Steamboat Springs The best way to prepare for a busy Steamboat Springs weekend is to fill up your car with gas, stash a granola bar and a bottle of water in your pocket and have a plan.
From Steamboat Springs to Oak Creek, Routt County is celebrating Labor Day with a plethora of events including casual downtown shopping, watching dog trials, exploring historic planes and celebrating Oak Creek's 100th birthday.
Whatever your age, interest or ability, there is something for everyone going on today and Monday.
"People certainly are enjoying themselves," said Tracy Barnett, executive director of Main Street Steamboat Springs. "There are a lot of people out walking around."
A Downtown Sidewalk Sale from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and Monday will have plenty of people hitting the streets, she said.
"A sidewalk sale is an opportunity for the merchants to close out their shelves to prepare for a new season," she said. "It's a good chance for people to get some bargains."
Shoppers also have the opportunity to register inside stores for a $1,000 cash prize that will be awarded Tuesday, she said.
"We really offer a little bit of everything - clothing, shoes, furniture, home decor, food products," she said. "Whatever you want."
Oak Creek celebrates
About 25 miles south of Steamboat Springs, plenty of people were celebrating Labor Day the Oak Creek way.
"We've got such a good crowd right now," said Becky Wisecup, president of the Oak Creek Labor Day Committee. "Everybody's got good spirits. It's just really awesome."
Although Labor Day is always a party in Oak Creek, the holiday has a special meaning this year because it coincides with the town's centennial.
Today's events begin at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at Soroco High School and run until 1 a.m. Monday. A wildly popular fishing derby, live music, underground mine and historic town tours, auction and birthday party will round out the day, she said.
A parade down Main Street is at 10 a.m. Monday, with activities following at Decker Park.
"We're busy," she said. "We've got a lot of really great stuff going on."
For those looking to stay in Steamboat Springs, the third annual Wild West Air Fest at the Steamboat Springs Airport could be the answer.
From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, people will have the opportunity to view vintage airplanes, remote-controlled aircraft, displays and classic cars.
A short distance away at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area is Art on the Mountain, an art show featuring work by local and regional artisans.
Stock Dog challenge
For those looking for a different kind of art, the fourth annual Steamboat Stock Dog Challenge is under way from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Monday at the Stanko Ranch on Twentymile Road.
More than 50 border collie handlers from around the U.S. are participating in the trial, said event organizer Marianne Sasak.
"People love to see dogs do what they're bred to do," she said. "It's a beautiful thing."
Today's events begin with open ranch and open dog trials, which are for more intermediate dogs, she said.
The trials test the dogs and their handlers on their ability to herd sheep around a pasture and into pens by only using voice commands and whistles. The trials are judged.
For Arizona resident Molly Wisecarver, Saturday's trial was a bit testing.
Wisecarver's dog, Oak, was unable to bring a sheep back to the herd after it broke away from the pack. Instead, the sheep bolted across a pasture and into the Yampa River. The sheep and dog both were fine.
Despite the slipup, Wisecarver said competing in dog trials has been her passion for 18 years.
"When I first saw a border collie working, I knew it was for me," she said. "They were doing something so natural to them."
Watching the trials is fun, too, she said.
"It's like baseball or football. You're either into it or not," she said. "It's just great."
In addition to the trials, spectators can watch a sheep shearing demonstration at about noon, have a chuckwagon lunch and learn about what it takes to be a border collie handler, Sasak said.
"We just like sharing our love of our dogs with the public," Sasak said.