Caliente’s Fourth of July celebration started the evening before, as the Caliente Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) went door-to-door selling tickets for the Firemen’s Breakfast.
A sunrise tribute at 6 a.m. started Independence Day and the Firemen’s Breakfast at Rose Memorial Park. With Front Street lined with flags, people headed to the park for a breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and ham served by the fire department. Afterwards, some set up chairs in the shade along the parade route.
Tracey Weiderman, coordinator of the parade, titled “Family Tradition,” worked for months to prepare for the event. John and Mira Tibbitts were the grand marshals. John grew up in Caliente and is active in the CVFD.
Following the parade, everyone headed to Dixon Park for more fun and games. Across the street, the VFW had a yard sale to raise funds for the veterans cemetery. The farmers market was set up in the usual area with tables of crafts, jams and produce. S&M Margarita Bar was parked by Dixon Park with Life Café in the usual location, selling frappes and iced coffee.
Kids games included the watermelon bust, followed by the money scramble. As the kids scrambled, they were sprayed, not only cooling them off, but also washing away the sticky remains of watermelon.
As the day started to wind down, more people arrived in Dixon Park. The VFW color guard marched onto the field as Amy Glockner sang the national anthem. Then the sky was lit up with fireworks.
The CVFD gave the area another wonderful day, and is always ready to jump into action if needed.