Hayden sets busy summer schedule

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The small town of Hayden has grown in leaps and bounds in recent years, now offering a multitude of summer activities, including festivals, concerts, a nationally televised rally car race, the Routt County Fair, a stock car racing series and a town-wide garage sale.

Throw in a museum and a state park and Hayden is an ideal day-trip destination.

Town-wide flea market and garage sale Sunday, June 13 Hayden Valley Summerfest Saturday, June 26 Colorado Days Parade Sunday, July 25 90th Routt County Fair Aug. 14 to Aug. 22 National Cog Rally Sept. 23 to Sept. 26

The agriculture- and mining-based town of 1,600 has its staple events, but its newest event has quickly grown to the biggest attraction of the year -- the Hayden Valley Summerfest.

Summerfest started three years ago, and it has grown each year since, attracting musical talents from all over the West. Activities and games are available for children, with lots of food and entertainment for the adults, including comedy or magic acts and three bands that play throughout the day.

This year's Summerfest begins at 10 a.m. June 26 at Hayden Town Park with African dancers; comedy and musical act Washboard Annie; a magician; acoustic bluegrass and folk trio, 3-Wire Band; 1970s dance music band, Blue Rooster; and bluegrass and rock band, Smokehouse.

Hayden Town Park is on Third Street, which is directly off of U.S. Highway 40.

Summerfest visitors, or anytime visitors, can get the added bonus of a history lesson by walking downtown. Hayden's downtown remains unchanged for the most part since it was established in 1908. The community is facing dramatic population growth, but the city is striving to hang on to its small town values and image.

The business district on Walnut Street off U.S. Highway 40 is the place of many historic buildings that now house restaurants, an art gallery and furniture and collectable stores.

If visitors want a more in-depth look at Hayden's history, they can venture to the Hayden Heritage Center for ancient fossils, Native American artifacts, an Old West exhibit, copies and photographs from old county newspapers and much more. The Hayden Heritage Center, which is an old railroad depot, is at 300 Pearl Street, and can be reached at 276-4380.

Just before Summerfest, on June 13, Hayden will host its second town-wide garage sale for those who love treasure-hunting, bargain-hunting or just browsing the many booths and garages.

After a successful beginning last year that raised more than $14,000 for consignors, the event is back for a second running. It is called the Walnut Street Flea Market, as Walnut Street is its central location.

A map of the various garage sales is available. Call 276-4866.

Throughout the summer, car-racing enthusiasts can venture over to Hayden Speedway for fast-paced stock car action.

Hayden Speedway is one of the most popular stock car racing tracks in Northwest Colorado, drawing 500 to 700 spectators each race.

Several improvements have been made to the track in previous years, including spectator seating and track and pit area upgrades. These improvements have also fueled a more diverse array of drivers, who now come from all over the West to race there.

An even more popular car race happens just once a year in Hayden -- the Colorado Cog Rally, Sept. 23-26. Modified rally cars begin the race in the morning in Steamboat Springs and travel along dirt county roads to the central racing hub at the Routt County Fairgrounds in Hayden.

At this event, which will be nationally televised this year, spectators can watch cars racing at high speeds and getting lots of air when their specially designed cars are pushed to the limits.

For a more down-tempo event, the Routt County Fair offers lots of entertainment, and it is possibly the most historically significant event in Routt County.

Since it began 90 years ago, it has attracted competitors from all over Routt County in rodeo events, livestock judging, homemaking contests and other games and activities. This year's fair is Aug. 14 to Aug. 22.

Hayden also has the Yampa River State Park on the west side of town, perfect for camping and fishing. n

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