79th Music & Blossom Festival takes Cañon City ‘Back to Our Roots’ – Canon City Daily Record

A parade member rides along with an El Alazan dancer Saturday at the 2017 Blossom Festival Parade.

A parade member rides along with an El Alazan dancer Saturday at the 2017 Blossom Festival Parade. (Sara Knuth / Daily Record)

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Washington Elementary School students ride along Saturday through the 2017 Blossom Festival Parade.

As Kelly Cosper made her way through the 79th annual Music and Blossom Festival Parade along Main Street on Saturday, she traveled with her former elementary school.

“I love Washington School that much that I’m always there helping,” she said. “I love to do whatever I can for that school.”

Cosper, who works as a secretary at Cañon City Middle School, was one of thousands of people who flooded to downtown Cañon City to take part in the parade, which took on the theme of “Back to Our Roots.”

She said some of her fondest memories of Washington Elementary School included interacting with teachers and “the excitement of going from kindergarten from the far end of the school, working your way up to the big-kid hallway at fifth grade.”

For Cosper, going to Washington runs in the family. Her youngest daughter, Allie, currently goes there and her daughter Emily, a Cañon City High School student, went there when she was younger.

“It was pretty special to know that my kids would get to go to the same place I went,” she said. “They’ve had great memories built, great relationships with friends and wonderful teachers.”

Saturday’s parade, which featured marching bands, local businesses and community organizations, also had floats that took a different approach to this year’s theme.

Women of Gratitude, a new local organization, featured a float with generations of women.


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Board member Sonya Watson, who was dressed as Frida Kahlo, said members of the organization chose both historical women and those of the future. Her daughter, Lillian Watson, was dressed as a doctor, which is what she wants to be when she grows up.

“We just looked at inspiring women,” she said. “Art helps me relax. That’s why I chose Frida.”

Mountain View Core Knowledge School, which featured members of the school’s student council, was among a handful of floats that looked toward actual tree roots for inspiration.

“The idea was that we had a tree and all of the teachers traced their hands, and we’re all part of the roots system,” said Meg Olsen, a teacher and librarian at Mountain View. “All of the kids in the school traced their hands, and we turned those into the leaves with the idea that we’re a garden and we’re trying to grow some good, productive members of society.”

Sara Knuth: 719-276-7644, knuths@canoncitydailyrecord.com

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