Grand Olde West Days a fun festival with new, old cowboy traditions | SteamboatToday.com

Grand Olde West Days a fun festival with new, old cowboy traditions

26th annual event sees changes for Memorial Day weekend happenings

Andy Bockelman/For Steamboat Today

The 26th annual Grand Olde West Days takes place this weekend in Craig, bringing in a huge schedule of cowboy and cowgirl activities for Memorial Day weekend.

Some things remain the same, such as the presence of Brown's Amusements Carnival at Moffat County Fairgrounds.

This year, however, the site will be hopping the entire weekend, as the majority of the happenings are slated at the fairgrounds, an alteration from previous years, which culminated with a downtown street festival.

This year will also include an overhaul of the usual lineup with an emphasis on the rodeo arena.

The Iron Man and Ranch Rodeo, as well as the Iron Woman Bronc Riding Invitational, are set for Saturday and Sunday. Moffat County Horse Power will also show off the area's draft horses and mules Sunday and Monday.

The fairgrounds will also host multiple musical acts lined up for the weekend.

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Friday's opening performance by Nick Cocozzella — aka The Cold Fire — will feature an acoustic start to the festivities, complete with karaoke, while an after-party show by Kenny Feidler at Cassidy's Bar & Lounge follows for the night owls.

Entertainer Chad Prather will be popping up throughout GOWD, including serving as the grand marshal of Saturday's parade, which will be led by local veterans.

Saturday will bring in country entertainment with Chancey Williams and the Younger Brothers Band. Williams, a Wyoming native, is known not only for his music, but also as one of only two people to both compete in the rodeo and perform onstage as part of Cheyenne Frontier Days.

Opening for Williams' group will be Tris Munsick & the Innocents, of Sheridan, Wyoming, who will also perform Sunday following fellow Sheridan country group, The Two Tracks and JShogren Shanghai'd, of Centennial, Wyoming, practitioners of "Catawampus American music."

Sunday's daytime activities will include Cowboy Church, by JK Bar Bible Ranch; breakfast burritos provided by Moffat County High School wrestlers; a beer garden; and a pie-eating contest.

Additionally, the Road Kill Cook-Off, which is still accepting applicants, will feature chefs of all experience levels submitting creative appetizers, entrees, desserts and specialty chili dishes.

Memorial Day itself will likewise be packed with the Connections 4 Kids 5K Walk/Run, a Bear River Young Life pancake breakfast and an original play by David Morris, "An Old West Craig Crime Spree."

Amid all the other hubbub, Grand Olde West Days organizers also hope people will keep in mind the men and women who fought for their freedom.

An 11 a.m. ceremony performed by local veterans at Craig Cemetery for fallen soldiers will be followed by an afternoon session at the fairgrounds, as well as a separate ceremony in Maybell to further acknowledge those in Moffat County who have served.

For more information on individual events or tickets, visit grandoldewestdays.com or facebook.com/grandoldewestdays.