Photo by Bill Helm.
LAKE MONTEZUMA – Coming up on 16 years of age in September, Abigail Jensen and her family have lived in Lake Montezuma for the past 12 years.
Each year, the Jensen family spends its Independence Day the same way as much of Beaver Creek’s community – by eating pancakes and sausage, taking in the annual parade, then enjoying the annual Kiwanis Rubber Duck Race.
But being in the parade, that’s another story.
“I never would have thought I’d be junior grand marshal,” Abigail said.
A long ways from her birthplace in Globe, Abigail will ride in a horse-drawn carriage Wednesday for her home community’s annual Independence Day parade.
Not that being out there in the public eye is something unusual for Abigail. She’s competed in the Camp Verde 4-H the past three years. Her favorite activities are showing livestock, riding horses, hiking, crafting and sewing.
Home schooled since first grade, Abigail has also been active in various Beaver Creek Kiwanis projects, such as the community’s spaghetti and chili dinners, the Christmas House and the Christmas Tree recycling and erosion control program.
Says Carol Keeton, Beaver Creek Kiwanis past-president and Beaver Creek 4th of July Celebration coordinator, Abigail’s personal achievements “are outstanding.”
“It is a very special thing to have a person under 18 achieve so much,” Keeton says.
Says her mother Sarah Jensen, Abigail is a “leader, that’s for sure.”
“She helped guide the younger kids in the fair who needed help,” Sarah Jensen says.
With a love of animals, to ride a carriage in the fair, and not tend to the horses drawing the carriage, Abigail says, “will be fun.”
Independence Day in Beaver Creek
From 7 a.m. until just before parade time, come have pancakes, sausage and coffee at Rollins Park, located at the Lake Montezuma Village Square, across from the Ranch House.
At 8:30 a.m., parade participants should begin to line up at Sycamore Park for the parade.
At 9 a.m. parade floats will traverse south on Montezuma Avenue past the Village Square.
“We still welcome vendors in the park and entry to the parade is still open,” Keeton says.
Following the parade, Camp Verde’s American Legion Post 93 will post the colors, the Beaver Creek Baptist Church will serve free hot dogs, and the Beaver Creek Adult Center will give out free ice cream cups until they have run out.
Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority will hand out ribbons to the parade’s best floats, which will be determined by a panel of judges.
Until noon, enjoy plenty of live music, tattoos, face painting and water balloons, as well as hayrides by Jim’s Trading Post, games with the Beaver Creek Kiwanis and the Kiwanis Key Club, as well as community information and vendor displays and a water game fire truck provided by Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Authority, or take a turn on the Beaver Creek Baptist Church’s rock climbing wall.
At noon, make sure to be at Wet Beaver Creek over at Sycamore Park for the annual Kiwanis Duck Race. Participate – or watch.
Duck Race tickets can be purchased in advance, with dozens of prizes available, including cash prizes. Call 928-592-9310 for more information.
For more information about display tables, entertainment and activities, call Beaver Creek Kiwanis President Carol Keeton at 928-606-4050.
-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42