Meeker prepares for annual Range Call celebration for Fourth of July

For a small town, Meeker packs a whole lot of action into its Fourth of July weekend.

The Range Call celebration has more going for it than hosting the oldest ongoing rodeo in the state. It's more than a tradition, but a way of life. The weekend features a fireworks display, a huge parade down Main Street, the Meeker Massacre Pageant, the re-enactment of the legendary bank robbery and an ice cream social.

According to Rhonda Hilkey, Range Call committee member, there is one big change in this year's celebration.

"This year the rodeo will be a Colorado Professional Rodeo Association sponsored event," Hilkey said.

Hilkey said the change classes up the rodeo and makes it more competitive with better cowboys and better stock.

An exciting addition is the silent art auction for the White River Museum. Proceeds will go toward further renovations of the Garrison Building and other museum projects.

There are dances at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights with music from the Kuzins Band. The dances last until 1 a.m. This year's concert is Saturday night at 7:30 and features Steve Azar with Deric Ruttan as the opening act. Azar's first single was "I Don't Have To Be Me (till Monday)." Ruttan's first album "When You Come Around" is a top-10 radio hit and No. 1 video on County Music Television in Canada.

"The attendance is always good. There is always a lot of interest in the concert and people really enjoy the dances," said Bonnie Kracht, a member of the Meeker Chamber of Commerce said.

The Chamber is the information agent for the Range Call committee.

"Everybody works together to make everything happen," Kracht said.

Saturday begins with a bike race sponsored by the Eastern Rio Blanco County Recreation and Park District at 6:30 a.m. with sign up at 6 a.m. Following the bike race at 8 a.m. is the Run for Your Life 5K run & walk race sponsored by the Meeker Fire Department and the Meeker High School Cross Country team.

The Masons are hosting a pancake breakfast between 7 and 10 a.m. at Meeker Elementary School.

The parade down Main Street is at 10 a.m. This year's grand marshals are Netie Faye Modlin, Roy McKee, Martin Villa and Clarence Johnson.

The Range Call Rodeo Royalty will be riding along with floats from around the county. The queen is Katie Lewis. Chrissy Amick is first attendant and Stacey Fitsgibbons is second attendant.

At noon the Meeker United Methodist Church hosts the annual Pig Roast in City Park

Package tickets for all events are $30 for adults and $25 for children over six and seniors.

Children under five are free. For more information call the Meeker Chamber of Commerce at 970-878-5510 or go to their Web site at www.rangecall.com

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