Apocalypse, No

Telluride celebrates the Fourth of July

The fighter jets flying over the valley at the 2011 Fourth of July parade in Telluride were a little frightening—there were four F-16 jets this year, with the last one flying so low I thought my ears might explode. But there was no reason to worry. This year’s “Apocalypse, No” float reminded us that the world is not coming to an end.

“Apocalypse, No” took the parade’s top honors for humor, with signs declaring “The End is Far,” “Pay Your Bills” and “Armageddon Tired of All This Apocalypse Talk!” while Dan Hanley shouted over the megaphone about doomsday not being imminent.

There were other lighthearted moments: kayaks wheeling down the street on skateboards, a Yeti on a four-wheeler, a funky marching band and a float with all of the characters from Gilligan’s Island. A local cyclist portrayed Tom Shadyac, the hippie-haired Hollywood director and part-time Tellurider, biking down main street with long, black, curly wig and throwing fake bills into the crowd. There was a float protesting the proposed Piñon Ridge uranium mill (“Hell No, We Won’t Glow” declared the signs) and an endless array of costumed kids, dogs and grownups acting like kids. Also on parade were hang gliders, a raft and all kinds of convertibles with precious cargo like the parade’s marshal Wendy Brooks, the grand dame Irene Visintin and future prom king and queen Zephyr and Avalon Basham. Adding some gravitas to the festivities were the war veterans—locals who have served in the army, navy, marines and coast guard—who honor the ceremonies by marching first and leading the parade.