19th annual Grand Olde West Days to begin May 23

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Grand Olde West Days schedule

Saturday, May 23

• 8 a.m. Antique tractor pull, 312 Yampa Ave.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cowboy Action Shoot, Bears Ears Sportsman's Club

• 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brown's Amusements Carnival, at the Moffat County Fairgrounds

• 2 p.m. Craig Lions Club Parade

• 5 p.m. VIP ticket holder's reception, fairgrounds

• 7 p.m. Lane Frost Bull Riding Competition, fairgrounds

• 9 p.m. Cowboy Disco Dance,fairgrounds pavilion

• 9 p.m. Buckin' Bull Challenge, fairgrounds pavilion

Sunday, May 24

• 8 a.m. Antique tractor pull, 312 Yampa Ave.

• 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cowboy Action Shoot, Bears Ears Sportsman's Club

• 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brown's Amusements Carnival, Moffat County Fairgrounds

• 1 p.m. Warrior Freestyle Motorcycle stunt show, fairgrounds area

• 3 p.m. Museum of Northwest Colorado art show preview with live music, 590 Yampa Ave.

Monday, May 25

• 8 a.m. Antique tractor pull, 312 Yampa Ave.

• 8 a.m. 5K Fun Run sponsored by the Rack Pack Relay Team (pre-registration encouraged)

• 9 a.m. Flapjack feed

• 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Yampa Avenue Street Festival, downtown Craig

• 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Brown's Amusements Carnival, fairgrounds

What started almost 20 years ago as a result of a bust economy has been steadily booming ever since, organizers said.

The 19th annual Grand Olde West Days runs May 23 through 25 in Craig.

The three-day event was started as a grand opening for the Museum of Northwest Colorado, event treasurer Carol Wilson said.

The first Grand Old West Days was a way to bring more business to the downtown area. In the years since, the event has expanded and become a three-day festival to start the summer, Wilson said.

The event starts May 23 with the antique tractor pull on Yampa Avenue, and Cowboy Action Shoot at Bears Ears Sportsman's Club. Both events start at 8 a.m.

At 2 p.m., the Craig Lions Club parade will start at Craig Middle School and proceed down Yampa Avenue to Victory Way.

Other activities include Brown's Amusements Carnival starting at 11 a.m. each day, an art show at the Museum of Northwest Colorado, a cowboy disco dance and a 5K fun run, sponsored by the Rack Pack Relay For Life Team.

After a one-year hiatus, bull riding will return.

Last year, after attendance started slipping, country singer Collin Raye was brought in instead of bull riding, Wilson said.

"Because so many of the people who enjoy Grand Olde West Days are the residents who come back every year, they don't want the same thing every year," Wilson said. "Last year, we changed it up a little."

The Lane Frost Challenge Bull Riding Competition will make Grand Olde West Days its fifth stop of 2009.

"PBR discovered that there was a way to have a high-caliber show that's a little more economical," Wilson said. "Lane Frost Challenge will bring in the riders and personnel to ensure we have a good, safe show."

Wilson said concerts and bull riding would alternate from year to year.

"It gives the other folks who might not like the bull riding something else to come out and see," she said. "We'll try to make it a little different every year."

New this year are VIP tickets, which cost $40, and allow spectators a close view of the bull riding action, along with drinks and a barbecue.

At 1 p.m. May 24, the Warrior Freestyle Motorcycle stunt show will take place at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The stunt show, started by Moffat County High School graduate Henry Billet, was a popular attraction last year, Wilson said.

On Monday, Grand Olde West Days will come to a close with the Yampa Avenue street festival.

The festival includes live music, food and craft vendors, pony rides, a bungee tramp, Parrot Head beer garden, community car show and shine, gold panning and many other activities.

Most of the events are at the Fairgrounds, 640 E. Victory Way, and in downtown Craig.

To register for the parade, or for more information, log on to www.grandoldewestdays.com

Bull riding tickets can be purchased at the Craig Chamber of Commerce, 360 E. Victory Way, or Murdoch's Ranch and Home Supply, 2355 W. Victory Way.

The only uninvited guest is bad weather, Wilson said.

"Come out, have fun and start summer the right way," she said. "We're just hoping for good weather."

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