City activities a step away from the usual

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The weather is warming up, the days are getting longer and the grass is greening all sure signs of the onset of summer.

Another sure sign of summer is the beginning of Craig's Parks and Recreation activities.

Most envision endless hours of T-ball tournaments, or soccer tournaments played by herds of rambunctious children with their parents on the sidelines, eagerly hoping the sport will wear the child out before nine that night.

"We've tried to keep and induct some programs which will involve the entire family," Parks and Recreation Department Administrator Pam Brethauer said. "All the sports that you'd usually see are still around, but there are programs in Parks and Recreation which are a step away from the usual."

One of those events is the "Where the Hell is Maybell" bike ride May 19. Riders bike 30 miles, stopping only for a drink break at Lay. They are then offered breakfast in Maybell upon completion of the ride. The ride is free, but the breakfast is $4. Transportation for those who don't want to ride back to Craig is also provided.

The Parks and Recreation department will also sponsor the second-annual "Whittle Da Wood Wandezvous," June 13-16. Whittle Da Wood is a carving competition that draws artisans from around the world to compete, sell, and have an all-around good time with wood.

Many of last year's wood sculptures can be seen at the Craig City Park, such as the "Rocky Mountain Cottonwood Seahorse," which is featured in the Parks and Recreation calendar. The seahorse, carved by Duncan Kitson of Wales, is an example of event's drawing power.

Judging of the sculptures will be done by individuals from around the community, and the artisans have the chance to win up to $500 for their entry.

"Last year was the first time we ever did anything like Whittle Da Wood, and it turned out to be a great success," Brethauer said.

Last year's induction of a sculpture competition to the Parks and Recreation calendar didn't stop the department from adding new events this year.

The most notable addition this year will be the Doak Walker Youth Football League. The league offers the first youth tackle football program the city has had. Before, flag football was the only game in town for youth on the gridiron.

Registration started at the beginning of April, and will run through Aug. 3. There is a $40 fee to participate. Regular season practices begin Aug. 1 for third and fourth graders and Aug. 2 for fifth and sixth graders.

"This should turn out to be one of the biggest programs we'll run this year," Brethauer said. "Especially since there's never been anything like youth tackle football in Craig before."

All the programs are run by volunteers and there are still openings for coaches.

For more information about Parks and Recreation activities, call 824-8151, Ext. 329.

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