Saturday, August 27, 2005
While most people celebrate Labor Day with a parade and view it as the unofficial end of summer, Oak Creek takes a little different stance on the holiday.
This year's Oak Creek celebration is the only place people can watch a police officer kiss a pig, an 83-year-old skydiver try to land on a pizza pan and teams attempting to race on beds. All are part of Oak Creek's five-day celebration.
Oak Creek Mayor Kathy "Cargo" Rodeman said she expects hundreds of people from Oak Creek's past to come back for the big Labor Day weekend.
The theme this year is "Flashback to the '70s" and Rodeman is encouraging people to come decked out in their old bell-bottoms and tie-dyed clothing.
In addition to paying homage to the 1970s, the celebration also will focus on the 30th birthday of KFMU radio station.
General manager Brian Harvey said KFMU began in 1975 in the Washhouse Building on Oak Creek's Main Street. KFMU plans to have several live broadcasts during the weekend and a reunion party from 2 to 9 p.m. Sunday at Decker Park.
And then there are the races. Rodeman said there will be many kinds of races for every age group during the celebration, including the return of the bed races.
Oak Creek residents Helen Germain and Linda Price and coordinating the bed races and the bartender races. The last bed race the town saw was in the 1970s.
Germain said the main objective of the race is to have four people pushing one person on a bed on wheels up and down Main Street.
"We want people to decorate their beds so it will be tie-dye all over the place," Germain said.
Germain said a few people have called to enter their beds. She expects several people to compete because most people have never heard or seen such a unique event.
"I think this is going to be one of the nicest Labor Days we've had in a long time," she said.
Becky Wisecup has been the president of the Labor Day committee for the past three years and said planning for the celebration has been surprisingly smooth.
"This event is going to be huge," she said.
Wisecup said the committee decided to add Thursday night to the schedule of events because there was so much going on.
Wisecup also is excited about the events planned for the children and younger people during the weekend.
"We've got a 19-foot water slide we're going to set up that should be pretty awesome," she said.
Rodeman thinks the gong show at Chelsea's on Friday should be interesting. So far, there will be people doing everything, including juggling, singing and comedy routines. The participants will be competing for cash prizes.
Rodeman said anyone who has a talent is invited to compete in the show.
A comedy troupe from Denver will perform Saturday night at the Colorado Bar & Grill. The group includes an American, a Canadian and an Englishman, which is the perfect set-up for any punch line.
Although there are new events being added to the schedule, there also will be the traditional events that have made Oak Creek Labor Days a staple: the parade Monday morning, the skydivers who land in Decker Park ad try to land on a pizza pan, and vendors on Main Street.
Rodeman also said there will be several fundraisers going on during the weekend, including the "Kiss the pig" fundraiser that the Oak Creek Police Department has decided to participate in.
People pay $1 to vote for which officer they think should have to kiss a pig. Whoever gets the most votes will have to do some swine smooching.