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Orchard City celebrates its community

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Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Patrick DaCosta of Eckert performs in the town picnic old-time fiddle playing event as he is accompanied by Mark Toole of Cedaredge on the guitar.

With Delta County's events calendar abounding in fruit festivals, brews and wine festivals, music festivals and summer days festivals, Orchard City's annual town picnic could just as well be called the Friends and Family Fun Festival.

There were numerous comments at this year's event held last Saturday on the large turnout that was truly a friends-and-family affair. The Town Park pavilion was filled with locals enjoying the free cookout event and other activities, this year featuring old-time fiddle playing.

The two fiddle players who came to be part of the event, John Mattison of Hotchkiss and Patrick DaCosta of Eckert, were both awarded "first place" prize money in their age categories for their talent displays. Additional money remaining in the prize pot was distributed evenly among five other musicians who came to accompany the fiddlers and to strum guitars and sing some real cowboy songs.

The pie baking top award went to Jessica Axtell with her delicious "almond joy" creation. Axtell also won second prize for her peach raspberry pie.

Third place in the contest this year went to Marsha Thomas and her caramel chocolate pie.

The kids are always a part of the Orchard City town picnic. They have their own cool and fun water slide feature to play on, and a watermelon eating contest where everyone was a big winner.

The annual town picnic was begun a decade or more ago, with the first one being held in the town shops. It featured a cookout and rides for the kids on the fire truck.

The event has grown in size and popularity since then to become a major community event for Orchard City residents.

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Nathan Winkler, 4, and Clayton Winkler, 5, find themselves in a bit of sibling rivalry to see who can down watermelon the fastest. Turn to C2 for more photos.
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