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Red, White & You

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Community packs Clement Park for annual Fourth of July celebration

By Deborah Swearingen

Under the glow of the setting sun, a sparkly blue cap with white stars stood out amongst the packed crowd for Monday’s Red, White & You celebration at Clement Park.

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The hat sat atop Glenda Florea’s head. The Littleton resident said she had never been to Red, White & You, the annual Fourth of July festival put on by Foothills Park and Recreation District, because her dogs were scared of fireworks. But when they passed away, she decided it was time to make an appearance.

“I’m going, and I’m wearing my jumpsuit,” Florea told her friends.

By jumpsuit, Florea meant an impressive pair of American flag overalls, which she wore with pride.

As a first-time festival-goer, Florea said she was impressed, primarily by “all the people and the camaraderie and the dancing.”

Camaraderie was a word mentioned frequently by those who overflowed the park for the patriotic celebration. Some families relaxed on blankets, while others sat on lawn chairs or at card tables enjoying a picnic dinner.

The event featured music from the Wash Park Band, community vendors, food and drink, a children’s area and a fireworks show.

Sharlene Briggs, owner of RelyLocal in Littleton, managed one of the community booths that sat on the outskirts of the festival. RelyLocal is a campaign to support locally owned Littleton businesses.

Briggs said it’s important to participate in community events such as Red, White & You.

“It’s such a big event, but it draws a lot of local people,” she said. “It gets a lot of local people out, a lot of families. It’s a great group to work with, too. We love Foothills.”

Sarah Stroud, the newly hired arts and events assistant with Foothills, referenced the family spirit of the event.

“It’s one of the best free events for the community,” she said. “Not only does it honor our armed forces, the United States, America, it also brings the community together.

“Maybe people meet each other that weren’t normally friends and now they’re friends because of Red, White & You,” Stroud added.

Though she lived in Littleton before taking the job with Foothills, it was her first time at the patriotic festival. It didn’t take long for Stroud to realize why so many people pack the park for the event, though. From her perspective, “the feeling of camaraderie of the community together here” is what draws a crowd yearly.

For Florea, the celebratory event is a perfect depiction of the community she’s lived in since 1985.

“This is Littleton. This is America,” she said while looking out over Clement Park and sharing a laugh with her longtime best friend Beth Worthington.

Contact reporter Deborah Swearingen at dswearingen@evergreenco.com or 303-350-1042.