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38th Pioneer Days celebration a success

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One measure of the success of the 38th annual Pioneer Days celebration is the more than 60 parade entries, which topped the old record by four, said Pioneer Days committee chair Tristan Pfeffer. "It went really well," said Pfeffer.

This year's theme, "So True... Red, White & Blue" was demonstrated throughout the parade. King and queen Robert Keenan and sister-in-law Henrietta Keenan were honored for their military service.

Robert, who has 70 years of service to the Crawford American Legion Lynch-Cotten Post 91, was drafted into World War II in 1941 and was part of the military effort to protect the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco Bay. Brothers Danny and Ray also served in World War II and the Korean War, respectively.

Henrietta joined the U.S. Naval Reserves in 1955 and attended officer training in the Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES). After her promotion to lieutenant junior grade she was reassigned to Washington, D.C., where she worked in communications.

John Barcus, 91, was honored as the Crawford area's oldest veteran. He cut a striking figure in his original Army uniform as he rode in a 1942 Willys MB Jeep owned by Neil Black, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War. Mr. Barcus was drafted in 1944 and served as a telegraph operator, and later served in Korea.

Crawford volunteer firefighter Garrett Tiedeman was honored as Firefighter of the Year during the parade, and all the members of the Crawford Fire Department were honored for their service.

Sharon's Kids won the Outhouse Races for the fourth consecutive year. Competitors Gabe Hughes, Kayden Owens, Cyrus Baxter and Chris Lovato credit eating three raw eggs for breakfast, daily 5 a.m. training sessions, the fact that they are all three-sport athletes, and having heart for their winning run.

Following the parade, kids of all ages enjoyed activities in the park, and new and returning vendors had positive reports, said Pfeffer. Under the cover of the town stage, the area's rich musical talent was showcased, and the audience was able to sit under the cover of awnings, which kept out the sunshine and the rain. Crawford's own David and Tamara Hauze took the stage first, followed by Crawford's American Idol finalist, Jeneve Rose Mitchell. Beth Williams, the Storehouse Gospel Quartet, Young at Heart and Donna Saunders also took the stage, after which the audience sang patriotic songs led by an impromptu session with several local musicians.

The day was topped off by the fireworks extravaganza over Crawford State Park.

The newly renovated Crawford Town Hall was abuzz with activity. The annual auction brought in more than $3,600, said Pfeffer, thanks to the generosity of businesses and individuals from throughout the county. Their donations stretched almost the entire length of the historic Community Room.

Auctioneer and former town public works director Gabby George, who went to the great auction house in the sky on Feb. 1, was also honored for his service to the Town of Crawford. Gabby will also be honored by the town with a bench, to be placed in town park.

Participation was a little down in this year's baking contest, but the entries were amazing (ask Mayor Wanda Gofforth for her blue ribbon pie recipe).

Baking Contest
Adult bread, first, Mildred Kinser; second, Mildred Kinser;
Adult cake, first, Deanna Deck;
Adult cookies, first, Alexandra Matheson;
Adult pie, first, Wanda Gofforth; second, Jennifer Reed;
Youth pie, first, Hailey Carr; and
Youth bars, first, Colton Rounds.
Outhouse Race
First place, Sharon's Kids (Gabe Hughes, Kayden Owens, Cyrus Baxter, Chris Lovato); second place, Crawford Army; third place, Hometown Hotties; and fourth place, To the Throne.
Division Awards
Best Theme -- Home Sweet Home (Vegetation Waste Management)
People's Choice -- The Hot Flushes
Old Farts -- Hot to Trot.
Hay Bale Races
(top three placers)
First place, Brady Todd 27.46 seconds; second, Christopher Lovato 27.84; and third, Tyson Wacker 29.50.

Harlowe Starbuck learned to read and captured the heart of Miss Priscilla in all three presentations of the 36th annual Pioneer Days melodrama, "Perils of Priscilla."

Looking to next year's celebration, "We don't have a theme yet, but obviously we're already looking forward to next year," said Pfeffer. The committee will hold a follow-up meeting in the near future to discuss what worked and what didn't. Among the items to be corrected was a lack of room for the North Fork Ambulance Kiddie Train, which was sorely missed and couldn't run without Don Geddes. There will definitely be room next year, said Pfeffer, who apologized for the oversight.

The event could not happen without volunteers, each of whom gave at least 80 hours of their time, said Pfeffer. "We have the most incredible crew of volunteers."

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