More than 600 people celebrate Moffat County’s centennial | CraigDailyPress.com

More than 600 people celebrate Moffat County’s centennial

Wayne Davis, left and John Allen, center, of the John Wayne Band, perform alongside guest guitarist Dave Payton for Moffat County residents during Friday night’s Centennial Barbecue at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.





Wayne Davis, left and John Allen, center, of the John Wayne Band, perform alongside guest guitarist Dave Payton for Moffat County residents during Friday night's Centennial Barbecue at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

Quotable

"This is our heritage we're celebrating here. It's just so exciting to me that so many people would come out and help us celebrate our birthday."

Audrey Danner, a Moffat County Commissioner, about Friday's celebration of Moffat County's 100th birthday

The smell of good food, the sound of guitars and the welcoming sight of hundreds of people having a good time.

That was the scene Friday night at the covered picnic area of the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

For Moffat County Commissioner Audrey Danner, it was the combination of those things and more that made the evening so rewarding.

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"I'm just glad everybody could come out and celebrate with us," Danner said.

More than 600 people turned out for Friday's Moffat County Centennial Barbecue, a celebration recognizing the county's 100th year in existence.

The county, along with the cooperation of many local sponsors, provided a free picnic, live music and giveaways.

Local elected officials were among those serving the crowd, including Moffat County Commissioner Tom Mathers, Craig Mayor Terry Carwile, and Craig City Council members Ray Beck and Joe Bird.

County treasurer Elaine Sullivan was busily making root beer floats for crowd members who wanted something sweet to complement dishes like baked beans and potato salad.

"When we've done this in the past, we've bought enough for 300 people, and there are definitely more people here than that," she said. "It's been really busy."

Lines were lengthy as people waited for the free meals. Fortunately, they had entertainment to keep their minds busy, as the John Wayne Band serenaded them.

The band also played at the county's official birthday party at the Museum of Northwest Colorado earlier in the year, commemorating Moffat County's split from Routt County on Feb. 27, 1911.

The duo of the John Wayne Band plays country, folk and Celtic music and consists of guitarist John Allen and fiddler Wayne Davis.

"We had Dave Payton playing some with us today, too," Davis said. "I've seen a lot of people I know here today, so it's been pretty fun."

The crowd was not limited to locals, with out-of-towners breaking bread as well, whether after a day at the Moffat County Fair or just passing through town.

Garry Miller, of Denver, has traveled to and from Craig a number of times recently for his work with TransWest Express.

Friday night was purely about relaxation, however, as he and his wife, Rosa, settled down for a nice meal.

"We just came down for the day to check out the fair and partake in the celebration," Garry said. "A centennial's really a major milestone for a county, and plus this is a great fair you have here."

The Moffat County Fair began in 1918 in Maybell before moving to Craig four years later.

Reminders of the county's history were all over Friday during the barbecue. Danner handed out books about the history of the region as door prizes.

Lauren Arana won a copy of "Tales of the Old West Retold: Early Stories of Northwest Colorado."

"It's a lot of firsts for me," she said. "I never win anything and this is the first big thing I've come to since I've been in Craig."

Arana recently moved to the region from Tracy, Calif., to work at The Memorial Hospital.

"It's a small town, about 80,000 people, but not really small like here," she said. "The people here are really nice."

Danner also handed out other prizes, like Craig Chamber of Commerce Spree Bucks as well as tickets to the Moffat County Balloon Festival beginning Aug. 19 and the Colorado State BBQ Championship from Aug. 25 to 27.

One of Danner's favorite prizes to hand out were prints of the Museum of Northwest Colorado painting "Craig, Colorado — 1895," depicting the local area before the town or county were founded.

"This is our heritage we're celebrating here," she said. "It's just so exciting to me that so many people would come out and help us celebrate our birthday."

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Quotable

“This is our heritage we’re celebrating here. It’s just so exciting to me that so many people would come out and help us celebrate our birthday.”

Audrey Danner, a Moffat County Commissioner, about Friday’s celebration of Moffat County’s 100th birthday

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