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By Bud Starker

It’s going to be another great Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival (Aug. 10 through 12) at Anderson Park at 4355 Field St., thanks to the hard work of the committee led by Joe DeMott and Councilwoman Leah Dozeman.

The event schedule includes a full slate of live music Friday through Saturday, the Zoppé Italian Family Circus, an art show, Big Wheels on the Farm Car Show, and carnival rides.

I hope you’ll join me and members of city council for the Carnation Parade on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon on West 38th Avenue from Ames Street to Upham Street. The parade features floats, bands, dance groups as well as local schools, businesses and nonprofit organizations. This year’s parade theme is “Deep Roots” and is a celebration of the City of Wheat Ridge and its history as the Carnation Capital of the world.

For younger festival-goers, the Zoppé Italian Family Circus is back with new and exciting acts on Friday, Aug. 10, at 4 and 7 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 11, at 1, 4 and 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 12, at 1 and 4 p.m.

Little folks will also enjoy an increased number of carnival rides and fireworks presented at 9:15 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday night.

The festival also offers plenty of fun for adults, including one of the state’s largest beer and wine gardens.

In addition to the circus, music and rides, Wheat Ridge students have a couple of activities planned. Local art students will hold a fundraising auction featuring hand-painted wooden benches that can change to tables. Funds raised from the auction will support school art programs. The Wheat Ridge High School Quarterback Club will also host the Big Wheels on the Farm Car Show on Sunday, Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and proceeds from registration will benefit the club.

The festival features a range of other attractions and activities, including:

• The free Wheat Ridge Art League Exhibition at the Anderson Building at Anderson Park, 4355 Field St., which runs Friday, Aug. 10 from 4 to 10 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 11 from noon to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 12 from noon to 4 p.m.

• Wheat Ridge Grange at 3850 High Court will offer a Pancake Breakfast from 7 to 9 a.m. Saturday with a suggested donation of $7.

• Chili cook-off is also on Saturday in the spaghetti dinner tent, with public tasting and voting from noon to 3 p.m., Winners will be announced at 3:30 p.m. Tasting is $5.

• West Metro Fire Rescue holds its Spaghetti Dinner Friday and Saturday nights from 4 to 8 p.m. in the food court. Cost is $8 for adults and $3 for kids under 12.

• New this year: The Pie Bake-off Friday, 6 to 7 p.m., for $2 a slice.

The festival also helps raise money for a variety of causes, including scholarships for Wheat Ridge High School students as well as funding for the school’s STEM program and cheerleader and pom squads. The Wheat Ridge Rotary and Optimists service clubs also receive proceeds from the festival’s bar sales.

For more information about the festival and a full schedule of festival hours and activities, visit www.thecarnationfestival.com.

While city council members and I are walking in this year’s parade, we will be reminding everyone that at next year’s festival we will be celebrating 50 years as a city. Check out the new Facebook Group, Celebrate Wheat Ridge 50, and start adding your photos and memories. You can also stop by City Hall and drop off your photos for use in our calendar and displays that will travel throughout Wheat Ridge next year. Make sure you add your name and address so we can get those back to you though.

I hope to see many of you at this year’s Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival as we celebrate this important tradition for the community. Enjoy the summer!

Contact Wheat Ridge Mayor Bud Starker at bstarker@ci.wheatridge.co.us or 303-235-2800.