by nathan oster
The tug-of-war, open rodeo, parade and street dance have for years been the fan favorites on the Days of ’49 schedule, but they’ve got some competition for that distinction this year from a number of new and second-year events that have found their way into the lineup.
Greybull’s summer celebration kicks off today with the annual tug-of-war, which will play out in front of Lisa’s, and continues through Sunday, June 14 when there will be a community worship service in the park and a flag ceremony at the Elks.
Here’s a closer look at this year’s scheduled of events.
Thursday, June 11
Tonight’s spotlight shines on Lisa’s, which hosts the tug-of-war competition starting at 6 p.m. If you haven’t seen this event in the past, the strongest and toughest men, women and children battle it out as they try to avoid getting soaked and emerge victorious.
Lisa’s is coordinating the event. Anyone who would like to participate or sign up as a team can do so on the night of the competition at Lisa’s. There is no entry fee.
Friday, June 12
For much of the weekend, the part of Greybull Avenue between the stoplight and the planter will be blocked off.
The first new event on this year’s schedule is a four-hour block of mariachi music, with Los Gabanes pulling the strings to make it happen. If you are unfamiliar with it, mariachi music is a type of lively Mexican street music played by a band of trumpets and guitars. The band will play from 4 to 8 p.m.
Otherwise, the rodeo grounds will be where the action is Friday, as this year’s rodeo — the 70th in ‘49er history — starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 for adults, $5 for kids under 13. The Days of ’49 queen and princess will be crowned at the beginning of the rodeo. Contestants this year are Jordan Flitner, Ky Sorensen and Siobham Meyers for queen and Alli Lungren and Payten Sorensen for princess. Last year’s queen was Brea Adams, while Tatum Edeler held the title of princess.
Saturday, June 13
The Steps for Autism fun run/walk leads off a busy Saturday slate. Intended to raise awareness about autism, the event starts at 7:30 a.m. at the Greybull High School track. Kellie Harrington is coordinating it. As a bonus this year for young walkers and runners, they will have a chance to check out the inside of a police car, as an officer has agreed to stop by and visit with the kids. CDs from Jalan Crossland, Libby Creek Original (featuring Kellie’s brother Patrick Harrington) and Jared Rogerson will be sold at the fun/run walk. If you’d like to participate, registration forms will be available at the event.
At last check, more than 25 vendors had signed up for this year’s Greybull Gun Show, which will run from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Herb Asp Community Center. For more information, contact the Greybull Recreation District.
Dedicated to the memory of the late G&F wildlife biologist in Greybull, the Tom Easterly Memorial Softball Tournament will be a two-day affair this year. Games are expected to start around 9 a.m. Saturday at the Art Schutte Sports Complex. As of Tuesday, six co-ed and seven men’s teams had signed up. It’ll again be a one-pitch format. Organizer John Velasquez said anyone who would like to play should contact him, (307) 431-5004. He said he’ll try to find a spot for everyone. “We’re going to have fun,” he said, hinting that there will be music and possibly a bonfire at the end of Saturday’s play.
A new addition to the Days of ’49, the Summer Fair starts at 10 a.m. The west end of Greybull Avenue, between the stoplight and the planter, will be closed to accommodate the vendors and shoppers. Bev Jacobs, who works for the town, has coordinated it. She said 16 vendors are expected to come. Among the things you can expect to find there are produce, jewelry, metal art and chainsaw carvings. The fair will end around 4 p.m. Other elements of the fair include a dunk tank starting around 1 p.m., free face painting for the kids and a bake sale.
The parades start at 10 a.m., in the case of the rec-district run “kiddie” version, and at 10:30 a.m., in the case of the main parade. Kids who would like to participate in the kiddie parade should meet in the parking lot of the Bank of Greybull at 9:45 a.m. The group will parade to the library. Parents can pick up kids there with plenty of time to watch the main parade. The theme is “The Good, The Bad and The Pretty.”
Gary Good has been chosen as the grand marshal of the main parade, which starts at 10:30 a.m. near the Catholic church. It’ll follow its traditional course — south to the stoplight, then east on Greybull Avenue. The theme of the parade is “70 Years: Still No Stoppin’.”
A grand opening for the Museum of Flight and Aerial Firefighting is planned from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the airport hill.
After the parade, you can head to the city park for a community appreciation barbecue, sponsored by the South Big Horn Senior Center. It runs from noon to 2 p.m. in the part of the park lying closest to the senior center. Five dollars will get you a pulled pork sandwich or hot dog, cole slaw, chips and a drink.
One of the most popular additions to the ‘49er lineup last year was the classic car show. This year it’ll be almost twice as big, with more than 100 classic cars expected. Mike Howe is coordinating it. After the parade, cars will be parked in the lot next to Town Hall as well as along parts of Greybull Avenue.
The Kids Rodeo and Merchants Roping starts at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. As of early this week, the ‘49er committee was still looking for teams to compete in the merchants roping. The winning team will earn a plaque made by Greybull’s Jay Wilkinson. Among the kids rodeo attractions are stick horse races, barrel racing, a boot race and dummy roping.
If the cinematic arts are more your speed, Susan Sales will be opening up the former Masonic Temple building on North Sixth Street for a series of showings. “Fievel Goes West” kicks it off at noon, followed by “Wild, Wild, West” at 2 p.m., “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” at 4 p.m. and “City Slickers” at 6 p.m.
The Cowley Boys will perform for the evening street dance, which starts at 8:30 p.m. on the west end of Greybull Avenue. In the event of inclement weather, it’ll be moved to the Herb Asp Community Center. Admission to the street dance is $5 per person.
The ‘49er celebration draws to a close Sunday morning with a 10:30 a.m. community worship service in the city park. Several Greybull churches are coming together as one to put on the service. A potluck will follow the service. If you go, take your lawn chair, dress casually and bring food to share at the potluck. Bill Robertson of the Greybull Alliance Church will lead the worship service. A.J. Jenness, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, will share the message.
A 3 p.m. flag ceremony at the Greybull Elks Lodge punctuates this year’s celebration.