WHITE MOUNTAINS—Americans of all colors, faiths, ages, and politics, came together for a few hours to celebrate what this country was built on: freedom. There was no social distancing, no masks, and no fear. There were lots and lots of American flags, candy, small water balloons and fun.

01 - Round Valley Parade route filled with people

Almost every inch of sidewalk from Eagar to Springerville was packed with thousands of happy people celebrating the 4th of July.

With all other communities in the White Mountains cancelling 4th of July events, except a few fireworks shows, thousands descended on Springerville-Eagar to celebrate the birth of our nation.

There was no protesting, no rioting, and lots of smiles and cheering. There were classic cars and trucks of all kinds, ATVs, motorcycles, floats, dancing and music.

02 - Round Valley Parade go-ers

This group of parade goers lives in Greer and were excited to come to the parade. They brought small water balloons and had a lot of fun tossing them around. They agreed this was the best parade ever.

It’s too bad other communities didn’t let their citizens celebrate such an important day and enjoy a respite from the fear that has held this country hostage. It was a welcome coming together of people enjoying a sense of normalcy.

03 - Round Valley Parade - Tossing candy to parade crowd

Every parade entry tossed tons of candy to the spectators.

Thank you to the towns of Springerville and Eagar for not canceling.

04 - Round Valley 4th of July parade float 2020

The theme of the 2020 4th of July parade was ‘United We Stand.’

Reach the reporter at kwarnick@wmicentral.com

(15) comments

DPeelman

Round Valley Rocks. I truly appreciate the mayors, town councils, and citizens of Springerville and Eagar for hosting the only Independence Day parade in all of the White Mtns. I spoke to many that came from all parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and other states that came to celebrate our nation's 244th birthday as envisioned by John Adams. Great event, great patriots, led by such brave men as Mayors Hanson, Springerville and Mayor Hamblin, Eagar "...we will err on the side of freedom."

Gandolf

I just wanted to add that this is irresponsible journalism for Warnick to add her opinion that people would rather celebrate "freedom". There are many of us in town (I live in Lakeside) who, if infected, could be a death sentence. Thank you, but we can draw our own opinions.

libertyminded

I agree Gandolf, Warnick went a little too far on the one side-ishness scale here.

Seidman Research

I agree 100% Gandolf!

P A M @ ShowLowAZ

Loved seeing those smiling faces. Just hope that they will NOT be covered with respirator breathing tubes, in the near future.

JeffC

I am a freedom guy first and foremost, even to the degree that so-called freedom advocates would shy away from, like the legalization of drugs. When I say that I always here "but" and excuses follow. Being a freedom guy, I understand that my rights end where yours begin. This crying and whining about wearing masks is absurd. Nobody is asking to put a chip in your hand, they are asking you to wear a mask to protect those around you.

Thirty percent of people are asymptomatic, and they are putting at risk the most vulnerable of us. I am not going to tell you to wear a mask it is your right not to since our government does not have the testicular fortitude to mandate one for all of our benefit. Please keep in mind when you don't you are putting those that you love at risk. How are you going to feel when your pride keeps you from wearing a mask into a store and you bring home the virus. Maybe it will take the loss of a loved one for you to wake up. Instead of fighting for the cause of liberty, let us use some common sense and wear a mask in public, so we don't have to know the grief of knowing we may have killed someone we love.

NavajoThunder

I love our glorious nation, my freedom, and the freedom of all Americans, but this was highly irresponsible. People will get sick, and some may die, because of the decision to go ahead with these festivities.

It's apparent the author is quite alright with the loss of human life so long as people can throw water balloons and smile.

BTCluff

So look. Everyone saying it was irresponsible and all this is ridiculous. People did wear masks. I saw plenty. But everyone there CHOSE to go. We knew the risks going. We took precautions. We needed a sense of normalcy and the 4th was just that. It was a normal 4th actually probably the best 4th. If people were worried or were scared of getting sick then guess what, they could stay home. No one was forced to go. The mayors said they weren’t cancelling anything and the people made their own decisions by going. The rioters and protesters and get together in extremely large groups and that’s ok? But celebrating our great country where thousands have died so we could have this freedom, isn’t ok? Strange.

phxnative54

Your article and accompanying photographs are evidence that Springerville violated Gov. Ducey's Executive Order# 2020-43, which states in part:

"1. Effective June 29, 2020, organized public events of more than 50 people are prohibited unless the city, town or county in unincorporated areas has approved the event, and only if adequate safety precautions are implemented, including physical distancing measures."

It is quite clear from the photos that physical distancing measured were NOT followed. (Nor was his "recommendation" to wear masks when adequate physical distancing cannot be maintained.)

And so the countdown begins: Let's see what the "new cases" count looks like in about 14 days, and what the Covid-19 death count looks like in 4-6 weeks, in the 85938 and 85925 ZIP codes.

BecauseScience

BTCluff: Staying home on the day of these festivities would not solve the issue of the seeding that bringing hundreds of people from the valley and surrounding communities creates. Many of your guests went to Safeway and Short Stop and stayed in hotels. They touched things, hugged and high fived people, and picked up candy hurled at them. Staying home on the fourth wasn't remotely going to protect the elderly and immune compromised in Round Valley. Tell me this, when you go back to work after using the restroom and are required to wash your hands, is your freedom infringed? When you insist your doctor wash her hands before stitching you up, are you infringing upon her freedom?

Russ_in_WML

Awesome reporting, awesome event

Lee Bertay

Either way - PLA approved!

ArizAl

Two freedoms with two different consequences. Freedom one is the freedom not to wear a mask during a pandemic and endanger the lives of other people. Freedom two is the freedom to wear a mask during a pandemic and avoid endangering the lives of other people. The question is.... which freedom is a more responsible and moral one? Obviously freedom number two.

MountainMusic

Great job every one! The turn out was great! We went from 12 cases in Springerville before the parade to 29.

MountainMusic

52 cases strong in Springerville and 29 cases in Eager. Not including those healed at home or asymptomatic carriers. Click on link to see https://adhsgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/84b7f701060641ca8bd9ea0717790906

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