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Volunteers welcome as Pioneer Town readies for season

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Volunteers have been busy at Pioneer Town this week helping with the annual Clean Up Days in preparation of the May 28 season opening of one of the valley's premier tourist attractions and economic development enterprises.

You don't have to be a tourist to visit and enjoy what Pioneer Town has to offer. Pioneer Town offers a lot for local residents who may want to just stop in during the season for a chat with friendly volunteers or to browse and shop the expanding gift shop.

Volunteer Jane Everett told the DCI, "We have a fantastic season planned with lots of new ideas, events and displays. The gift shop, managed by Robin Rogers, will be expanded this year with lots of locally-crafted items, as well as some vintage goods, all displayed in a creative setting additionally promoting the feel of Pioneer Town. Robin is also overseeing all of the many volunteers this year."

While many dedicated volunteers are busy helping with the chores, anyone in the community feeling a spring fling of extra energy and community pride is welcome to head over to the Byway Welcome Center this week and volunteer to pick up a broom and lend a hand. Volunteers in any number of roles for the tourist season are always welcome as well.

According to Everett, "Clean Up Days began on Monday, May 2, and goes through

Friday May 6. We plan again this year to have help from Community Options to start with the a few chores like the sweeping out and shop vacuuming of the buildings on our old time Main Street."

Everett and the Pioneer Town board members are truly grateful for the participation of the folks from Community Options as their participation in community events is always welcome.

"They were a tremendous help to us last year, and so with the help of Deneen Cook at Community Options we invited them back this year. It's a great way to get the Community Options folks out into the Cedaredge Community participating with the life of the community. If the weather holds, we plan to start projects at 9:30 or so Monday morning."

Everyone is always anticipates Pioneer Town's opening day events. "This year the event will be chaired by Surface Creek Historical Society Vice-president Greg Hart," Everett noted. "We have prepared a flyer for distribution and we will start getting the word out there immediately after Clean Up Week. Additionally, Chuck and Jan Harrington will be organizing a thank you to the Clean Up volunteers - a picnic style dinner on Thursday May 12 in Stolte Shed the week following Clean Up Week."

Volunteers are the heart and soul of Pioneer Town and without them the facility could not exist. So, the board and others in the organization are always attentative to expressing their sincere thanks and appreciation to everyone who volunteers and helps out at Pioneer Town. Volunteer opportunities are always available for community-mided folks to become a part of it all "We have many Surface Creek Valley Historical Society members who signed up for Clean Up Days, as well as people from the local Cedaredge Community. It's certainly a big job to clean up 25 buildings after a long and windy winter," Everett said.

In addition, Pioneer Town staff is already getting prepared for the many visitors they will welcome during the 2016 season. Everett explained for the DCI, "We hope to be sparkling and ready to start the elementary school tours ahead of our season opening on Heritage Day, Saturday, May 28 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m). We begin with the return of Lincoln Elementary from Delta on Wednesday, May 11, and all the 2nd grade classes of about 100 students total.

"On Wednesday, May 18, we tour all of our Cedaredge Elementary 2nd graders, about 60 students. For the school student tours along with our regular Pioneer Town Volunteer Tour Guides headed up by Jerry Grosshans, we will also have a few young student guides headed up and trained by Jonathan Fischer.

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer The Welcome Center at Pioneer Town is a center of activity this week during annual Clean Up Days as volunteers get the musem complex ready for the big opening on Saturday, May 28.
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Surface Creek
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Cedaredge, Pioneer Town
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