Redneck Olympics set for July 21 in Hayden

Event to bring mud surfing, lawnmower races to Hayden

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— Yampa Valley residents who have ever dreamed of racing on a riding lawnmower or surfing across a mud pit on skis or a car hood will have a chance to do those things in front of an audience July 21 during the Routt County Redneck Olympics in Hayden.

Other events slated to be offered on the groomed dirt of the Routt County Fairgrounds include a cowboy steeple chase, a paintball obstacle course and blind tractor driving.

“It’s not very often you can be pulled by a four-wheeler along a big long mud pit,” said Wendy Lind, one of the lead organizers of the inaugural Redneck Olympics slated to coincide with Hayden Daze. “A lot of these events are going to be unpredictable, and I think they are going to draw quite a crowd and turn out to be a lot of fun.”

Lind, an architect living in Hayden, is part of an organizing committee of 15 business owners from Hayden, Steamboat Springs and South Routt who have worked since January to plan the fairground’s Olympics. Lind said the event will highlight what workers in the agriculture, equestrian and cattle industries do for a living in an entertaining and comical light.

She added that the event has received broad support and interest from a several local business owners as well as inquiries from potential sponsors on the Front Range.

With a date, a venue and a tentative list of events in place, organizer Medora Fralick, who owns The Commercial Property Group, said planners now will focus on ironing out the details of the big day.

“The next really big step is to schedule out what the day is going to look like, what time the events will start and finish, and to plan the opening and closing ceremonies,” Fralick said.

Planners of the games also are working closely with Hayden’s Parks and Recreation Commission to ensure the new event will complement Hayden Daze, an annual community gathering that is scheduled to start July 20 with street dancing and continue July 21. Hayden Daze previously has been held in Hayden Town Park but was moved to Dry Creek Park near the fairgrounds so the two events could complement each other, Fralick said.

“We think this will be a very symbiotic relationship,” she added.

Hayden Parks and Recreation coordinator Jill Delay called the Redneck Olympics an exciting event that has the potential to attract people who typically wouldn’t make the trip for Hayden Daze.

“It’s a matter of getting people down here for the first time to see all that we have,” Delay said. “The Redneck Olympics will help us do that by bringing in a group of people that Hayden Daze normally wouldn’t bring. I think this is exciting, and we will work to make sure we’re all working together (to plan these two events), not competing with each other.”

Organizers are posting updates about the games to the Routt County Redneck Olympics page on Facebook.

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