Hayden to host Colorado Days again

Weekend to feature food, music and a parade

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— For the past 10 years, Hayden's Don Johnson has spent a good portion of his time organizing Hayden's tradition of celebrating Colorado Days.

"I have to wear a lot of hats this week," Johnson said. "I have obligations with the chamber, Lions Club and Shriners, but it is all worth it.

"The event always works out and it is a good time."

Colorado Days will kick off Friday morning with a golf tournament at Yampa Valley Golf Course in Craig.

Friday evening a welcome will be held at Hayden's small town park on Jefferson Avenue, and a street dance will conclude the day's festivities.

On Saturday, events include the parade, which will feature Shriners, and a barbecue. The weekend's events will come to an end Sunday morning with a chuckwagon dinner.

"This weekend is always a lot of fun," Johnson said. "The main thing is it is for the kids. That is what this is all about."

The event is not only a fun time for local kids, but proceeds from the weekend go to the Shrine's children's hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

"Helping children at that hospital is the satisfaction we get out of it," Johnson said.

For close to 15 years, the Colorado Northwest Shrine Club and Hayden Chamber of Commerce have teamed up to bring Colorado Days to Hayden.

The first activity scheduled is the golf tournament in Craig. The cost is $55 per person, which includes green fees and a cart.

"Anyone is welcome to play," said Jim Shepherd, who is organizing the tournament. "Prizes that have been donated to us will be given away."

Friday night's 6:30 p.m. welcome is geared to greet the Shrine chapters from the Front Range who make the annual trip here.

"We usually have 15 to 16 units come up from Denver for the parade," Johnson said. "They will show up with all their little cars and Corvettes.

"They just love coming up here. We treat them so many different ways, they go home happy."

A street dance on South Walnut Street will follow at 9 p.m.

A band will provide the music for the street dance.

The Hayden Lions Club will start Saturday's events with a burrito breakfast at 7 a.m. at the small town park on Jefferson Avenue.

Lineup for the parade will start at 10 a.m. at the old Dutch Mill, which is east of town.

"We invite anyone who wants to participate in the parade," Johnson said.

The parade will follow its traditional route and will end at Town Park, which is off Third Street.

The park will be the site of a barbecue, which will follow the parade at about noon, Johnson said. The weekend's last event is a 7 a.m. chuckwagon breakfast Sunday at Town Park.

Initially, organizers started the event to celebrate Colorado's entrance into the union as a state, which was in 1876.

"We tried to create some activity here and get some of the Shriners from Denver to visit us," Johnson said.

"It started out as an accident really because the state no longer recognizes Colorado Days as a state holiday.

"The state Legislature has decided it is not a big deal anymore, but we will celebrate it."

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