For more than sixty years, Carey's Pioneer Days festival has commemorated the anniversary of the arrival in 1847 of Brigham Young and his Mormon followers to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Carey's Pioneer Day celebration will begin Friday night with a rodeo featuring Royce Ford and the Wolf pack bare-back bronc riders, followed by Saturday's parade down Main Street. For this year's Grand Marshalls, Jim and Mary Peterson of Muldoon, Pioneers Days will be an opportunity to see four generations of their extended family together in their hometown.
"Lots of young people come home this time of year," said Mary. "Its nice to have them back. We don't see them near as often as we'd like to."
Mary and Jim have lived in Carey all their lives and have roots in the area reaching back nearly 100 years. This year they are celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary. While they own a home in Carey on the Little Wood Reservoir Road, the Petersons prefer to spend time 20 miles north in Muldoon, where Jim attended a one-room schoolhouse until fifth grade. The family farm in Muldoon began with 80-acres of sagebrush. Electricity came to Muldoon in 1964.
"We see deer every morning in front of the house," said Jim. "About three or four cars may pass by in a day. About the only thing we go into town for is the clothes washing."
"I was considered a city girl because I lived in Carey," said Mary, who drove a school bus for 20 years and served as president of the Idaho State Wool Growers Association for three years, promoting sheep, lamb and wool products around the country and the world. She also served as president of the American Legion Auxiliary for ten years.
Despite living all their lives in Carey and Muldoon, the Petersons also found time to travel. They spent three weeks in Australia as part of their work with Wool Growers, and 25 winters near the alfalfa fields of Blythe, California on the Colorado River during lambing season. They sold the last of their flock in 2000, but the Muldoon farm is still managed by their son Jim Junior.
Jim Senior served on the boards of both the irrigation district and flood district.
"I never had much time to do anything but work when I was young," he said.
The Peterson's great-grandchildren were the first, fourth-generation residents to attend the Carey High School. Their parents (six grandsons) traveled by train to San Diego's Sea World and Zoological Gardens over the years with Jim and Mary, who have also enjoyed trips on the Trans-Canadian railway.
Eventually Mary and Jim agreed to take their children on a trip of their choice ten years ago. The destination was Jamaica.
"We had a wonderful time. It was December and about as different as it could be from Carey. The ocean was warm. We all enjoyed it."
On Saturday, Jim and Mary will take a ride behind Belgian horses in a wagon belonging to Lawrence and Joyce Edwards down Main Street in Carey.
"They are very family-oriented people," said City Council Chairwoman Vonnie Olsen of the Petersons. "They have always been there when someone needs them. I am very glad they accepted this honor."
Carey Pioneer Days schedule of events:
· July 25, Friday night: 8 p.m. Rodeo begins at Blaine County Fairgrounds on Main Street in Carey.
Tickets $5 in advance, $6 at the gate; for tickets call Kim Farnworth at 720-9817 or go to Ireland Bank in Carey; stock provided by J3T Company of Gooding, featuring "Royce Ford and the Wolf Pack" bare-back bronc riders. Buy Raffle tickets for a 2 year-old AQHA quarter horse to be given away on Aug 9. Phone 720-9817 for info.
· July 26, Saturday: 8 a.m. three on three volleyball tournament begins.
10 a.m. Parade begins, sponsored by Waterford Park and Greenfield Estates developers; $100 people's choice award for entry, and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place entries. No booth-fee for parade entries, vendors and arts and crafts booths. To register call 823-4045.
11:30 a.m. Luncheon at Blaine County Fairgrounds, $5 per person, $20 per family.
Three on three basketball tournament following the parade.
3-4:30 p.m. Free concert: Kim Stocking Trio.
8 p.m. rodeo resumes.