OURAY – “The lips that touch alcohol shall never touch mine.” That temperance slogan is one of many that will warn the public about the evils of spirits during Ouray’s Fourth of July parade this year.
The Ouray County Historical Society is responsible for this resurgence of the infamous temperance movement. One of the OCHS parade floats will feature “Barroom Smasher” Carrie Nation and other formidable temperance advocates, proclaiming their cause of “protecting Ouray from the evils of demon rum and other alcohol,” and displaying vintage posters from the early 20th Century movement that led to the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) in 1920.
Janet Kapsin of Evergreen, Colo., returns to Ouray as the ax-wielding Nation, whom she last portrayed in Ouray in 2009 for OCHS at the Wright Opera House. Joining Kapsin will be Judy Winnick of Denver, dressed in white to represent the purity of abstinence from alcohol. Winnick is also well-known to Ouray audiences for her many dramatic impersonations of historic women.
Gail Saunders, OCHS board member, her daughter-in-law, and granddaughter will also join in the fun, representing three generations of women and children. (Temperance leagues considered women and children the victims of rampant alcoholism.)
The other OCHS parade float this year will be a 1961 Studebaker stake bed truck in mint condition, owned by Bob Landis of Ridgway. Lisa Edgar, an outstanding jazz singer and leader of the jazz band Razzmatazz, will belt out old-time jazz renditions from the truck.
After the parade, the more virtuous ladies will carry their temperance theme to the Ouray County Historical Museum, where “pure” lemonade and brownies will be sold on the museum grounds right after the parade ends. The public is invited to relax, socialize and tour the museum at 420 Sixth Avenue. The museum’s lawn party is an annual post-parade tradition in Ouray.
Admission to the museum is $6 per adult, $1 for children ages six to 12, and free for children under six. For hours and information, call 970/325-4576.