Labor Day events start Friday in Oak Creek

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How to help

Oak Creek is looking for volunteers to help build the pump track at the new park throughout the weekend. Call Stu Hassell at 970-846-7782 for more information.

— Oak Creek town employee and lifelong resident Vivian Johnson said she’s seen her fair share of Oak Creek Labor Day celebrations. From when she was a local child playing games in the park to one of the many lining the streets for the annual Monday parade, Johnson said she’s seen the event change over the years.

It used to be bigger, she said, because there were more people in the town and more businesses in the parade.

But she sees Oak Creek’s annual festival gaining momentum once again.

“We think this year’s going to be just great,” she said. “I think it just pulls everyone together.”

Her favorite part of the weekend is always the parade because she can watch everything that represents her hometown roll down Main Street before her eyes.

“Parades make me weepy,” she said. “Just seeing people get involved like that. It’s just everyone, and the kids have so much fun.”

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on Labor Day, and anyone can enter by simply lining up at Soroco High School at 10 a.m. Monday morning.

But the festivities begin long before the parade. On Friday, there is a pub crawl for adults and a Soroco High School football game to rile up town spirit.

Saturday brings the family fun events, with games, a petting zoo, a dunk tank and food vendors on Main Street starting at noon.

That event used to take place in Decker Park, but Mayor Nikki Knoebel said they moved it back to Main Street for a good reason.

“It’s more central, and we were hoping that the local businesses would get some business out of it,” said Knoebel, who also will be in the dunk tank.

Knoebel said her favorite part of the weekend is the entertainment Saturday night, with a comedy show from Steve “Mudflap” McGrew and live music from Loose Change at 9 p.m.

Sunday is the annual Historical Society barbecue and live music from Rowdy Shadehouse at Colorado Bar & Grill.

But it’s not all fun and games because this year’s theme reflects the somber remembrance of one of our country’s greatest tragedies.

The theme of Labor Day is “Remember Sept. 11, 2001” in honor of the 10th anniversary of the fall of the twin towers in New York City.

“Labor Day is to honor the working man, the working person,” Knoebel said. “We felt like that was a huge, significant thing in history that really hit the working person.”

While Knoebel said Sept. 11 might be on people’s minds, the weekend is also about the celebration of a town and a year of hard work.

“I have friends who have grown up in Oak Creek and they remembered all the fun things they got to do, and they want to see and do all the same things with their children,” she said. “People have fond memories of their Labor Days in Oak Creek.”

Oak Creek events

Friday

7 p.m. Soroco High School football game

Bar open to 9 p.m. Pub crawl in downtown Oak Creek

10 p.m. Live DJ at Colorado Bar & Grill

Saturday

7 a.m. Pancake breakfast at Soroco High School

10 a.m. Cribbage tournament at Elks Tavern

10 a.m. Fishing Derby at Decker Park

Noon Family fun day on Main Street

1 to 5 p.m. Bingo at the Oak Creek Fire Station

2 p.m. Horseshoe tournament at Decker Park

3 p.m. Crowning of Oak Creek Coal Queen and Princess on Main Street

7 p.m. Comedy show with Steve “Mudflap” McGrew at Colorado Bar & Grill ($12)

9 p.m. Live music with Loose Change at Colorado Bar & Grill ($8)

Sunday

7 a.m. Pancake breakfast at Soroco High School

8 a.m. Softball tournament at Soroco High School

1 p.m. Live auction at Colorado Bar & Grill

4:30 to 7 p.m. Historical Society barbecue at Decker Park

8 p.m. Bartender races at the Oak Restaurant

Dusk Cinema by the Creek, “Hoodwinked Too!” at Decker Park

9 p.m. Live music with Rowdy Shade­house at Colorado Bar & Grill ($5)

Monday

11 a.m. Labor Day Parade (lineup and judging at 10 a.m.)

After parade Games and vendors in Decker Park with concessions by Soroco juniors

1 to 5 p.m. Bingo at the Oak Creek Fire Station

1 p.m. Volleyball tournament at Decker Park

3 p.m. Greased pole competition at Decker Park

— To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@SteamboatToday.com

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