Thursday, August 29, 2002
Oak Creek They say it every year, but this is really the year, Deb VanGundy said. The Labor Day committee is calling it quits.
"They've been wanting to quit for years, and I promised them that this year they could," she said.
No one in Oak Creek, however, believes VanGundy could let the Labor Day celebration disappear.
That's why volunteers haven't come running to the rescue of the 87th annual festival, but "the truth is that Labor Day needs new, young blood," she said. "We've done the same thing for years and it's time that some of the younger families take over."
Until then, VanGundy, Mike Kien, Bill Paxton and Toby Steele will bring Oak Creek the biggest Labor Day celebration in the valley.
What the Fourth of July is to Yampa, Labor Day is to Oak Creek.
It all starts Saturday morning with a pancake breakfast at the ambulance barn. And the party doesn't end until Monday evening.
Most of the events have been happening for years at different sites around town.
"We've held it in an old Army tent, in the Pisa's restaurant building before Pisa's was there and in the Colorado Bar when the bank still owned it," VanGundy said.
This is the ninth year for the comedy show, and it will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Colorado Bar.
Since its inception, the comedy show has been hosted by KRAI disc jockey Rick Allen. This year the show will feature Steve McGraw. The comedian has done standup on MTV, VH-1 and on "Evening at the Improv."
The nighttime may be for adults, but most of the daytime activities are for families and young children.
The Kiddies Fun Fair is Friday and Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. Just like every year, there will be a train made of barrels and pulled by a tractor. The train will be in the parade, and a band of gunslingers will rob the train.
The parade starts at 10 a.m. Monday. Tara Winton, Paxton's niece, will sing "The Star Spangled Banner" before the parade.
The theme of the weekend is "American Pride" in memory of Sept. 11. To commemorate the anniversary, the six fire chiefs of Routt County Chuck Vale, Chuck Wisecup, Peter Baillie, Ron Nielson, Bryan Rickman and Bob Struble will ride in the parade on a fire truck from the 1930s.
All weekend, the Community United Methodist Church will be celebrating its 90th anniversary. On Saturday there will be an open house from 1 to 5 p.m. and an ice cream social from 7 to 9 p.m. The theme of the celebration is "A work of faith and a labor of love." A special Sunday worship service will be at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Jeanne Redshaw. The church will also have a float in the Labor Day parade.