Grand Parade Celebrates Wheat Ridge and the Carnation Festival

“Everybody loves a parade” and there have been many beloved and famous parades to celebrate in U.S. history. The top four include the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1762, the first Mardi Gras Parade in 1856, the first Tournament of Roses Parade in 1890 and the inaugural Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 1924.

First held in 1969 to commemorate the year of our city’s founding and chaired by District IV City Councilmember Leah Dozeman, the parade functions as one of the most visible ways the city honors service groups; local schools and businesses; the fire and police departments; state and national politicians and political candidates; church groups, and hobby clubs, including those focused on autos, horseback riding, biking, walking, martial arts, cheerleading and dance. 

The parade also honors distinguished residents by selecting a Grand Marshal, Count and Countess, who serve as royalty and ride in the parade. Guy Nahmiach and Optimist, Ron Benson will be the parade announcers.

Engaging residents in all aspects of the parade is a main goal every year. Community groups and individuals who want to secure one of the 80 maximum spots, need to register at thecarnationfestival.com by Saturday, July 29th. Parade application fees are: $50 for businesses and $150 for politicians and political candidates. On the day of the parade, two resident judges will randomly select three attendees from the crowd to help judge the winning entries in the categories of Best Marching Band, Marching Unit, Musical Group, Business, Vehicle and Float, as well as Most Creative and a Community Award.

Commemorative plates, featuring a local artist’s design, will be given to the parade category winners. Parade winners, royalty, the city and the Carnation Festival board will be honored at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, August 12th.

The parade runs Saturday morning, 9:30-11:30 am and will include fan favorites the Westernaires and the El Jebel Shriners. With staging from Ames to Depew Streets, the parade route continues to Upham Street along West 38th Avenue. Dominick Breton and the Wheat Ridge Grange board will serve a $7-donation Pancake Breakfast at The Grange, 7-9:30 am. Parking is available in front of Wheat Ridge Cyclery, at Stevens Elementary and along the side streets of the parade route. The Festival Board welcomes everyone in the community and surrounding neighborhoods to join in the celebration of Wheat Ridge.

Nominations for the Festival Royalty is now closed.

Parade Information

The Wheat Ridge Carnation Grand Parade will roll west along 38th Ave from Ames Street to Upham Street on Saturday, August 12th beginning at 9:30am MST.  Established in 1969, this parade is among one of the longest standing traditions held to celebrate the incorporation of our beloved Wheat Ridge. The Grand Parade features local schools, businesses, and nonprofit organizations that always show up to have fun and impress the crowd!  Join us for Year 54! Parade entry application closes on Saturday, July 29th.

Prior to the parade, the Wheat Ridge Grange (3850 High Court) will offer a Pancake Breakfast beginning at 7am MST. Join us for a delicious breakfast and find a seat to enjoy our community parade!

Parade Route

Parade Entry Application for 2023 closed on July 29th. Please email info@thecarnationfestival.com with any questions.