Fun for the whole family this weekend in Crawford

By Kami Collins


Every community has a story to tell, and the citizens of Crawford are anxious to share the story of their community during the 39th annual Crawford Pioneer Days, June 8-11. Pioneer Days began as a way to honor the heritage of the area and to recognize those who have helped shape the community. This year's theme celebrates all that is special about Crawford: "Heritage, Family & Friends."

There are plenty of family-friendly events on tap throughout the entire weekend, with everything from live music and live theater to feats of strength and a battle of the best bakers. Crawford is definitely the place to be this weekend!

Thursday, June 8

Pioneer Days begins with a showing of the annual melodrama and dessert show. "Pillow Talk in Mattress Springs, or No Rest for the Wicked" will show at the town hall at 7 p.m. Cost is $5 per person and includes lots of homemade desserts. This show is a fundraiser for the North Fork Ambulance.

Friday, June 9

Start your weekend with a tasty burger or hotdog from the First State Bank customer appreciation barbecue, which runs from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the bank parking lot.

The baking contest takes place that afternoon at town hall. This is your chance to show off a little! Judges are anxious to try your yummy homemade breads, cakes, cookies, pies or bars. Sweet, savory, unique and classic treats all have a chance to take home a blue ribbon, or even a cash prize. The contest is open to both kids and adults. Baked goods can be dropped off at town hall anytime from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. After judging, the treats will be auctioned off later that evening.

Stick around town hall and enjoy a delicious taco and salad bar supper from the Crawford Fire Auxiliary. The dinner will be served from 4-6 p.m. and costs $8 for adults and $5 for kids eight and under. The dinner is a benefit for the fireworks display, which runs about $8,000 annually. In addition to the taco bar, you can help fund the annual fireworks show by making a cash contribution in one of the fire boots that will be on display at Crawford businesses and at Crawford State Park during Pioneer Days. Checks can also be mailed to the Crawford Fire Auxiliary at PO Box 405, Crawford, CO 81415.

At 6 p.m., the annual live auction kicks off. In addition to the tasty treats from the baking contest, items donated by Delta County businesses are up for grabs. Gift certificates for services and to restaurants, local wines, event tickets, jewelry, housewares and much more will be up for auction. Proceeds from the auction help fund next year's Pioneer Days celebration.

Saturday, June 10

Saturday's festivities begin bright and early with a pancake breakfast put on by the volunteers from the Crawford Fire Department. Hotcakes and all the fixings will be served from 6 - 10:30 a.m. at town park. After breakfast, take a meander through the park where dozens of craft, art, food, information and community booths will be displayed. Booths are open for business from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The parade kicks off at 10 a.m., and is one of the most cherished highlights of the annual celebration. This year, in addition to the many floats, you'll see several heritage families who will lead the parade -- families who have been in the Crawford area for many years (including some of the original homesteading families). Leading the parade will be Pioneer Days queen Rinda Pipher, king Curley Pipher and grand marshal Pauline Pipher. New this year, all parade participants will be judged, so make sure your float is parade-ready! The parade is also free this year, but early registration is appreciated. Entry forms are available online at Crawford
PioneerDays.weebly.com.

Immediately following the parade is the always excellent, always hilarious display of athleticism known as the outhouse races. Teams of up to five people must construct an outhouse and then race their creation against another team. One person must ride in the outhouse during the race while the others push. The race will take place in front of the Hitching Post. Prizes will be awarded for the first, second and third place finishers, as well as a People's Choice and for the best themed outhouse. Full rules and an entry form are available online at CrawfordPioneerDays.weebly.com.

The melodrama will be performed twice on Saturday, at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Both shows cost $3 per person.

There is a full slate of kids games available at town park. Beginning at noon, there will be a haybale race. The timed race will see two contestants hauling three bales of hay down a 50-foot raceway. A first, second and third prize winner will be awarded. Kids can also enjoy water balloons, relay races, tug-o'-war, train rides, a watermelon eating contest, and more.

While kiddos are having fun in the sun, families are invited to kick back in the park and enjoy live music by local musicians. Music will be from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., and the lineup includes Linda McVehil, Beth Williams, David and Tamara Hauze, Katie & Kim Sayler, Young At Heart and Donna Saunders.

While every part of Crawford Pioneer Days is awesome, the pièce de résistance, the gorgeous fireworks show by the Crawford Fire Department, takes place Saturday evening at dusk (about 9:45 p.m.) at Crawford State Park. Entry to the park is free all day on Saturday.

Sunday, June 11

Sunday's festivities conclude the 39th Pioneer Days. Begin your morning with a wonderful community, non-denominational church service at 10 a.m. at town park. A free lunch will be served after the worship service.

Later that afternoon, head to the Maher Schoolhouse for an open house to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the school. The open house is from 2-5 p.m., with a special presentation at 3 p.m. The schoolhouse is located five miles south of Crawford.