MEEKER I In its 33rd year, 32 years of actually running due to COVID, The Colorado Grand returned to Meeker.
“Meeker is one of our favorite stops,” commented Heather Greene of Eagle, Colorado.
“I am always the first one to leave in the morning as I need to coordinate lunch and make sure all the arrangements are complete, but not when we come to Meeker, it is always organized and ready to go,” said Eddie O’Brien, community liaison with The Colorado Grand.
This year the Lions Club and HopeWest served lunch on the courthouse lawn.
O’Brien, who drives a cherry red 427 Cobra imported from Tokyo, said “everyone has a story about their cars. My car was owned by a gentleman in Tokyo, but it was illegal to actually drive the car in Japan, so he would load it up on a trailer, drive out of town, run it a bit, load it back up and take it home.” 21 years ago that gentleman was forced to sell his 427 Cobra and O’Brien purchased it and shipped it to the states.
Typically there are 15+ countries represented in the grand, but with COVID, this year most are from England and the United States.
As The Grand tours the state it is escorted by the Colorado State Patrol and Mercedes. Mercedes provides support, mechanics, and even cars if someone needs something to drive while theirs is being repaired.
In each location that The Grand visits they donate to local groups and provide a scholarship. This year they will be donating $7.2 million dollars to Colorado, most of which will go to the Colorado State Patrol Fallen Officers fund. Meeker will be receiving $14,000 that will go to the Lions Club for their various projects and $8,500 for a scholarship that will be awarded to a student attending school at an instate college. The information on the scholarship will be announced later in the year by the Lions Club.
Greene talked about how much they appreciated Meeker, and how Meeker was once home to the largest indoor car show in Colorado. A few years ago as the cars traveled to Meeker, winter weather hit, and Sheriff Anthony Mazzola quickly moved the car show to the indoor arena.
“All of our drivers were thrilled and very impressed with how quickly Meeker adapted, and it instantly became a favorite location,” said O’Brien.
When the drivers pulled out of Meeker they were headed to Grand Junction for the evening.
“We won’t have a formal event, but word gets out fast that we are in town, and we just love to talk about our cars, and we get quite a crowd,” commented Greene.
The Colorado Grand is the final event in the United States for the fall, and once the drivers are done they will return home.
By TIFFANY JEHOREK – Special to The Herald Times