Grand Olde West Days bringing full slate of fun to Craig

Grand Olde West Days schedule of events

Friday

8 p.m. Concert featuring the Blaine Mitchell Band at the Moffat County Fairgrounds, $15 at the door

Saturday

9 a.m. Tractor pull at Fourth and Ranney streets

5 p.m. Rocky Mountain Bronc Riders Association, Rocky Mountain Mini Bronc Riding, Sheep Hooking and Muttin’ Bustin’, Frontier Bells Equestrian Team

9 p.m. Barn dance featuring County Red with a dance competition. Combined cost for dance and bronc riding is $15, or $10 for just the dance

Sunday

8 a.m. Cowboy Church at the fairgrounds

9 a.m. Tractor Pull at Fourth and Ranney streets

9 a.m. Draft Horse Show and competition at the fairgrounds. Feed team races, obstacle course, barrel races, log skid and kid stick horse races

3 p.m. Downtown parade followed by a street dance and Western barbecue, free root beer floats, $5 per plate at barbecue

Monday

7:30 a.m. 5K run/walk at Alice Pleasant Park, $10

8 a.m. Pancake breakfast

10 a.m. to  5 p.m. Live music at Alice Pleasant Park, with wild west bounce house, $1; trampoline bungee jumping, a magician, RC car racing, mechanical bull, $3; redneck games, face painting, laser tag, $4; and old time photos

11 a.m. Memorial Day service

2 to 4 p.m. Dunk tank, featuring Mayor Terry Carwile, Councilman Ray Beck, Moffat County High School Principal Thom Schnellinger, teachers Justin Folley and Drew Morris

— Grand Olde West Days has become a Memorial Day weekend staple in Craig since it began 23 years ago. And those who planned this year’s version hope it’s the best yet.

Weather plays a key role in the success of the four-day festival. Last year’s event was chilly and wet, which meant only the most dedicated attendees participated. This year, the forecast is for sunny skies and warm weather all weekend long.

“This year we’re hoping for it to be nice,” said Mardi Anson, who runs the draft horse show at the Moffat County Fairgrounds on Sunday. “Last year it was so cold. We had farmers and ranchers out, so we put on coveralls and did the event, but there weren’t many spectators.”

The draft horse show, an annual event at Grand Olde West Days, is shaping up to be one of the best ever, Anson said.

“I’ve got teams coming in from out of town and three sets of four-horse hitches,” she said. “I’ve never had one four-horse hitch at this before, and we’ve got three this year. It’s going to be really cool.”

But the draft horse show is far form the only attraction available throughout the weekend. It will feed into the parade in downtown Craig, which will be followed by a street dance and barbecue.

One of the goals of this year’s organizing committee, though, was to create four days of fun to offer the community, rather than having only one or two days. Committee member Kandee Dilldine believes they have put together a weekend for everyone.

“I think one of the things this year is we have four full days,” she said. “We had a few more volunteers this year, which helps with getting new ideas. There’s a lot for kids to do downtown on Monday, and the two bands we have coming in, Blaine Mitchell Friday and County Red on Saturday, I think will be great. It will definitely be worth staying in town for.”

It all kicks off with the Blaine Mitchell Band in concert at 8 p.m. Friday at the fairgrounds, and will be followed by the Wild West Weekend on Saturday featuring Bronc Riding and a barn dance, among other attractions.

Sunday’s main events will be the draft horse show and parade downtown, while Memorial Day will feature games, stands, shows and music all afternoon at Alice Pleasant Park after a 5K run/walk in the morning. It will include laser tag, a mechanical bull, face painting and other fun.

“It’s geared toward everybody this year,” Dilldine said. “Everybody will have fun with all the things we have going on.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com.

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