Occupy the Roads and Occupy Pueblo were among the 72 floats, musical groups, and other entries who participated in the Fiesta Day Parade, viewed by an estimated 25,000 spectators on Sunday, September 2, 2012 in Pueblo.
Approval to enter the parade—and as the final entry—was granted to Occupy the Roads just a few days before the event was scheduled. Saturday was a day of preparation, which included scrubbing the outside of the RV, securing to the sides the flyers and posters gathered from the more than 100 cities visited since November 2011, making buttons, selecting from a large array of posters those that seemed most appropriate for carrying in the parade, and making new signs with important messages—e.g., “Helping East Side Pueblo”. Saturday evening, someone suggested making a sombrero to place on top of the RV and fitting the windshield with “glass frames”. It was late into the night before these latter projects were finished.
Sunday morning, parade entries gathered in the staging area at 8:30 am and the parade started at 10 am. Because Occupy the Roads was the last entry in the line-up, it was nearly 11 am before we actually began moving. During the wait, finishing touches were put on the RV, and we socialized amongst ourselves and talked with passersby and those on nearby floats.
Then, with Janet behind the wheel, Glen riding co-pilot, and Tino atop the RV with a camera to photograph the crowds along the parade route, we followed the parade route north along E. Abriendo, then west on Northern Avenue, and south on Beulah, ending at Sprague Avenue.
As we moved along the parade route, Anne C., Bama, Rachel and Skiv distributed buttons, a flyer that outlined Bradley Manning’s war-crimes whistle-blowing and that called for his release, another flyer explaining “Occupy”—“It’s not a protest, it’s a process!”—and candy, much to the delight of the kids. Anne B. and Cheryl joined with the others to carry posters with various messages—“Make Work Pay”, “Occupy Pueblo”, “Women will Remember in November”, “Economic Fairness” and “Tax 1% their fair share”, with the latter bringing the most applause and shouts of agreement.
Joining the Fiesta Day Parade provided another opportunity for Occupy the Roads and Occupy Pueblo to connect with the local community and to educate citizens about the Occupy movement and its goals.