TORRINGTON – The streets of Torrington were covered in red, white and blue on Oct. 31 as a caravan of cars made their way through town in support of President Donald Trump.
Mother-daughter duo Jaime Hunt and Denise Montgomery of Torrington planned the parade after seeing similar events around the country. It’s uncertain exactly how many vehicles participated, but Hunt said she counted more than 150 vehicles decked out in Trump flags and patriotic gear when they lined up on County Road 47 prior to the start of the parade.
“The chance to live in America and be able to express your feelings and use your freedom of speech is so important,” Montgomery said. “A lot of people feel like they can’t do that sometimes and they were able to do that.”
Trump supporters lined up on Main Street to wave to cars, trucks and bikes driving through. Henry and Sharon Schamel sat in their car parked near the intersection of Highway 26 and Main Street in hopes of seeing Sharon’s parents, who drove one of the many vehicles in line.
“(Trump) made a good president in 2020 and I hope he wins for 2021,” Sharon Schamel said.
Henry Schamel agreed, with a nod.
Hunt and Montgomery said they were “excited” about how the event went, but if they could do anything differently, they would have requested city approval to stop traffic, as some participants got a little lost along the way through red lights and stop signs.
“It’s nice to see you know that we all are patriots and we all like what Donald Trump stands for and what he’s done for America,” Hunt said. “We’re happy about the turnout.”
In 2016, Trump won more than 76% of the vote in Goshen County, so the support shown on Saturday wasn’t unexpected.
Karie Berry of Lingle was one of several Goshen County residents who joined the line of cars just after 10 a.m. She drove her truck with Brody Ringrose, 11, and Lola Ringrose, 15, in the back, who cheered and waved, wore red, white and blue face paint and ensured their several flags stayed in place.
“It feels good that people are supportive of making this country a great place to live,” Berry said. “And seeing all the patriotism, that’s what I like most is just seeing all the America everywhere and that everyone’s united in wanting a great place for our kids to grow up.”
Through the whipping Wyoming wind, Jim Shimek of Scottsbluff, with the help of some friends and family, hung an American flag bigger than all of them combined from a trailer attached to his blue pickup truck before lining up.
Shimek said he originally bought the flag for Gering’s Oregon Trail Days Parade that was canceled this year due to the pandemic.
Once the American flag was secured, Shimek hung beside it a Trump 2020 flag and a Thin Blue Line flag in support of police.
“This is the first time that I’ve actually hung a Trump flag,” Shimek said. “I’ve been a supporter, but I’ve been keeping it very patriotic.”
Members of Goshen County Right to Life, a pro-life organization headed by Jan Long, lined up at the corner of Main Street and U.S. Hwy 26 with Trump and pro-life signage. Their message was met with a mix of honks and cries of “Amen” from supporters and yells of “I’m pro-choice” from others.
Long said she and other members of the organization came to watch the parade because they support Trump’s pro-life stance on the issue of abortion.
“You can feel the excitement just by talking with people you don’t even know waiting for (the parade) to come down the road,” she said. “Trump is a good president.”
The parade didn’t end when the final Trump 2020 flag made its way down Main Street. Vehicles continued to drive up and down as spectators, some in Trump gear, one dressed as the Statue of Liberty, all with wide smiles, continued to wave and take video of the event.
Hunt and Montgomery said they’re thankful for everyone who participated either as a spectator or in the parade.
“I loved coming down the hill and seeing all of the spectators,” Hunt said.