Range Call desperate for new director

MEEKER I Tradition is tough to surrender. But the possibility of that happening is a serious reality as the Meeker Range Call committee searches for an individual or individuals to direct the Range Call Pageant during the Fourth of July weekend.
Range Call is a three-day celebration exclusive to Meeker, its namesake and the old West, with a parade, a demolition derby (which will be held a week before the Fourth this year, on June 28), bull and bronc riding (this year instead of a rodeo), exhibits, games and booths on the courthouse lawn, a barbecue in Meeker Town Park, a dance at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds in Meeker and a variety of other events.
The Range Call Celebration is scheduled for Thursday, July 3 through Saturday, July 5, but there will be no activities on Thursday, July 3 if the committee can’t find a director for the pageant, which is a play performed at the county fairgrounds’ rodeo arena depicting the events leading up to and including the Meeker Massacre.
Committee members Gayle Rogers and Rosemary Hilkey pointed out that the Range Call (pageant) was started in 1938, “…and it is in real threat of not happening this year,” Rogers said.
“That would be a really sad thing for Meeker if we don’t have the pageant this year; it could very well signal the end of the pageant if we can’t find a director or if we don’t have volunteers to act it out,” Hilkey said. “There are quite a few rehearsals, but we have all the staging equipment and the costumes as well as instructions on how the pageant itself should be staged. We just need a director to take it on.”
Rogers said the director’s job could easily be filled by an individual, by a couple, by a family or by a local community group.
“It is a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun,” Rogers said. “It is also very rewarding for the person or persons who take it on.”
Volunteers will also be needed, the women said, but the call for volunteers to take part in the pageant itself will wait until and if a pageant director can be found.
“We are extending a special invitation to children and the teenagers to join us by taking on roles in the pageant,” Hilkey said, “but we would love to see an increase overall in the number of people taking part — from newcomers who have never been in the pageant to some of the older guard who used to take part.”
Any person, couple, family or local group that wishes to take on the role of director is asked to contact Kim Ekstrom at 970-623-1373.

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