It turns out a lot of Longmont residents don’t take themselves very seriously — in fact, it seemed on Saturday evening that self-seriousness was outright banned in the Absurd April Fool’s Day Parade. Instead, laughter, smiles, ridiculousness and silliness were seen throughout the Roosevelt Park parking lot as the parade-goers prepared to march along local streets.
Dozens of community members and their beloved pets wore absurdly creative, colorful costumes and hats. Some traveled on bikes, and others danced, skipped or walked their way along the parade route.
“This is our third Absurd April Fool’s Parade, so we could almost call it an annual, but we don’t want to put any jinx on that,” said Amy Heneghan, head of the “fun-raising” committee for the Left Hand Artist Group.
Heneghan said she began organizing the parade several years ago after a conversation with her sister.
“It started right when we were coming out of COVID, and my sister lives in Northern California, where they’ve been doing a fool’s parade for many years, and she’s like, ‘you should do one!’ and I was like, ‘OK!’ and so this came about really just coming out of COVID in 2021 — people needed a reason to smile and to laugh and just to have some joy,” Heneghan explained.
The parade began at the Longmont Senior Services center in Roosevelt Park and then went down Pratt Street, Sixth Avenue, Main Street, Longs Peak Avenue and back to where it started.
“The parade route that we do, is we walk past two senior living facilities,” Heneghan said. “When COVID was happening, the seniors got hit really hard — they couldn’t have visitors and there were just so many things that were sad and hard. And so we dropped off props and things for them to be part of the parade.”
This year, parade organizers dropped off tiaras, extra-large mustaches, boas and colorful beads at the senior centers.
“The seniors come out of their homes and they wave and the parade-goers pass out balloon animals or just bring them joy,” she said. “It’s a way to welcome spring and to give people permission to find joy and smile.”