Old Timer’s 102nd gathering is on Saturday

RBC I Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association co-presidents Sandra Bradfield and Robert Amick extend their personal invitation and warmest welcome to pioneers and guests attending the 102nd Anniversary Centennial Plus-2 celebration of the Old Timer’s Reunion on Saturday at the Freeman E. Fairfield Center, 200 Main St.

The 2014 theme is “How the West was Fun,“ which features a period costume contest for any year from 1885 through the present, and prizes will be awarded for the most creative costumes. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with Capturing Our Culture oral history interviews by the Rio Blanco County Historical Society. Hospitality tables with refreshments for guests will be available.
Since the first reunion was held in 1912 (and has continued each year since then), a litany of prestigious Rio Blanco County citizens have served as presidents of the association who are remembered in the program. An article in the Feb. 12, 1912, edition of the White River Review reported that ”… on Friday, Feb. 7, 1912, 125 members and their wives attended the first Old Timer’s reunion.
“Attendees included Ambrose and Mary Delaney Oldland, Mr. Kracht, J.L. Taggert, James Lyttle, B.F. Clark, A.C. Moulton, Otto Metzger, R.H. Crawford, F.W. Fairfield, T.H. Iles, C.J. Wilson, Ewen Amick, J.D. Amick, T.D. Holland, George Howey, H.S. Harp, Ed P. Wilber and their wives. The dance of the Old Timer’s was one of the best dances ever, with more than 200 present. Many participated in square dances, and they had the time of their lives…”
Recognized as a unique historical legacy event in Colorado, the Pioneers reunion motto is “not many parties last 102 years.”
Additional officers for the 2014 reunion committee include co-vice presidents Sparky Pappas and Mary K. Krueger, secretary and registrar Haley Kracht, treasurer Connie Theos and strategic chair Mary Ann Wilber. Nominees for 2015 co-vice presidents are Mike and Mary Grady.
The dinner entertainment and music for the dance will be provided by a renowned musician and special effects artist Ventco Productions, which will entertain pioneers with a repertoire of popular music from the early years to the present. The superb buffet dinner will be catered by Kris and Henry Arcolesse of Ma Famiglia’s Restaurant. Group and individual photographs will be offered for pioneers. The honor roll of pioneer friends and family who have passed away in the last year will be read by historian Sandra Shimko.
A special feature of this year’s gathering is the Capturing Our Culture oral history interviews of individuals, families, and groups, such as cowboys, teachers, members of class reunions, family reunions, regional groups, area residents and many others will be documented by video cameras as a basis for possible future publication by the Rio Blanco County Historical Society in cooperation with the Meeker Arts and Cultural Council and the Rio Blanco County Pioneers Association.
Other attractions include recognition of class reunions of all MHS and RHS classmates. Refreshments and a cash bar provided by the Meeker Lions Club will be available for guests, and the traditional late evening supper will close the festivities.
The website has gathered interest from many pioneers, who have used it to register. Registration has been extended through today at www.rbcpioneers.org. For more information, please call registrar Haley Kracht at 970 878-4607.
The committee is expecting a large turnout of pioneers from many areas to celebrate the Centennial Plus-2 reunion experience and members want to encourage any guests who have not yet registered to please do so as soon as possible so preparations can be made for seating and dinner service.
New and younger pioneers are especially invited and encouraged to attend. Anyone who has ever attended the event will tell you how much they enjoyed seeing friends, and making new friends while sharing stories and catching up on years past.

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