Labor Day celebrations coming
Craig — Bull riding, smooth jazz, classic cars and vintage planes are just four of the highlights of the Classic Labor Day Weekend in Steamboat Springs.
And in south Routt County in Oak Creek, residents who partake in the 92nd annual Labor Day Celebration will be “Doin’ Fine” as they salute the end of the summer and the millennium.
The four-day event that begins Friday will feature a masquerade ball, fishing derbies for children and adults, a comedy show, fun and games for the children and the grand finale parade on Monday.
While the loss of the Vintage Car Races will be felt, organizers expect that events this year will still draw people to town.
The Bull Riding Classic, scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at Romick Arena, is anticipated to be a big attraction because of the top cowboys who have entered.
Twelve of the top 20 riders from the Pro Bull Riders Association will be riding on Sunday and organizer Brent Romick said it should be exciting.
“I predict there’s going to be a surprise in Steamboat because of the level of riding,” Romick said. “These young guys are dominating it.”
The event is one of the precursors to the World Finals Bull Riding Championship in Las Vegas, Nev., Romick said, and organizers have put some money into the local event to draw the top talent, like Jim Sharp.
“It’s a very big event. It’s probably the biggest bull riding event we’ve ever had,” Romick said.
Another major event of the weekend is a performance by The Rippingtons featuring Russ Freeman at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Headwall at the base of the ski area.
The Rippingtons are at the top of the Billboard charts as the No. 1 contemporary jazz artists, said Classic Labor Day Weekend Committee Chairperson John Waldman.
“It’s a great opportunity to bring out your blanket, bring out your lawn chair and listen to some contemporary jazz,” he said.
The Rippingtons have a dedicated following throughout the state among smooth jazz aficionados, according to Freeman. This is the group’s first time to play in Steamboat.
“We’ve been around 12 years and we’ve done quite a bit in Colorado,” said Freeman. “(Band member) Kim Stone is from Colorado and I live in Colorado Springs.”
The weekend keeps the vintage theme alive with classic automobile, motorcycle and airplane events.
There will be a vintage automobile and motorcycle Concourse d’Elegance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday on Lincoln Avenue. Included in the show is a 1950 Riley Roadster, a 1953 MGTD Roadster, a 1982 Lamborghini Countach and a 1979 Turbo Porsche.
Spectators also will get the chance Saturday to vote on the People’s Choice Award for motorcycles and Best of Show Award for automobiles.
Motorcycle Group Colorado Road Sport Rides Inc. will have 150 to 200 members in town for the weekend and will host vintage road rallies. Any interested motorcycle and car owners may ride with the group at 3 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday. Participants should meet in front of the courthouse.
Also on Saturday, vintage airplanes return to the area as former Olympian Moose Barrows leads a fly-in from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Bob Adams Airport.
“Hopefully, good weather will let people fly in,” Barrows said.
Planes are flying in from all over the Rocky Mountain area. Some of the planes scheduled to be here are up to 70 years old.
The planes will be on display at the airport and some pilots may be offering rides, Barrows said.
The weekend antique show and sale has been cancelled.
After two days of competition at the Colorado State High School Rodeo Association State Finals, riders and ropers from Moffat and Routt counties are making their way into the home stretch.