Days of ’49 weekend arrives

by nathan oster

With Zach Bowman bringing his high-energy, bull-riding show to town this year, it was only natural, members of the Days of ’49 committee concluded, to incorporate the new addition into the theme.

This year’s celebration, which runs from today (Thursday, June 7) through Sunday, June 10, promises to be a “Bull Bashing Good Time.” The signature event this year is the bull riding, which is set for Saturday, June 9 starting at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds.  But here’s the full lineup.

Thursday, June 7

The tug-of-war will kick things off tonight, starting at 6 p.m., in front of Lisa’s restaurant.

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 emerge victorious and avoid getting soaked.

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 8

The grand-daddy of them all, the Days of ’49 rodeo, is set for Friday, June 8 at 7 p.m. at the rodeo grounds. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for kids 13 and under.

Saturday, June 9

The lineup for Saturday starts with the “Wet and Wiggly Kiddie Parade” at 10 a.m. and doesn’t slow down til the lights go down and the Cowley Boys jam the night away in the street dance starting at 8 p.m.

The recreation district, which is organizing the kiddie parade, is asking kids who would like to ride to show up in their costumes — “anything water-themed would be great,” said Director Chris Waite — at 10 a.m. in the parking lot of the Bank of Greybull.

The main parade follows at 10:30 a.m.

Ronna Collingwood of the ‘49er committee said entry forms are available at Big Horn Federal or at the office of the Greybull Area Chamber of Commerce.

The construction work in the downtown area is not expected to alter the traditional parade route. Entries should line up at the Catholic church.  The parade round will go south on Sixth Street to the downtown intersection, then east to it ending location at the library.

As noted, the theme:  “Bull Bashing Good Time.”

The recreation district had scheduled its Recycle Regatta at noon, but a lack of entries forced its cancellation.  Director Waite said the swimming pool would be open from noon to 2 p.m. in its place.

The marquee event of the afternoon is the bull riding and barrel racing show at the rodeo grounds being put on by Zack Bowman, owner and producer of Rank City Productions.

Bowman has put on shows in Basin the past years, but this is his first attempt to do so in Greybull.  Tickets are available in advance at Ron’s Food Farm, with adults costing $10 and all kids 8 and under getting in free.  Tickets will also be sold at the door.

Bowman promises it will be “fast paced” and “high energy,” with a professional rodeo announcer calling all the action. A sound system will be brought in to enhance his call — and pump out the tunes during the action.

“We’re going to buck 40 bulls — 30 in the first round, 10 in the short round,” said Bowman in a recent interview. “And we’ll have 20 barrel racers, with the top five going onto the short round. Plus six junior barrel racers.”

The bull riders who won the 2010 and 2011 competitions in Basin are entered, as is the top female barrel racer from the first two years. Bowman said hard-core bull riding fans will recognize the names of some of the participants.  A merchant roping will be tied into the event as well.

While they aren’t tied into the announced Days of ’49 lineup, there will be a saddle bronc riding competition at Wilford Brimley’s arena east of town, as well as go-kart races at the beet dump site near Emblem.  See elsewhere in this issue for more information.

The Cowley Boys will entertain for the street dance, which starts at 8 p.m. on the west end of Greybull Avenue, between the main intersection and the planter. In the event of inclement weather, it will be moved to the Herb Asp Community Center.  Admission is $5 per couple.

Sunday, June 10

Come one, come all to Church in the Park, which is being put on by Greybull area churches, on Sunday morning.  The ‘49er brochure says 10 a.m., but the churches are planning to start the service at 10:30 a.m.

The Community Praise and Worship Team will provide the music.

Pastor A.J. Jenness of the Grace Southern Baptist Church will deliver the message.

Prayers will be led by Mayor Frank Houk, Big Horn County Commissioner Jerry Ewen and Big Horn County School District No. 3 Trustee Steve Hoblit.

Bring a lawn chair and a picnic lunch and invite a friend.

There will be inflatable toys for the kids, free drinks, popcorn, snow cones and cotton candy.

With Zack Bowman and his bulls running on Saturday afternoon, the kids rodeo that typically runs in that time slot was shifted to Sunday at 2 p.m. at the rodeo grounds.  Admission is free.  Kids do not need a horse to join in the fun.