Labor Day celebration set

New events added to schedule

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— Despite speculation last year that 1999 could be the final Labor Day celebration in Oak Creek, volunteers pulled together one more time to organize the largest community festival in south Routt.

New events at the 93rd annual Oak Creek Labor Day celebration will be a petting zoo and pony rides, Saturday and Sunday on Main Street. Animals from Noah's Ark children's park in Elizabeth, Colo., will be brought in for the event, Labor Day organizer Deb VanGundy said.

This year's celebration also has three comedians supporting the annual comedy show at the Colorado Bar and Grill, at 7 p.m. Saturday. The show will feature Monty Hoffman, who's appeared on numerous television programs, including the Drew Carey Show and Rosanne. He's supported by comedians Steve Gastineau and Bob Carmelo, while morning radio personalities Rick Allen and Kate McGwire will emcee.

As usual, there also are plenty of activities for children, including rides all weekend from Mike Fredrickson's Little Tots Train in the Kiddie Fun Fair on Main Street, a fishing derby at 11 a.m. on Saturday at the Sharp Street Bridge and foot races and contests in the park on Labor Day.

The celebration is stretched out all weekend, starting 3 p.m. Friday with bingo at the American Legion and followed by a 7 p.m. dance at the VFW.

Saturday's events include a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at the ambulance barn and at 10 a.m. a cribbage tournament starts at the Elk's Tavern and a coed volleyball tournament begins at Decker Park.

Sunday's events kick off with another pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. at the ambulance barn. At noon is a dance demonstration on Main Street, followed by a cheerleading demonstration. At 1 p.m. is the auction, where the Labor Day Committee generates all of its funding selling items and gift certificates from businesses in Routt County.

At 8 a.m. Monday is the five-mile run and the two-mile walk, starting at the Oak Creek post office. After the races are over, around 10 a.m., and old fashioned parade will beginning rolling down Main Street.

Everyone is welcomed to participate in the parade, Van Gundy said. All you have to do is show up at 8:30 a.m. at Soroco High School. People with horses should meet at Dodge Street and Meyers Avenue.

After the parade the crowd will move to Decker Park for a skydiving display, food, a rubber duckie race and the kiss-a-pig contest.

"I'm hoping that we'll get a nice crowd up here," VanGundy said.

VanGundy and Bill Paxton headed the Labor Day committee and both admitted it was a lot of work.

"We really started working on this in April," VanGundy said.

Paxton, who has volunteered numerous years, said this one for sure is his last.

"I've got too many irons in the fire right now and none of them are doing very well," he said.

He encouraged the community to have a good time at this weekend's events, but to keep in mind that someone needs to step up to make it happen in the future.

South Routt business owner and community member David Bonfiglio said the Labor Celebration in an important aspect of the upper Yampa Valley and should be preserved.

"From a community standpoint, it's important to have something to draw us all together," he said.

He said it's also a chance for local businesses to work right alongside the community it serves.

"We as community members need to volunteer, at least to help set up and tear down," Bonfiglio said.

VanGundy is still looking for people to do some chair moving. Anyone interested should contact her through the Oak Creek Town Hall or seek her out this weekend.

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