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The 135th annual Range Call Celebration will be a bit different in 2020, just like everything else this year.
For starters, there’s no big headline concert. The pandemic has forced bands and solo artists alike to cancel their summer music tours. Second, there will be no barn dances.
But don’t think there’s nothing to celebrate. First, the price of a wristband is just $25 this year. Individual events are $10. Wristbands are available for purchase at Flat Tops Fuel (427 E. Market St.).
There will be rodeos to watch at the Fairgrounds on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and a trick roper will perform after the Ranch Rodeo Saturday.
Get a taste of the history of Meeker by attending the Milk Creek Battlesite tour on Friday. Meet at the White River Museum at 9:30 a.m. The pageant will be held Friday night at dusk at the fairgrounds.
Start the 4th of July off with a pancake breakfast presented by the Masonic Lodge downtown beginning at 7 a.m. The Run for Your Life 5K, sponsored by ERBM, starts lining up at 7:45 a.m. on the downtown plaza lawn (see page 12). The race is followed by the parade at 10 a.m., which has a new, socially-distance friendly route this year (see page 4). The theme this year is “freedom” and the Meeker High School Class of 2020 are the honorary parade marshals.
At the town park basketball courts at 12 p.m., take part in the annual three-on-three basketball tournament (see page 12 for details).
The annual reenactment of the thwarted bank robbery of 1896 will take place at the corner of 6th and Main streets at 1 p.m. Saturday, acted out by local residents, some of whom can trace their family history to the residents who were present at the original event.
The Ranch Rodeo, with local participants, is at 5 p.m., followed by a trick roping demonstration.
The best fireworks display in the west begins at dusk. Fireworks are shot from the hill at Highland Cemetery, just south of the White River, and are visible at multiple locations around town.
As with all things in 2020, take plenty of precautions to avoid exposure to COVID-19. Wash hands or use hand sanitizer frequently, avoid close contact (less than 6 feet apart) with people, and the use of face coverings in situations where it’s difficult or impossible to maintain distance are recommended by public health.
As always, please support the local businesses advertised in this special section, and be safe out there.
By NIKI TURNER | firstname.lastname@example.org