Summer Dates Set For Popular Veterans’ Festival and Tribute
Kellie Case and Dan Williams
In a joint statement released late last week, the Teller County and Woodland Park leadership announced that the annual Salute to Veterans Rally is back on and is currently planned for Friday and Saturday, August 20 and 21, 2021. A full schedule of events will be forthcoming.
This will mark the first time the popular event has returned to Teller since the summer of 2019. Last year’s rally was cancelled due to the pandemic threat.
Dan Williams, a 30-year combat veteran and the vice-chairman of the Teller County Board of County Commissioners had this to say: “It’s been a tough year for our Nation, our State and Teller County. We have levels of divisiveness in our country probably not seen since the Vietnam War. When we began to see divisiveness and infighting with regards to the Veterans Rally, many of us quickly moved to try and support the rally. This event is nearly 30 years old and is needed now more than ever.”
According to Williams, 20 percent of Teller County’s reported suicides in the last year consisted of veterans. As a result, he and other leaders and Rally proponents believe this event will “help us move towards normalcy.” This year’s rally will be somewhat of a hybrid.
“We have taken a holistic approach that allows the residents of Teller County from one end to the other to come out and show their support for our veterans, for our businesses to gain some economic benefit, while not placing an undue burden on any city or community,” noted Williams. “The collaborative effort of all Teller County entities is important to bring healing and a sense of ‘normalcy’ to veterans, residents and the greater community as a whole,” said Kellie Case, member of the Woodland Park City Council.
This year, there is no public money to support the rally other than the normal event support and our first responders. So, event sponsors and individuals are encouraged to contact Mr. (Jim) Wear with Pro Promotions directly to offer their support. This event will come about a month and half after planned 4th of July events in our communities, and it is fitting that it honors veterans who helped make our independence and freedom possible.
As you all know, the county has worked very hard to keep Cripple Creek’s casinos and all county businesses open. The pandemic has been especially hard on Cripple Creek as much of its revenue for essential services is derived from casino revenue.
Therefore, this year, the ride will begin in Woodland Park, and travel south through Cripple Creek where we are encouraging folks to line the streets and support our Veterans as well as all along the parade route. “We are encouraging our residents to visit the casinos and local businesses and restaurants in Cripple Creek. The change will be that all official ceremonies and the majority of vendors will be in Woodland Park this year where we are also encouraging visitors to spend some time and visit our local businesses. This event, along with the 4th of July ceremonies, will help our community stand back up again,” according to Williams.
For more information about sponsoring this great event, please contact Jim Wear with Pro-Promotions at (719) 487-8005 or Kellie Case at (719) 291-0951.