Western culture celebrated in downtown Saturday

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— There was no need for a photo finish at the 20th Annual Rubber Ducky Race on Saturday as the first-place, little yellow bird won by 150 feet and beat the last-place duck by almost an hour.

The race was much closer than the results indicated. One duck led the sprint down the Yampa River for nearly the entire eight-block race, which began when volunteers dumped about 2,200 rubber ducks off the Fifth Street Bridge into river.

The ducks collected in a large yellow mass, floating mostly in unison as a few stragglers were left behind and a few speedsters pulled ahead. Once the ducks were in the water, spectators raced downstream to get a better view of the race.

At the footbridge crossing the Yampa near Howelsen Hill, the crowd anxiously waited for the ducks to round the bendin the river. Moments later, the first duck appeared, and a frontrunner had been established.

A Boy Scout troop with an arsenal of brooms, branches and lacrosse sticks jostled ducks loose from behind obstacles along the course, but slow and steady would not win the race.

Emerging with a thunderous chorus of applause at the C-hole, the leader was poised to coast to the checkered flag when it became stuck in a massive hydraulic hole just 200 feet from the finish line.

Aaron Clayton's duck seized the opportunity and never looked back, winning the race and pocketing the purse - a Steamboat ski pass.

"We raised about $22,000 here today for the Yampa Valley Medical Center," Rubber Ducky Race co-chair Kathy Ulmer said. "I'm just glad the weather held out."

Last year, the event was canceled after heavy rain and sleet raised river waters to unsafe levels.

Tasha Getten, 8, won a grab bag of mountain biking gear after one of her 20 adopted ducks placed in the top 60.

"It's fun, but you don't know which duck is yours when it floats by," said Getting, who was dressed in a duck-emblazed pajama outfit that she called her "lucky PJs."

The race was the first of three downtown events Saturday. The second annual Downtown Hoedown and Chili Challenge and the Festival of the Americas celebration rounded out the day.

The Routt County CattleWomen's red chili submission had a few special ingredients that contestants were eager to share.

"There are two of my favorite things in there - chocolate and tequila," said CattleWoman Kate Burns, who presented the organization's submission in a historic chuck wagon. "It's cooked in an iron kettle over hot coals, just like they used to do in the old west."

The CattleWomen won first place in their red chili division. Other winners included Kristin Cronin of KBCR in the white chili division and George Trujillo, who won first place in both the firehouse and green chili divisions.

Trujillo was unable to hold onto his title from last year as the People's Choice Award winner, as he was beaten by the Mahogany Ridge chili cookers.

In addition to the chili challenge, the downtown hoedown featured music by the Yampa Valley Boys, square dancing, mechanical bull riding and various arts and crafts.

At 3 p.m., the smell of chili wafting through the air was replaced by the smell of tostadas and rellenos and the music changed from country to Tejano. However, the Festival of the Americas had one common ingredient with the hoedown - celebrating a beautiful Saturday in the park.

"Mexican Independence Day is tomorrow, but there are Mexican people, American people helping - there is a lot of nationalities here," said Fabiola Katthain, who teaches Spanish at the Lowell Whiteman Primary School.

Integrated Community sponsored the festival. The nonprofit organization looks to promote successful integration of the immigrant community with the existing communities in Routt and Moffat counties.

Katthain's daughter's Tamy, 7, and Gala, 3, were dressed in traditional Adela outfits.

"Adela is the name of a lady who had a large role in fighting for Mexican independence," Katthain said. "I think it's wonderful to celebrate heritage in our community with our neighbors."

- To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208

or e-mail mmccollum@steamboatpilot.com

Comments

addlip2U 7 years ago

"At 3 p.m., the smell of chili wafting through the air was replaced by the smell of tostadas and rellenos and the music changed from country to Tejano. Integrated Community sponsored the festival. The nonprofit organization looks to promote successful integration of the immigrant community with the existing communities in Routt and Moffat counties."

For this Community to be integrated, we should be celebrating ALL immigrants, not just those serving tostadas, rellenos and Tejano music.

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freshair 7 years ago

Here we go again....the 'multiculturalists' expounding on Mexican 'Independence Day'. I'm sure I speak for the majority of non-Mexican citizens of this country when I say-So what, has no relevance whatsoever to me!

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OnTheBusGus 7 years ago

there is a lot of nationalities here," said Fabiola Katthain, who teaches Spanish at the Lowell Whiteman Primary School.

Good thing she doesn't teach English!!!

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freshair 7 years ago

here we go again,with the prattle of the ignoramouses whose immediate reflex action is to call anyone a 'racist' who dares question the relevance of an event like Mexican 'Independence' day for non-Mexican American citizens. And that relevance is non-existent. But for these multi-culturalist Pinheads, what matters is 'sensitivity'. not Reality. They ought to spend some time down in Mexico and see how our neighbors to the south celebrate the 4th of July. Hint-they don't.

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tropicalmonster 7 years ago

Freshair, give me a break...

This was a Festival of the Americas. This is a time to celebrate all nationalities. Im not mexican but i enjoyed the event as well. Em' I mad because they didnt sing my national anthom?? no, i recognize that the mayority of inmigrants come from Mexico. I remembered my country and had a good time !!

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freshair 7 years ago

tropicalmonstroso...I'm sure you meant to say 'the majority of illegal immigrants'. Festival of the Americas? No problem with that. Mexican Independence Day? Sorry, just not relevant to me or the majority of Routt County citizens who had a wonderful time doing whatever we did which didn't include attending a celebration of mexican Independence.

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freshair 7 years ago

What's relevant is the irrelevance of Mexican Independence Day to the vast majority of Americans. Do you think only the opinions of those favoring any topic deserve to be heard?

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Matthew7_1_5 7 years ago

Hey, you people, this is terrible to listen to (read).

Fabiola Katthain's English is correct. "There is a lot of nationalities...." "is" is the verb. "lot" is the subject. "of nationalities" is a prepositional phrase modifying "lot" (defining "lot"). I think if that was your point, OntheBusGus, you should work on your English a little more.

Are people, people? Aren't we taught throughout our culture to appreciate others and not to criticize lest we be criticized? Regardless of who celebrates what we should appreciate their celebration. It's also history which allows us to apppreciate others' customs and culture. If you don't care, do you need to tell people that? If so, why?

I do care if people have a good time and care enough to try to understand each other a little more. What about Rosh Hashanah this past week? Did you care? Did you feel a need to comment on that? Is it important that we understand the Jewish faith?

I pray that our community is open to others and not harbor an insidious bigotry. Our children must begin to accept others.

Cast no stones, gossip no more, begin to understand your own insecurities that lead to these kinds of debates that are, quite frankly, borish. Learn to live a better life and see yourself as "whole" and you will be able to accept others as miracles and see these opportunities for learning and improving our own lives.

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OnTheBusGus 7 years ago

Matthew715, It's subject-verb agreement. The verb of a sentence must agree with the subject in number and in person. It should have been there are a lot of nationalities here. I am pretty sure I know my English, at least that is what my diploma states. Then again, I went to UNM. Anyway, it could have been a typo from the paper, that happens!

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Vince arroyo 6 years, 12 months ago

The truth is that we are in their country. We all in some way have immigrated to here, from where ever your inherited gene pool may have started. Thank You tropicalmonster .

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