Museum to make Memorial Day weekend 'grand'

All Grand Olde West Days weekend events have been moved to the Moffat County Fairgrounds, but that won't stop the Museum of Northwest Colorado from sponsoring a grand weekend of its own.

Museum employees have four days of activities lined up guaranteed to bring people to the Moffat County landmark.

"We just wanted to continue with the tradition that was originally started with Grand Olde West Days," Jan Gerber said. "This is where it all started."

Several new displays were erected for the weekend. One features local boxers Frankie Rassmusen and Bud Hurd and the other is a photographic display by Robert Richardson IV. Richardson lived in Craig from 1894 to 1911 and left behind some fairly well-known pictures of the area.

But new displays aren't the only things that will draw a crowd to the museum.

The museum will kick off the weekend Friday afternoon with a sidewalk sale. Items from the gift shop, such as books, rock art, postcards and magnets, will be on sale. Many other downtown businesses will participate in the sidewalk sale also.

Activities get into full swing Saturday afternoon. The western music group, Prickly Pear, will alternate performing with cowboy poets from across the state.

In between performances, Les Hamilton, one-half of the Prickly Pear group, will hold fiddler's workshops. He will demonstrate the fiddle, talk about its history and teach anyone who wants to participate.

"People are welcome to bring their fiddles and come play along," Gerber said.

As a way to get visitor participation and make a trip to the museum more fun, there will be a life-sized display of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. People can bring their own cameras so they can have their pictures taken with these famous outlaws.

Forget a camera? The museum will take the picture and then mail it to the person.

"We're just trying to increase our visitor participation," Gerber said. "We're trying to make this a fun event for our visitors."

Visitors will also be able to hear original radio programs from the 1940s. The museum has copies of performances by famous storytellers such as Bergen and McCarthy and Fibber McGee and Molly.

"People can just come and gather around the old radio like they used to do years ago," Gerber said.

On Sunday, the only performances will be by cowboy poets, but a full day of entertainment has been booked for Monday.

The day will be filled with historical re-enactments. Volunteers will demonstrate old-fashioned buttermaking, wool spinning, coffee grinding, bread making, sewing, washing, apple pressing, ice cream making and ironing.

All activities will be done on original equipment and the demonstrators will actually make butter, ice cream and bread.

Museum employees are considering giving out tastes of the products, but aren't sure of the health regulations.

Visitors may get a chance to help with some of the activities.

Casey Hicks, a Craig resident whose portrayal of Teddy Roosevelt has been seen all over the country, will be at the museum Monday afternoon. He will autograph certificates telling why Teddy bears are named after Teddy Roosevelt.

"He really looks like Teddy Roosevelt," Gerber said. "He portrays him well."

Visitors can bring a camera to get their picture taken with the famous ex-president or the museum will take the picture and mail it.

Visitors will be entertained by the music of the Yampa Valley Brass and Strings Group while they see demonstrations on millinery, medical equipment or old hardware.

Old-fashioned root beer floats will be sold throughout the day as a fund-raiser for high school students.

The Albaugh family will dress in period costumes Monday and give tours of the Marcia car, located on Victory Way across from the Craig Chamber of Commerce.

Planning the four-day weekend has kept the museum staff busy for the past few months.

"We had to change along the way and regroup from time to time, but, hopefully, people will have a good time," Gerber said.

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