Community barbecue grills up 4th of July fun | CraigDailyPress.com

Community barbecue grills up 4th of July fun

Noelle Leavitt Riley

VFW State Commander Peter Buchanan grills up hotdogs and hamburgers for the Craig community on Fourth of July.

After the Fourth of July Parade, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted a community barbecue at Veterans Park, where nearly a hundred Craig residents flocked for free hamburgers and hot dogs.

Tables and tents were set up for participants to sit and relax for an All American lunch.

VFW State Commander Peter Buchanan manned the grill, cooking barbecue for Fourth of July patrons.

"We use (the barbecue) as a recruitment tool," Buchanan said, noting that he and his fellow veterans work to educate veterans who have yet to join the VFW.

Most of all, Buchanan visited Craig from the Front Range to participate in the celebration — and he enjoys visiting Northwest Colorado.

"The trees, the greenery and the people… The people are just beautiful. They really, really are," he said of Craig residents.

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He was completely "enraptured" by those who saluted veterans during the parade earlier in the day.

The barbecue was free to the community, but the VFW was taking donations for the Moffat County High School band, said VFW member Mark Wick.

"They've got a nice program and they need some funding," Wick said.

Band teacher John Bolton helped lead the community band that played in the Fourth of July Parade.

"Our community has given us an embarrassing amount of contributions for this barbecue and parade… for everything," Wick said, noting how important it is for the VFW to give money back.

Buchanan recognized the contributions. He and his fellow commanders were pleased with the event.

Colorado VFW Sr. Vice Commander Allan Stone and Jr. Vice Commander Ed Aitken also were in town, celebrating the Fourth of July in Craig.

"It's the third or fourth time I've come up here," Aitken said, adding that he loves Craig and the friendly people.

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