Craig's sheep event herds in the crowds

Planners with Craig's fourth-annual Sheep Wagon Days said Wednesday they're pleased with turnout so far, with two days worth of events yet to come.

Festivities began Tuesday and will run through Saturday afternoon at Craig's downtown park and the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

Marry Morris, co-organizer of the event, said school-aged children and area youth groups have accounted for a large portion of attendees to date.

The five-days are a tribute Moffat County's rural traditions, particularly its sheep-herding heritage, both past and present, she said.

"It's an opportunity to explore what made Moffat County, and we have wagons where (sheepherders) actually lived, or still live," Morris said.

Morris, who organized the event with Jan Berger, said they have five wagons, including a commissary, on display at downtown park.

The rolling homes, for the most part, include models developed in the 1940s when wooden wheels were replaced by automobile tires, and full chassis. Canvas tops were traded in for harsh-weather friendly metal covers.

Full days are planned tomorrow and Saturday. Admission is free. On Friday, all-day events starting at 9 a.m., include "Paint a Wagon," along with sheep wagon displays and pioneer demonstrations in downtown park. They'll be joined by llamas and alpacas. A Norman Rockwell exhibit and gunfighter collection continues at the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

At 6:30 p.m., a historical presentation will be given at the museum, as well.

Sheep wagons, pioneers, llamas and alpacas, arts and crafts, will again be major themes on Saturday at the park, as well as the museum's Rockwell exhibit and gunfighter collection.

At 10 a.m. that day, story telling will get underway at the park, which will be followed by a 1:30 p.m. presentation at the museum, "Cornerstones and Communities: The County Seats and Courthouses of Colorado," by William Virden.

Sheep Wagon Days is a venture between Colorado Northwest Community College and the Museum of Northwest Colorado.

This year's Sheep Wagon Days was moved back from last year to fall one week after Meeker's Sheep Dog Trials, and, to get cooler weather for attendees and to get better participation from school children, said Jan Gerber, an event organizer.

Last year, organizers decided to move ahead as scheduled in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.

"It provided people an opportunity for people to come together and talk, which is a big part of what this is about," Gerber said.

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