Wyman Museum preparing to present annual Winter Festival
February 16, 2011
Wyman’s Winter Festival event schedule:
• 7 a.m. — Antique snowmobile show registration
• 9 a.m. — X-Treme Mountain Snow-X Racing begins
• 10 a.m. — Antique snowmobile show
• 10 a.m. — Sled dogs demonstration begins
• 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — Craig Chamber of Commerce Chili Cook-Off with judging at 12:30 p.m.
• Noon — Warrior Freestyle demo
• 2 p.m. — Cardboard Box Derby judging and racing
• 6 p.m. — Warrior Freestyle show, followed by fireworks
• 7 a.m. — X-Treme Mountain Drag Racing registration begins
• 9 a.m. — Snowmobile Jackpot Rodeo registration begins
• 9 a.m. — X-Treme Mountain Drag Racing starts
• Noon — Snowmobile Jackpot Rodeo starts
• Sleigh rides
• Colorado Division of Wildlife shooting range
• Sledding hill
— Admission on Saturday is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students with ID. Admission is free on Sunday.
Wayne Wagner, an employee of Wagner Construction, said he'll be using heavy equipment all week to build a snowmobile race track on the grounds of the Wyman Museum in Craig.
"There's going to be a bunch of turns and jumps," Wagner said. "There'll be a lot of stuff to mess guys up."
The finished racetrack will be a prominent feature of the seventh annual Winter Festival at the museum, 94350 E. U.S. Highway 40. The two-day event begins Saturday morning and includes an antique snowmobile show, semi-pro snowmobile racing, freestyle snowmobile jumping, and more.
Museum office manager Nicky Boulger said this year's festival includes more attractions than previous winters.
"We've been pretty good about making it different every year," Boulger said. "We might have some of the same stuff, but there's always something a little bigger, a little better."
New this year is the Warrior Freestyle show.
Promoter Josh McCollum said a team of four men will launch their snowmobiles 30 feet into the air from a metal ramp, perform mid-air stunts, then land on a snow ramp at the other end of a 75-foot gap.
"They'll be doing everything from original tricks — heel clickers and seat grabs — to backflip variations," he said.
McCollum said the show is similar to the ESPN Winter X Games. In fact, one of the riders, Canadian resident Cody Borchers, was scheduled to appear in the 2011 games but suffered engine problems and was forced to bow out.
"It's a high energy, edge-of-your seat show," McCollum said.
Also new to this year's Winter Festival are a team of sled dogs and a mobile shooting range.
The shooting range is courtesy of the Colorado Division of Wildlife.
Mike Swaro, a DOW district wildlife manager, said the shooting range is a trailer.
"It's a standard, enclosed, bumper-pulled trailer," Swaro said. "It's about 30 feet long, it's completely enclosed, and you can shoot .22s into the back of the trailer — it has a .22 catch in the back of it."
Swaro said the DOW will provide .22-caliber rifles, ammunition, paper targets, and ear and eye protection for anyone who wants to shoot.
The attraction is free, he said, and it's safe.
"We'll have everything you need right there on site," he said. "And, everything is caught right inside of that trailer. You don't have to worry about bullets going anywhere — it's completely .22 proof."
The sled dogs will be provided by Carol Bloodworth, a sled dog hobbyist and owner of Red Rover Resort, a kennel in Milner.
Bloodworth plans to bring six to eight Alaskan huskies and a sled to the museum Saturday.
Bloodworth said festival-goers will be able to "meet and greet" the dogs and watch short, half-mile demonstration rides.
Also new to this year's festival is a heated tent, Boulger said.
"It's kind of like a pavilion area where people can go in and warm up," she said.
The tent will house food vendors from Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant and D&D Catering, and will serve food throughout the event.
A returning feature of this year's Winter Festival is the fireworks display, which will take place Saturday night after the Warrior Freestyle show.
John Ilko, Jr., a pyrotechnics hobbyist, said he's preparing a show that has 70 percent professional fireworks, 30 percent consumer fireworks, and a few custom creations of his own.
"I'll throw in some special effects that I like to do with black powder and gasoline," Ilko said. "It'll be a huge fireball that's shot into the air.
"We'll probably do that six times during the performance."
Ilko said the fireball will likely rise 45 feet in the air.
Boulger said Winter Festival is for all ages, and it has proven to be popular over the years.
"There's just something for everybody here," she said of the festival. "And, there's a feeling of camaraderie in the community. … Everybody is here."
Admission on Saturday is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students with ID. Admission is free on Sunday.