Saturday’s Huck Finn Cops and Kids Fishing Day schedule:
• Registration — 8 to 8:30 a.m.
• Fishing pole and costume contest — 8:30 to 8:50 a.m.
• Safety and rules presentation — 8:50 to 9 a.m.
• Prize fishing — 9 to 10:30 a.m.
— The event, which is free and open to the public, takes place at Loudy-Simpson Park. For more information, call Don Offutt at 824-8927.
By JOSHUA GORDON
Daily Press writer
Catching a fish is an amazing feeling, and Saturday’s Huck Finn Cops and Kids Fishing Day is designed to allow youths to have that experience, event chairman Don Offutt said.
“We are hoping to introduce kids that have never fished to the sport,” Offutt said. “We will have men with a lot of experience fishing, so we will be able to help.”
The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 and the Ladies Auxiliary are teaming with local law enforcement agencies and the Colorado Division of Wildlife to host the 57th annual event at Loudy-Simpson Park.
Although numerous adults are behind the effort, the day is for area youth, VFW commander Mark Wick said.
“If the kids have a fun and learn a thing or two, then the event is a success in our eyes,” he said.
More than 90 youths registered for last year’s event, Offutt said, and organizers expect about the same numbers Saturday.
Before this year, Huck Finn and Cops and Kids fishing days were separate events. However, due to difficult economic times, the two were combined this year.
Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz said combining the events eases the burden on local businesses.
“Coming together allows us to share resources and share prizes,” Jantz said. “This helps because it lifts the burden off local businesses from sponsoring in these hard times.”
The event is for youths 12 and under. Participants will be split into two groups — ages 1 to 6 and ages 7 to 12.
Registration for the free event is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Then, judging will begin for the homemade fishing pole and costume contests.
The costume contest is for best Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher outfits.
Organizers described the clothes for both characters.
Becky Thatcher wore a long, full skirt with a dainty apron.
Her hair was done in two braids, and she wore a sunbonnet. She had white gloves and held a parasol.
She completed her outfit with pantalets, white stockings and black “Mary Janes.”
Huck Finn went out in ragged overalls that dragged along the ground. He wore a worn straw hat on his sandy hair and had a corncob pipe in his mouth.
When fishing, he carried his willow-fishing pole and didn’t wear shoes.
After the contests, at 8:50 a.m., officials from Colorado Game & Fish and deputies from the sheriff’s office will go over fishing safety and rules.
Prize fishing begins at 9 a.m. and will last until 10:30 a.m.
“We are really hoping that a lot of kids show up so we can show them a thing or two,” Offutt said.
Interaction between veterans, law enforcement officers and youths is at the top of Saturday’s priority list, Jantz said.
“We want to show the kids that (officers) are human, too,” he said. “We like to have fun and we just want to provide a safe environment for them and get them out of the house.”
Game & Fish will provide youths with fishing poles if they do not have one of their own, and a free pancake and sausage breakfast will be provided.
There is a four-fish-per-person limit, and the winner in each group, as well as contest winners, will receive Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks.
No license is required for youths to fish Saturday, as the event coincides with Colorado Free Fishing Day.