Pine Bluffs Post - Serving all of Eastern Laramie County since 1908

By Gary Collins
Pine Bluffs Post Editor 

A Stroll down Trail Days


August 10, 2017

Gary Collins/Pine Bluffs Post

The 2017 Trail Days Grand Marshals Phyllis and Bill Gross are trailed by Trail Days Queen Vanessa DeLaCruz, left, and her attendant Kelby Eastman. Behind them is Nicole Delaplane, the Kimball Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Princess. In the front seat of the car are Norma Jean, left, and her Husband Leonard Anderson

To Mrs. Albert G. "Sy" Adels:

Dear Annabel,

Well, another Trail Days has come and gone. While it was the 67th running of the event, it was the first for me.

I am sorry you were not able to attend and in that spirit I will try and give you a little of the flavor of what went on.

The Queen Coronation began the festivities on Wednesday. This year's Queen is Vanessa DeLaCruz. This was followed by the melodrama, "Dirty Deeds at the Depot." It told the story of pretty and innocent Lacie Camisole, played by Hope Person, who, having returned to Pine Bluffs from Paree, was compelled to choose between true love and her father's plan to marry her off to Dusty Rhodes, played by Jack and Jeannie Hockersmith's boy Matt, in order to save the family ranch. Now that the run is over I can tell you that Lacie followed her heart and Justin Tyme married the station master, played by Jordan Crouse.

There was a villain, of course, there is always a villain. "Professor" Thaddeus Mack was played by Damien Thompson, but his evil plot to steal the Colorado gold was thwarted in the end by Duncan Disorderly who was actually Pinkerton Agent in Disguise, Daisy DooRite, portrayed by Heather Becerra.

Oh, and this year the melodrama had singing it.

Things really kicked off on Friday with two performances of the melodrama, Fun Friday at the swimming pool and a street dance at the Knotty Pine Saloon. There was even an inaugural Softball Tournament organized by Chris Fornstrom and Will Gray. From all reports the contestants had a good time in a tournament that lasted well into the night before a winner was crowned.

I have to admit that I over-slept and missed the Longhorn Stampede One Mile or 5kwalk/run but I have just now received the list of winners from Sonja Fornstrom. If you happen to read this week's paper you will find those results in the sports section.

Of course the real action started on Saturday. I am going to have to admit, Annabel, that I have never been much of a fan of parades. That being said, the well over a thousand people who lined Main Street seemed to really enjoy it.

Police Chief Justin Trout, led the parade off, throwing candy to the children from his squad car. He was followed by the First Responders of the Laramie County Fire District No. 5, who were in turn followed by the Trail Days Queen and her attendant Kelby Eastman. Behind them was the Kimball PRCA Princess Nicole Hessenthaler, who was followed by the Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post 60.

There was a little controversy for those who felt that the American Legion Post, carrying the American Flag, should have led the parade, but that has become a matter for next year's organizers.

Bill and Phyllis Gross were Grand Marshals this year. It seems their favorite part of the parade was having candy to throw to the kids.

The Mayor and Town Council brought Mardi Gras in New Orleans to mind as they were throwing beaded necklaces instead of candy from the back of their pickup. However, this is Pine Bluffs and not New Orleans so those catching the beads were not required to show their appreciation as they do in that southern Louisiana city.

The Fornstrom family won the award for the best use of theme in the parade, "Strong Roots....Proud Community." They also won for best commercial float for the Sinclair station. The kids who are lifeguards at the swimming pool took honors for their float, which is easier to detail in a picture than in words. The Saddle Tramps took the prize for the best Horse Entry.

The PBHS classes of 1967 and 1977 had floats. There was a small train that weaved through the street and later gave rides to the children. There were tractors, one of them was pink from Laramie, and even a tractor pulling a speed boat. There were more horses and a wagon.

After the parade there were so many activities that you almost had to pick and choose which ones you wanted to be a part of or see.

The Lions Club was once again at their post in City Park serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, beans, brownies and a brisket served up by Pheasants Forever. What stood out for me was the chance to finally see people all over City Park. The new trees are growing nicely and the town crews have done a really nice job of making the park attractive.

If pie and coffee were to your taste, the United Methodist Women had plenty of both at the Methodist Church on Main.

While the Barbeque was taking place, tractors and pickup trucks from Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska and even Iowa competed in the Antique Tractor Pull and Stock Non-Diesel Pickup Pull. Never having seen such an event, I found myself a little surprised that those tractors could pull eight tons as far as they did.

There was the 7th annual Covered Wagon and Bike Show at the Knotty Pine. I did not see any covered wagons but there were plenty of vintage cars and motorcycles to look at. There was even the band, Children at Play, performing.

If that is not enough for you, there was a shooting gallery at city park operated by the Texas Trail Ringnecks and a horseshoe tournament at Reher Park.

Of course, Trail Days would not be what it is without the Rodeo which started the whole thing in 1950, the year you were building your house.

Being from the city, I do not know much about Rodeo. When I learned of the Pole Bending event, I was inclined to take it literally. I found that it is essentially a slalom event but with horses not skis.

One particular ride, by a young lady, caught my eye. She seemed to thread the needle as cleanly as one would like, at least to my untrained eye. Unfortunately, she broke the pattern by just a neck at one of the poles. Still, her ride was a pleasure to see.

I did enjoy the goat tying. The valiant attempts of the goats to escape their fate proved successful as often as not and I could not help but root a little for them, but that is probably par for the course for a city boy.

I am afraid I did not see as much of the rodeo as you might have liked but I also wanted to check in at the 3 on 3 basketball tournament at the high school and there was also the 100th Annual PBHS Reunion and Banquet at Historic High School to look in on.

Finally, on Saturday night there was another street dance at the Knotty Pine.

For early Sunday risers there was the Community Church and Free Breakfast at the Community Center which was served up by the Mayor and Town Council.

The last event of the weekend was the 25th annual Co-ed Mud Volleyball Tournament. While it is the 25th annual running of the event, it began 26 years ago. They had to cancel one year because of drought.

The morning of this tournament started off chilly and the participants must have been a little uncomfortable in the water, but the day warmed up as it progressed. Those who seemed to enjoy the mud pits the most were the little kids who, near the very end, were finally able to leap right onto one of the courts that was vacant and splash and swim in the muddy water to their hearts content.

Well, Annabel, I am afraid that is all there is for this year's Trail Days. I am sorry if my poor descriptions of it are inadequate, but I wanted to offer you a chance to live a little of it and I hope that I have accomplished something of that order.

Here is hoping you are well. I will try next year to do a better job for you.


The Pine Bluffs Post.


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