Hooked on fishing

Huck Finn Fun Day set for Saturday in Craig

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Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher will be in town this weekend, sort of.

Craig's Huck Finn Fun Day, sponsored by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and Auxiliary, makes its annual return to Loudy-Simpson Park on Saturday.

The free event, which dates back more than 35 years, will again focus on children, fishing and the Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher costume contests. The day's festivities are open to children ages one through 15.

Registration starts at 8 a.m. Officials from the Colorado Department of Game and Fish and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office will explain safety and the rules of the event from 8:30 to 8:45 a.m.

At 8:30 a.m., the fishing pole (homemade only) and costume judging contest will also begin. From 9 to 11 a.m., the prize fishing contest takes place.

For the costumes and fishing, children will be separated into the age brackets of one through eight and nine through 15.

If a child plans to come as Becky Thatcher, they should wear a long full skirt (not hooped), a dainty apron, two braids, a sunbonnet, pantalets, white stockings, white gloves and a parasol.

If a child plans to come as Huck Finn, they should be barefooted and wear frayed overalls and a ragged straw hat. Possible accessories include a corncob pipe, willow fishing pole, freckles and sandy blond hair.

For the fishing pole contest, a child must construct a homemade pole that incorporates string, a hook and a bobber.

Nick Kamzalow, organizer of Huck Finn Fun Day, said each of the contests would be judged on the authenticity and effort that was put into each costume and fishing pole. First place for each of the three categories is $50 in Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks

All children must be registered before they can compete for the most authentic costume or to enter the fishing derby.

Fishing during Huck Finn Fun Day can be done with any kind of pole and the pond will be stocked with an additional 250 fish on Friday. Saturday is Colorado Free Fishing Day, which means no fishing license is required. There is a limit of four fish per contestant and all state fishing requirements apply.

Kamzalow said during the fishing derby prizes will be awarded for biggest fish, smallest fish and the first fish. He also said that many prizes would be awarded intermediately for various categories yet to be determined.

The Ladies Auxiliary will provide free hamburgers, hot dogs and soft drinks throughout the day.

While the day is about fun, Kamzalow said it is about much more.

"It's special because it introduces the kids to the sport of fishing," Kamzalow said. "It's a weekend where they get a chance to go out and catch a fish, and we give them some stuff to promote this thing. The free fishing rods aren't just for this weekend, they can use them throughout the summer.

"These kids, I'd rather see them out fishing, and that's the whole idea. This is a youth activity that we want to promote to give something for the kids to do so they don't have to hang around the streets and get in trouble. They can catch fish all summer long and into the fall."

For additional information or questions contact Nick Kamzalow at 824-5510.

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