A group of business owners in Hayden and Steamboat Springs hopes to give spectators a big reason to travel to the Routt County Fairgrounds around the time of Hayden Daze in July.
“We think this will be one more way to draw people in and see what we’ve got here in Hayden,” said Medora Fralick, one of the lead planners of the Routt County Redneck Olympics.
With its groomed dirt and grandstands, the fairgrounds in Hayden are being eyed by Fralick and other Redneck Olympics organizers as a perfect stage for events that could include frozen turkey bowling and blind tractor races, among other things. Additional Olympic activities still are being pitched and concocted.
“It’s just hilarious some of the events that are being talked about,” Fralick said. “People are excited about this. It’s something they can get behind.”
A group of 15 business owners and community members met in January to start planning the summer event. They plan to meet again this week to pin down a date and an event roster for the games that organizers plan to fund with sponsorships.
Fralick, owner of The Commercial Property Group, said the event will serve as a fundraiser for the Routt County Agricultural Youth and Heritage Foundation, a nonprofit that has made the fairgrounds more accessible and affordable for youths to use. She added the Redneck Olympics will compliment, not replace, Hayden Daze, an annual town gathering Fralick said last year lost some of its steam with the cancellation of a golf tournament and parade.
Wendy Lind, an architect living in Hayden, came up with the idea to host the Redneck Olympics. She said there was some initial concern about the name of the event, but she feels it fits perfectly.
“I know from growing up in Colorado that redneck wasn’t a derogatory term,” she said. “It described someone who worked hard and fixed things. There’s a group of us who decided we wouldn’t be embarrassed about it, and we actually have a desire to redefine the word a bit. (The Redneck Olympics) is going to be a good, family type of event and something to really showcase our town.”
In the coming months, she said organizers will work to strike a balance between safety and fun as they plan the event.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com