MEEKER I Most grateful that the news came later instead of never, Meeker Range Call director Kim Ekstrom announced Friday that a new director had surfaced for the annual Range Call Pageant, which brings to life the story of the Meeker Massacre at the Rio Blanco County Fairgrounds during the Fourth of July weekend.
“It is all coming together, finally; we always did want to have a pageant this year,” Ekstrom said. “It is great to finally have not one, but many people come forward to help with the show this year.”
Meekerite Hallie Blunt will head up the production, which will take place on July 3.
“I am really fortunate to have some good people help me this year,” Blunt said. “Clint and Tera Shults, who headed up the pageant last year will be a huge help again this year, but they really wanted to have some help.
“I am also getting a lot of help from my sister, Molly Theos, Rhonda Hilkey, Kay Bivens, Patty Anderson, Natosha Stewart and even some others will be helping us out,” Blunt said.
The play will utilize the same script as last year with very few and minor changes. This year the narrator will be Jamie Rodgers, who replaces Maclaine Shults, who did the narration last year but who has gone away to college as well as stays busy with livestock judging during the summer.
“I felt the pageant was a very important part of Meeker’s history,” Blunt said. “We grew up with it and many of our parents grew up with it and we just wanted to keep it alive.
“People in the past have done a phenomenal job of bringing the story to life,” she said. “They are the ones who have done and will do lots of work. We have fourth- and fifth-generation participants in the pageant.”
Practices will be held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, beginning at 7 p.m. at the fairgrounds arena. Volunteers are always welcome, Blunt said.
“The more people we have, the better the pageant is,” she said. “We would love to get some of those who acted in the pageant for years to come back and take part again, and we would love to have some newcomers join us so we can continue to grow and bring new blood into the group.”
According to Ekstrom, the pre-pageant entertainment will be a local 4-H singing group, performing until it is dark enough for the pageant.