Highlights from

The Herald Democrat

50 Years Ago



Leadville Boom Days Slated

April 16, 1971


The regular monthly meeting of the Leadville Boom Days Committee was held Thursday evening. Plans for the Leadville summer celebration being held August 6, 7 and 8 advanced to a considerable extent.

This year’s chairman is Art Silver. Larry Lindsay is Vice-Chairman, Al Smythe is the Treasurer, and Don Capron, the Secretary.

Several additional committee chairmen have been appointed, including Bill Henderson in charge of the pancake breakfast; Dave Kilgo in charge of the burro race; Jack East to handle the raffle; Al Owen in change of the children’s events; Ralph Garrett in charge of the booklet; and Larry Marriott assisting LeRoy Wingenbach with the publicity. Duane Black will coordinate the mining events; Dennis Rease will handle the four-wheel drive events; and Leonard Oberndorfer will be in charge of supporting events.

Still to be appointed are chairmen to handle the parade, barbecue, queen contest and street raiders.

One item was eliminated from the planning — that of the extensive booths and displays at the Sixth Street Gym. Ed and Roberta Parsons and Mrs. Charles Bradford were present at the meeting and explained that the Lake County 4-H club had been granted permission to use the Sixth Street Gym during this weekend for a 4-H Fair to be held on August 7.

Since their plans are substantially what the Boom Days Committee has in mind as an event to help generate interest and to keep visitors in the downtown area for the celebration, these plans will mesh quite well.

The 4-H group plans to have booths, displays and demonstrations all day on the celebration Saturday, with participation by all of the Lake County youth groups, including boy and girl scouts, 4-H, church youth groups, etc. The planned activities will go under the title of “Lake County Youth In Action.”

The celebration committee will begin their activities with a built-in financial start. The Kastl Karnival, an annual visitor to Leadville, will be scheduled in Leadville during the weekend of July 10, with the usual percentage of the profits still to go to the Leadville Boom Days Committee. Thus Leadville children — young and old — will have a carnival to attend, but there will not be an additional event that would draw patronage away from the burro race weekend celebration activities.

The Boom Days Committee is striving to have as successful a celebration as can be held since they want to make as much money as possible to repay the debt that has accrued as a result of the past two celebrations. There is a deficit of $400 from the 1969 Bur-Rodeo and $1,800 from the 1970 Bur-Rodeo. Most of this deficit resulted from the expenses of the rodeo in each of the two years. The rodeo this year will be staged at a different time, so there will not be a conflicting event to draw away patronage and also manpower. With this sort of an arrangement each event should be successful and well-manned.

The burro race thus will be an endeavor by the committee to draw more local and area participation in the race rather than the so-called “professionals” who have raced in the past few celebrations. The $2,000 prize money is being divided into ten chunks, with prizes of $800, $450, $250, $100, $80, $65, $55, $35 and $20. The entry fee will remain at $35. There will be an engraved belt buckle presented to each of the money winners, plus an additional $100 to be presented to the first novice racer to finish. The goal this year will be to have as many local business places and merchants sponsor a racer in the competition as possible. The Commercial Bank has already indicated that they will sponsor two racers, while Safeway will sponsor one. The big pitch now will be to have sufficient burros lined up in advance for the racers to use. The women will race in the same category as the men.

The race this year will have one new feature — a Grand Prix start. The burros will be tied at one point and the racers will have to run to the burro, put on the packs, and then take off. The race will follow basically the same course as last year, except that it will begin and end on Harrison Avenue.

The queen contest will be held at the high school, with a prize of $100 worth of clothes to the successful candidate.

Children’s derby events will include the events that were so successful last year — the greased pig contest and the pie eating contests. This year there will be two pigs used with the youthful contestants divided into two age groups. There will also be other events, such as nail driving contests, pole climbing events, children’s casting contests for prizes, etc.

Planned also is a fishing derby with prizes to the adults and children who produce the biggest fish caught in Lake County during the holiday weekend (no frozen Macks allowed).

The four-wheel drive tour for August 7 (Saturday) is still in the planning stage, but it will probably involve a four-wheel drive trip over Weston and Mosquito Passes with a stop along the way for a barbecue.

Planned also is a tug-of-war on Harrison Avenue. Being considered also is a horse shoe pitching contest. There will not be a Press Weekend preceding Boom Days.

Chairman Art Silver called for local residents to volunteer to act as chairmen for those events which still do not have a chairman, and also for just plain general volunteering to help in the staging of the various events.

Leadville Boom Days this year will have a general budget of $7,850.

Today’s Chuckles


The guys at the bar were saying that maybe money won’t buy happiness, but it certainly saves a lot of trouble in trying to acquire it otherwise.


If ignorance is bliss, why aren’t more people happy?

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