DAVID BERGELAND/Durango Herald
Porter Hodgkiss sat outside Durango Coffee Co. with an organic chemistry book as the Fourth of July parade passed along Main Avenue on Wednesday evening.
In spite of his textbook, Hodgkiss, 20, a junior at Fort Lewis College, said he loved the spectacle on the street.
“I just got here at the tail end of it,” he said. “I have to return the book to the library in five days.”
In a drought year without fireworks, many people approached the holiday with an attitude of creating their own entertainment.
Elaine Marx wore a blue wig to the parade.
“It’s about getting in the celebration mode, you know?” she said.
“I’m glad there’s no fireworks, there’s just too many fires,” Marx said. “It’s too dangerous. We can have a good time without fireworks, right?”
Marx drove from the “smoke and ashes” of Fort Collins to the “smoke and ashes” of Durango.
“It’s just crazy,” she said.
In a sea of red, white and blue, Durango Fire & Rescue Authority firefighters Mindy Iris and Tyler Smith stood out by wearing Green Bay Packer colors, or green and yellow fire-resistant clothing.
They walked alongside a brush truck and were grateful for a relatively quiet holiday.
“Happily, we’re not running to a half-dozen calls,” Iris said. “It was like that last weekend.”
If there was not going to be fireworks, Al LiBrande and Tom Wilbert made sure everybody got wet.
Dressed in wigs and fat suits inflated with air, the pair followed the politicians in the parade. They came to promote the Durango Clean Machine, a car detail shop.
Turns out spraying people with water is great marketing.
“Last year, our business doubled,” Librande said.