PUEBLO — Pueblo West residents are showing their disappointment at the district’s decision to cancel the famous Wet Parade for the second year in a row.
“We were all kind of looking forward to 2021 and seeing these traditions come back!” said Katlyn Lindley, who lives in Pueblo West.
Once Pueblo County lifted all COVID-19 mandates, almost everyone assumed that the biggest water fight west of the Mississippi River would be back and better than ever. However, Pueblo West decided otherwise.
"Right now it’s unrealistic to plan a safe event, and public safety is the top priority of the district right now,” said Public Information Officer Samantha Dosen. Dosen noted that the event has become so large that they have previously recorded 18,000 people in attendance.
“We do have some bad eggs that do come out with frozen water balloons, have wrecked vehicles, have hurt other individuals, and those are the things that take a lot of time to pre-plan, coordinate, and work with other agencies across the county to ensure that everyone who comes to this event leaves just how they came… safe!”
However, as the Facebook comments above show, many people in Pueblo West feel that the district is using the pandemic as an excuse.
“I just don’t think they want to deal with the clean-up! I don’t think they want to deal with all the issues that could possibly arise... The liability of people throwing water at each other, as little as that is!” said Lindley.
Speculation has circled that the cancellation is foreshadowing the Wet Parades extinction, but Dosen says that is untrue.
“It is not the end of an era, we can assure that, it’s just we want to put it on safely!”
Some of the disappointed community members who have taken to social media say they might host their own water fight, despite the cancellation. Several business owners told News 5 that while they are upset they will lose business on a traditionally busy day, they understand the district's decision.
Pueblo West is still hosting other events to celebrate the Fourth of July, including a fireworks display and "three movies in the park". More details for those events are available here.