Pioneer Day back at full strength July 22-24

By David Peck

Pioneer Day is back in full swing this year after some events were cancelled last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Fittingly, the 2021 theme is Angels Among Us, Pioneer Day Committee secretary Sherie Monk said, as the community will offer special thanks to medical, emergency and law enforcement personnel from the Cowley, Deaver and Frannie area.

The celebration has been moved up a week in recent years so as to not conflict with the Park County Fair, and with the fair scheduled for July 27-31, that allows Pioneer Day to be held on the traditional July 24, with events scheduled for July 22 and 23, as well.

Last year four events had to be cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, the heritage program at the church, kids games in the park, the volleyball tournament and the evening variety show, but this year the celebration has essentially returned to normal, with a few tweaks.

“Everything is back this year, but there has been a little bit of shuffling,” Monk said.

A new addition is the Bowling Pin Shoot and .22 Rifle Silhouette Shoot Thursday, July 22, sponsored by the Lovell Rod and Gun Club at the shooting range northeast of Lovell on Highway 37 toward Horseshoe Bend. The competition begins at 5:30 p.m. Call Suzanne Wilson for more information at 272-1953.

The annual horseshoe tournament has been moved from Saturday afternoon to Friday evening, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the park. The event is for fun, with no entry fee and no experience required, Monk said.

The traditional ice cream social has moved to Saturday night and has been replaced on the schedule Friday by Family Music in the Street featuring the Cowley Boys on Division between Main and North 2nd Street. Music begins at 8 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m.

“Bring the kids and enjoy the night,” Monk said.

Busy Saturday

A fun-filled Saturday schedule features the annual parades (kiddie and adult), heritage program, fun in the park, volleyball and cornhole tournaments, rodeo, variety show, ice cream social and fireworks.

Here’s the Saturday schedule:

• Pioneer Day Fun Run featuring 5K and one-mile runs. No bicycle race this year. $10 entry fee. Register at 6:30 a.m., race at 7 a.m. Call Jodi Winland for more information at 801-499-9365.

• Kiddie Parade, 9:30 a.m. Line up at Town Hall at 9:15. No motorized vehicles allowed.

• Pioneer Day Parade, 10 a.m. Line up at the town and county shops on the west end of town at 9 a.m. Call Janeen Blackburn to enter at 307-548-6186. Grand marshal is LeRose Peterson, and the citizen emeritus is Doug Weaver.

• Pioneer Heritage Program, 11 a.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

• Fun in the Park. Food vendors will be available from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call Mitch Kinser to make arrangements at 909-553-4607. Craft vendors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call Sally Bernhisel at 307-272-5251. Classic car show on the north side of the park. Call Keith or Carol Rasmussen at 548-7588 to enter.

Kids races begin at noon for ages 3 and up. Inflatables from 12:30 to 5 p.m. Cost is $3 per child for unlimited play.

• Volleyball tournament, noon, at the park. $30 per team. Call Calli Leonhardt at 307-250-2277 to enter.

• Cornhole tournament, 2 p.m., at the park. $20 per team. To enter, call Lacey Bassett at 307-899-4958.

• Pioneer Day Rodeo, 2 p.m. Entries accepted July 15-16 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 307-254-9616 to enter. Calcutta Friday at the Bull Pub, 8 p.m.

• Variety Show, Cowley Log Gym, 7 p.m. Call Jim Whalen to enter at 548-9597.

• Ice cream social in the park, 8:30 p.m. “Bring lawn chairs, enjoy ice cream and get ready for the fireworks,” Monk said.

• Fireworks finale, dusk, at the Cowley Legion Baseball Park, choreographed by Caleb Sanders.