What has taken place the first weekend in May in Cañon City, Colorado, for more than 77 years? The Cañon City Music and Blossom Festival.


This festival signifies the beginning of tourism season in Cañon City. It draws high school and middle school bands from all over the United States, and the festival features several events, the biggest of which is the annual parade. 


On May 2, 2015, Cañon Lodge Care Center entered a float into the parade. For Jennifer Berckefeldt, admissions and marketing director, this was her first time building a float. She pulled together volunteers from the staff at the facility, and they started developing ideas for the theme, Celebration of Generations.


“When I think of a celebration, I think of cakes and balloons,” Berckefeldt said.


So the team created a large cake and placed on top the number 77 for the number of years the festival has been going on. 


The group started the parade with more than 800 balloons and 550 disposable bottles of water with the Cañon Lodge Care Center logo on them.


“The float was covered in balloons, and when we reached the end of the parade, those who were walking representing Cañon Lodge Care Center had stripped the float to give balloons to all the kids,” said Berckefeldt. “When you looked down the street at the end of the parade route, you could see hundreds of balloons with the Cañon Lodge Care Center logo on them! They were everywhere!”


Shannon Braaten, executive director, said, “I have been involved with several parades of the past several years, and I have never seen a float stripped like this. It just goes to show that at Cañon Lodge Care Center, we will do what it takes to make people happy.” 


It was a spectacular day for a parade, and several residents from Cañon Lodge Care Center came out with volunteers to enjoy the spectacle. They also gave out balloons to the many spectators.


“It was a great experience, and I am ready to start on the next float,” said Berckefeldt. “We had a lot of fun and made a lot of people happy with the balloons and water we handed out.”

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