Carol Wilson: Responding to the Editorial Board

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To the editor:

Regarding the April 25 Editorial Board suggestion for grafting together Grand Olde West Days with Whittle the Wood :

While the idea of combining events to preserve resources is not a new one, I feel compelled to point out that all events in nature have an ebb and flow cycle.

Certainly Grand Olde West Days reached a low ebb about seven years ago, when the then presiding group of volunteers pronounced the event done, defunct, moribund, gone, to be no more.

They packed it in and wrote it off.

Other community members felt differently and stepped up to work from scratch doing what was needed to keep the event alive and to bring the Monday activities back downtown, where the public wanted them to be after a two-year absence.

I contend that the years between 2000 and 2003 were the "pale" years, and the pruned branch that was the GOWD at that point has generated new growth and has come back in a very real way.

This year will be the 19th year of Grand Olde West Days.

The Whittle the Wood event is an inspired one to be sure and is a definite feather in the cap of Craig's Parks and Recreation Department.

This year is the 10th Whittle the Wood.

While the traditional free concert serving as Whittle's finale draws thousands to City Park, it also seems to attract day visitors who bring their own food and drinks as often as purchase them while here.

Please note that last year's Grand Olde West Days' Monday street festival attracted an estimated 3,000 people throughout the day.

That's not including attendees at the carnival, the concert, the dance, the Warrior extreme stunt show, the Cowboy action shoot, the car show, the antique tractor pull and the activities at the Wyman Museum, which all attracted additional crowds. The overall three-day event generated income for hotels, motels and restaurants, as well as retail and other businesses.

People do come to Craig and stay for Grand Olde West Days, despite the typical vagaries of springtime weather in Craig.

The statement that the most recent Grand Olde West Days celebrations pale by comparison to those of years past, is reminiscent of the faded memory of Christmas past - it's just not as wonderful as it was when you were a kid.

Things were bigger, brighter and better then. Maybe that's because we were littler and less jaded.

Combining the two events would be a challenge and would definitely produce a super event.

Having a paid staff to do the year-round planning and all that's involved in carrying out one super large event, that would be cool. Having one less summer activity to lure people to Craig?

We'd probably survive. After all, when there's nothing to do in Craig, Steamboat is only 40 miles up the road.

Carol Wilson

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