.
start time let a lot of working people take part in the parade.
But he said the 2 p.m. start time in May or June was a problem
because it usually rained about that time of day.
The first years, the parade started at the foot of Main Street
and, since it was so short, the route ended at Began Park.
Waring said the parade route was switched from East to West in
the 30s when the decision was made to let children take part in the
“We had kids of all ages and many of them rode their tricycles,”
Waring said in the 1988 interview. “The problem was there is a
slight hill near the end of Main Street and it was hard for those
kids to peddle the tricycles up that hill when we were going East.
So, we just turned things around so the parade went West down Main
Gradually, the parade grew in size and eventually the route was
stretched out to the current starting point on Gallup and Littleton
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