Children hop onto a train conducted by Trenton Wixom at the Oak Creek Labor Day celebration in Decker Park during a rare sunny moment Sunday afternoon.

Photo by Blythe Terrell

Children hop onto a train conducted by Trenton Wixom at the Oak Creek Labor Day celebration in Decker Park during a rare sunny moment Sunday afternoon.

Small but merry crowd shows up

Clouds cast shadow on Oak Creek's Labor Day celebration

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Labor Day events

9:30 a.m. Parade lineup and judging, Soroco High School

11 a.m. Parade starts at the Sinclair station and moves down Main Street

After the parade, at Decker Park: Rubber ducky race, field games, volleyball, junior class concessions, horseshoe tournament, a dunking booth, greased pole

1 to 5 p.m. Bingo at Decker Park

— Damp weather appeared to keep numbers down at Oak Creek's Labor Day celebration Sunday, but the folks who came to Decker Park said they were happy that they had.

"We came for the fishing derby, which was wonderful," said Ann Henderson of Steamboat Springs, who brought her children, Andy and Jade, for the fishing derby. Each child caught a fish.

Andy, 5, said his favorite parts of the day were "riding the train and the bouncy-bouncy house." He was referring to a small train being pulled by a four-wheeler and a colorful inflatable structure set up in the park.

Becky Wisecup led the preparations for this year's celebration. She said Andy wasn't the only one who enjoyed the ride.

"The kids are digging the train," Wisecup said, "and, of course, our bands."

The Blue Ridge Ramblers had just finished their set, and Blue Rooster was tuning up at about 3 p.m. Across the park, Michele Barkal, of Yampa, was helping her 6-year-old son, Johnny, board the train. He smiled after boarding, his face painted like a jungle cat's.

The Barkals come each year, Michele said.

"It's worth the trip," she said. "It's so much fun. It's such a huge community event."

Wisecup was collecting admission at the entrance to the park. The organizers started out charging $5 a person, but they cut the cost to $1 a person, she said. Some had balked at the higher entry fee.

"We just said, 'Let's get people in here; let's get people having fun,'" Wisecup said.

The admission money goes toward paying the bands and, if anything is left over, toward next year's celebration.

In addition to the rainy weather, the cancellation of Sunday's bingo bummed people out, Wisecup said. Bingo still is planned for today, and all of today's events are free.

The big show will be the parade, which starts at 11 a.m., organizer Sandy Wisecup said. Anyone can participate. Those who want to have a float judged must be at Soroco High School by 10 a.m., Wisecup said. She said she wouldn't know how many people are going to participate until they arrive today.

"We normally have a pretty good parade," she said.

Ed and Shirley Montieth will be the grand marshals.

Sandy Wisecup chatted at the booth run by Mike and Judy Deming, who own Judy's Country Donuts and Bakery. The Demings were selling slices of cake to raise money for the families of Shawna Douglas and Steve McKim, who died recently.

The Demings also organized the fishing derby. Sixty-four children, aged 2 to 13, participated, and four won prizes. Isaac Iacovetto caught the first fish, Trent Naused caught the biggest fish, Carla Rossi caught the smallest fish and Katlyn Wisecup caught the most fish.

By all accounts, today will be more action-packed and, organizers hope, much busier.

"Monday's usually our biggest turnout, anyway," Becky Wisecup said. "People really enjoy the parade. We're looking forward to that."

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