Craig The upcoming holiday weekend marks Craig's 18th annual Grand Olde West Days, a Moffat County celebration that features many ongoing favorite events. This year, the GOWD Committee has plans for newer activities, as well.
GOWD begins Thursday with the perennial carnival presented by Brown's Amusements.
Major events begin Saturday in venues including the Moffat County Fairgrounds and Cedar Mountain. Country singer Collin Raye will play in concert from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fairgrounds, with a barn dance following from 9:30 p.m. to midnight.
"We want to please as many people as possible," said GOWD Committee Treasurer Carol Wilson said about the planning process. "We can always use more volunteers and sponsorship. After the weekend is over, we also need to get feedback and suggestions for next year."
This year's Grand Olde West Days promises new and traditional activities. This includes the Lions Club parade beginning at Craig Intermediate School at 2 p.m. Saturday, the all-day street festival starting at 8 a.m. Monday downtown, and the Warrior Promotions Xtreme Stunts Show held at 7 p.m. Sunday at the Fairgrounds.
The rodeo has always been an important part of the weekend festivities, but the committee chose to alter the style.
"This year's rodeo is a ranch rodeo," GOWD volunteer Carol Jacobson said. "Instead of activities like bull-riding like we've held in previous years, the ranch rodeo shows off traditional ranch activities like milking, branding and penning of livestock. It's something new to try, and it lets the ranch members who compete work together toward a common goal."
Changing up the schedule of events is a crucial way for the GOWD Committee to get a good public response.
"I think it's great that there are a lot of new events to get involved in along with the old ones," Jacobson said. "Everybody needs to step up and participate, even if all they do is put their kids on bikes in the parade."
There still will be plenty of returning favorites. Cedar Mountain will play host to the Northwest Colorado Rangers' 23rd annual Cowboy Action Shoot, a shooting competition at the Bears Ears Sportsman Club firing range.
Andy Bullen is the captain of the group and goes by the persona "Sagebrush Burns."
"We've got 95 shooters this year coming from everywhere from California to Pennsylvania," Bullen said. "We always dress like cowboys and give out scenarios for competitors, like a jailbreak or something in the Western theme. People shoot at steel targets with pistols, rifles and shotguns, and it's always a blast."
The Cowboy Action Shoot will run the entire day starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and will conclude the following afternoon.
Andy Bockelman can be reached at 970-875-1796.