Boulder’s Parades of the Past

1956 parade in Boulder

In honor of the Fourth of July, we’re taking a look back at Boulder’s incredible parades of the past. While Boulder no longer celebrates Independence Day with a parade, for many years there was a large parade down Pearl Street. Thanks to our friends at the Museum of Boulder for sharing their archives with us!

The first year that a parade was photographed in Boulder was in 1887. This photo was taken on the 1400 block of Pearl Street looking west.

Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

The annual tradition typically involved bands, like the Winona Drum Corps, pictured here in 1896 on Pearl Street.

Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Creative floats built by local organizations and businesses were a highlight as well, like these two from 1933 featuring Valentine’s Hardware and the Curran Theatre.

Photos courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Throughout the years, spectators would pack the sidewalks of Boulder to see floats, horses and bicycles. This crowd gathered for the Fourth of July Parade in 1933 at the 1300 block of Pearl Street looking northeast.

Photos courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

Other parades of note include the Floral Parade, held on July 6, 1905, as part of the City’s Fourth of July festivities. This special parade had elaborately decorated automobiles and horse-drawn carriages.

Photos courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

In 1912, the Grand Army of the Republic (a veteran’s group) paraded down Pearl Street to celebrate Memorial Day.

Photo courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

The City celebrated the end of World War I in 1918 with yet another parade down Pearl Street that included returned soldiers.

Photos courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History / Museum of Boulder Collection

This blog was written by the Museum of Boulder in partnership with Elevations Credit Union. All images were provided by the Carnegie Library for Local History and the Museum of Boulder. To learn more about Boulder’s fun and exciting past we encourage you to visit the Museum of Boulder!

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