Grand Olde West Days kicks off May 24

Event to feature concert, rodeo, shooting and more

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This year's Grand Olde West Days will feature a concert by a famous country musician, a rodeo, golf tournament, carnival, numerous contests, an old-fashion cowboy shoot out, and numerous other events.

More than 60 booths will be set up for the weekend of May 24 to May 27 and people from all over Northwest Colorado will come to Craig specifically for the Grand Olde West festivities.

The event has grown considerably since its inception 12 years ago when the decision was made to have a celebration recognizing the move of the Museum of Northwest Colorado from the courthouse basement to its current location downtown.

"I think the first event had a budget of $800 and about four booths," said Kathy Shea, former Grand Olde West Days chairperson. "The downtown businesses decided something needed to be done to increase business downtown. So they decided to hold an event recognizing the move of the museum."

The annual event has inflated from a four-booth, $800-budget event 12 years ago to a 60-booth, $100,000 budget event with activities scattered throughout the community for four days.

The increased popularity of the event is due to the effort to continually bring in new draws including the concert, which this year will feature country music star Andy Griggs, and the rodeo, which began four years ago, Shea said.

"We try to change it a little bit every year," Shea said. "If you put on a good show, people will want to come."

Vendors from as far as Idaho, Tennessee and Nebraska will be set up at the event, Shea said.

"Word of mouth has helped us as far as vendors go," she said.

The continued success of Grand Olde West Days is also because of a year-round effort put forth by the event committee, Shea said.

"It's strictly volunteer and it's a year-round project," she said. "By the time the event comes, we're ready for a nap."

This year's event will kick off Friday, May 24, when the Black Mountain Junior Rodeo series comes to town along with a Hispanic dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Saturday will feature an old-fashion cowboy shoot, a nationally sanctioned quick draw competition, a parade and the concert featuring Andy Griggs.

Sunday will feature the fourth annual bull riding event, a family dance, free wagon rides and a fireworks display.

Monday will feature the karaoke competition, a Memorial Day service and the World Famous Wild Game and Road Kill Cook-off.

Grand Olde West Days is filled with western tradition, Shea said.

"We are one of the last hold outs of the Old West," she said. "There's a lot of old western history here."

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