Monday, September 2, 2002
Oak Creek Oak Creek's Labor Day festivities on Monday celebrated the town's history and gave residents a chance to focus on future goals.
"Labor Day used to be the biggest day in Oak Creek in a lot of ways it still is," Historical Society member Donna Peters said.
The Labor Day events included a parade, volleyball tournament, Bingo, running races, vendors and live entertainment.
Oak Creek has "that real small-town flavor we're not going to lose it," Peters said.
Peters said many people are drawn to Oak Creek because they want to see a "real" Colorado town.
The Oak Creek Historical Society and the Labor Day Committee worked together to promote the weekend of festivities.
A few local organizations had booths at Decker Park to inform residents of their goals for the upcoming year.
The sixth annual Oak Creek Hockey Association's Rubber Ducky Race raised enough money through ticket sales to continue the hockey program for Oak Creek students ages 6 to 18.
The race course bordered the park and the ducks had to compete with fish and other vegetation on their way to the finish line.
Parent Kathy Olsen said people pretend to be competitive about the race but mostly come out to support the youth of Oak Creek.
"We have a volunteer organization that makes youth hockey possible for 60 kids in Oak Creek," said Tim Corrigan, president of the Oak Creek Hockey Association.
Corrigan said the rubber ducky race is the association's biggest fund-raiser of the year.
Parent Wayne Olsen said hockey provides an alternative winter sport to skiing for students in Oak Creek.
Proceeds from the rubber ducky race make the dues affordable for students enrolled in the program.
Corrigan said because of money raised, students only have to pay around $100 per year.
While the rubber ducky race was under way, numerous other events were taking place in the park.
Several mother and daughter and father and son races were held and the younger kids took turns riding the train at the end of the field.
"It's a safe environment, you don't have to worry about letting your kids run around," said Nicci Bonfiglio, a 2002 graduate from Soroco High School.
Bonfiglio said she has attended the Oak Creek Labor Day festivities for as long as she can remember.
She said she likes the "fact that everybody knows everybody."
The Historical Society had its doors open to the public with numerous photos and literature for tourists and locals to examine.
Generations of people and old high school classmates came to the society to explain to their family and friends the way Oak Creek used to be during the time they lived in the town.
Through the sales of photographs and other items, the Historical Society raised money to help restore the old Oak Creek Town Hall. Peters said close to 500 people visited the Historical Society over the weekend.
She said she hopes to increase the number of Labor Day festivities and the interaction between residents and people from out of town in future years.
"It's like a new beginning," Peters said. "This is the best Labor Day in years."