After a public survey, followed by a public forum last fall, the Paonia Chamber of Commerce chose to relinquish the responsibility of Cherry Days in order to focus on its main goal of serving and promoting the economic and business community of Paonia. From that forum emerged a handful of Paonia citizens willing to continue the volunteer effort of producing Cherry Days with a focus on preserving as much of the nearly 70 years of tradition as possible.
The group named themselves "Paonia Cherry Days 4 Ever," referring to their commitment to Cherry Days always being held during the 4th of July holiday.
The Paonia Cherry Days 4 Ever group consists of 10 core members who are a perfect blend of Paonia natives, longtimers and newcomers. The members also represent various civic groups such as Paonia Lions Club, Rotary Club of the North Fork, and Paonia American Legion, as well as being leaders in the local business community.
A logo contest was held in March and students from Paonia High School, the North Fork Vision School and the North Fork Alternative School were invited to participate. The artwork was based around the 2013 theme, "Paonia Cherry Days 4-Ever." The 18 entries were presented at a Kids' Pasta Project Fundraising dinner for Cherry Days on April 1.
The winning design was created by Deon Jensen, a freshman at Paonia High School. The second place winner was Alyssa Carter, and third place winner was Patience Davis. The winners were awarded $50 for first, $30 for second and $20 for third place.
The Paonia Cherry Days royalty and scholarship program was modified to reflect a more traditional way of selecting a Cherry Days king and queen while ensuring the $1,000 scholarship award for each winner. Three Paonia High School senior girls and three senior boys were selected as finalists and coronation of the king and queen will take place in the Town Park following the opening ceremonies on July 4.
July 3 will focus on Downtown Day. The Paonia Chamber of Commerce has continued its support of Cherry Days through its involvement with Downtown Day, helping promote area businesses and coordinating Downtown Day activities. As the business day comes to a close, the focus shifts to Paonia Town Park where over 27 vendors will be open for business starting at 3 pm.
New for 2013, the Ellen Hansen Smith Center will be transformed into the "Pure Paonia Cafe & Garden," with two musical stages — one inside and one outside in the "garden." The cafe opens at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, with a fine arts show and beer and wine tasting accompanied by live blues guitar starting at 8 pm. Teens can enjoy music and dancing at the Gazebo Stage with DJ Steve Garcia starting at 8 p.m.
The traditional 4th of July parade begins Thursday at 10 a.m. on Grand Avenue. The philosophy of the parade is that each entry should be able to make a six-year-old smile.
Events in the Town Park kick off at noon with a jam packed day of entertainment on the Gazebo Stage, as well as on the Union Pacific Community Kids' Stage at the northern Lions Club Pavilion featuring talented Paonia youths. The four section Lions Club Pavilion will also feature the Delta County Livestock Association Sights & Sounds Exhibit.
For the first time, we'll be inviting Paonia skaters — and really any kind of entertainment on wheels — to show their stuff at the DMEA Skater's Exhibition at the Paonia Skate Park.
Live music continues throughout the afternoon and into the evening on the two stages at the Pure Paonia Cafe and Garden. The evening culminates with local legend Black Timber in the Garden and Paonia Cherry Days' headliner, Tony Trahan and the Blue Krewe, in the Cafe for a Louisiana style Mardi Gras Ball!
The coal shoveling contest is back. Mountain Coal Company and Rotary Club of the North Fork Valley have teamed up to produce an oldie but goodie. The entry fee is $40 per two-man team with 50 percent of the proceeds going to the winning team and the other 50 percent will benefit the Rotary Club of the North Fork Scholarship Fund. The contest will take place in front of the football field bleachers at 2:00 pm.
For the first time in many, many years there isn't a carnival. While not having the carnival is disappointing to some degree, the Paonia Cherry Days 4 Ever group is very excited and proud to present the Paonia Ministerial Association Children's Fair. The fair will sprawl across the East Park (the football field) with a multitude of activities including three bounce houses, a gigantic inflatable water slide, a variety of old fashioned carnival booth games, field games, an art tent, a wet zone and hay wagon rides. Also new this year is the Children's Bazaar, where kids can sell their handmade goods.
There is also a teen activity area and pay-to-ride amusements such as water balls and a Euro- Bungy. The Dunk Tank is back and the NFAA Kiddie Train will be giving rides around the field by donation, as well. On Friday, July 5, the Math & Science Center in Grand Junction will be bringing a science experiment station where kids can participate in many fun experiments.
How is all of this being accomplished? By lots and lots of terrific volunteers! But the group needs even more volunteers for the Children's Fair, as well as other areas of Cherry Days. If you are interested, please call Natalie at 527-8277, or e-mail paoniacherrydays
@gmail.com. Stay updated on the schedule of events at www.PaoniaCherryDays.com.
Come to Paonia for Cherry Days for a fun-filled, old fashioned event!blog comments powered by Disqus