127th annual Range Call Celebration

MEEKER I Endurance, perseverance and stubborn tenacity were characteristic of Meeker’s pioneer settlers. Today’s residents share those same traits, living in a community which continues to survive, thrive and succeed in spite of booms and busts, droughts and floods, times of plenty and times of want.
In 1855, those early settlers came together to celebrate the birth of our nation and perhaps to celebrate another year of beating the odds. Many small towns in the late 19th century held community-wide Fourth of July activities with horse races, picnics, parades and speeches. To these traditional events, the town of Meeker added a community rodeo.
Dubbed “Range Call” in the late 1930’s – Meeker’s Fourth of July celebration evolved into a three- or four-day summer festival with world-class entertainment, one of the best fireworks displays in the state, historical reenactments performed by local residents, and, yes, rodeo. Meeker’s Range Call carries the honor of being the longest-running annual rodeo in the state of Colorado.
This year’s festivities begin Tuesday, July 3 and continue through Sunday, July 8. Highlights include the Meeker Massacre Pageant (a theatrical reenactment of the Meeker massacre); Gwen Sebastian in concert Wednesday, July 4; a community Independence Day parade and a host of downtown amusements including a plein air art exhibit, free live music and a patriotic flag burning ceremony. The CPRA rodeo, Ugly Truck Show and Contest and a multitude of other family friendly events add to the fun and frolic on July 6, as well as the Barn Dance that evening. This year the Barn Dance will include a dance contest, Kidz Korner, and and locals’ braggin’ board. The ever-popular Ranch Rodeo — where local ranches have a chance to compete with each other for prize money and coveted belt buckles — will be held Sunday afternoon, July 8.
New this year: A brand new venue at Ute Park for the Saturday night concerts featuring Shooter Jennings, Jason Boland and the Stragglers, and Cody Canada and the Departed. Also new, the FMX Motorcycle Stunt Show at the Fairgrounds at 4 p.m. Wednesday, July 4.
While a wide range of the weekend’s events are free — the parade, the fireworks and most of the downtown events — you don’t want to miss out on the rest of the fun during Range Call. Tickets are $35 for adults, $30 for kids under 12 and seniors over 55. Kids five and under are free. Ticket prices do not include the pancake breakfast, 5K walk/run race or root beer floats. Single event tickets are available at the gate, but the purchase of a Range Call wristband is by far the best bang for your buck.
Tickets are available for purchase online at www.meekerrangecall.com, at the Meeker and Rangely chambers of commerce, at Wendll’s Wondrous Things in Meeker and at Murdoch’s in Craig and Clifton.