Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Hailey is the place for Fourth of July

Parade, rodeo and bike race top festivities


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

The Hailey Fourth of July parade is a fun, patriotic event. Last year, this entry in honor of captive Hailey-area soldier Bowe Bergdahl drew lots of applause. Bergdahl was captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan in 2009 and has not yet been released.

Hailey's Independence Day weekend has long been a time when families gather for barbecues, celebrate Hailey's history and go to the Sawtooth Rangers' Days of the Old West Rodeo.

This July 4, Hailey will celebrate 130 years of history in the Wood River Valley. As the county seat, Hailey has always expressed pride in its heritage and traditions. The theme of this year's parade is "Western Spirit," and the town will celebrate that spirit with the opening of a new rodeo arena.

In recent years, a bike race through downtown has added to Hailey's Fourth of July traditions, which include a parade, antique fairs and live music around town.

This year's celebration will begin on Monday with the city's famous parade featuring old-fashioned tractors and wagons, marching bands and lots of livestock.

For gambling types, there's nothing better than Road Apple Roulette. People can bet on where livestock will drop a "road apple" on a grid along the parade route. Whoever bought a winning square could win a prize at the end of the parade. Tickets can be bought for $5 from the Hailey Rotary Club. Proceeds go toward a variety of local events, causes and charities.

"A good portion goes to funding college scholarships for Blaine County students," said Rotary President Shelley Seibel. "The rest goes to support national and international organizations supported by Rotary."

The parade will be followed by live music around town, antique fairs, the rodeo final competitions and fireworks.

Monday, July 4, begins with the Children's Carnival on the Farmers Market lot, next to the Bank of America from 9 a.m. to noon. This will be a place for kids—and their parents—to have good, clean fun.

From 11 a.m. to noon, the Black Jack Shootout Gang will put on a show on Main Street close to the Mint Bar. This old-fashioned dramatization of the Wild West, with good guys and bad guys, is always a hit with the crowd.

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The annual Fourth of July Parade will start at noon, ending at about 1:30 p.m. This year, Hailey is celebrating 130 years of local history. That means culture from the mining days to the digital age. But the fun doesn't end with the parade. The Fourth of July Criterium bike race takes place following the Hailey Fourth of July parade, right after the last float goes by.

Presented by the Powerhouse Restaurant/Road and Dirt cycling club in conjunction with the Blaine County Recreation District and the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, the race follows a four-corner course in downtown Hailey.

The race is open to all levels of riders, from beginners to professionals. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. on the day of the race in front of K.B.'s Restaurant on Main Street. The race begins at about 1:30 p.m.

Bike racers can buy photos of themselves taken while they are on the course. Proceeds from the photo sales go to support the Recreation District.

Following the parade and bike race will be an old-fashioned ice cream social at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, 314 Second Ave. S., the former home of poet Ezra Pound.

After the sun goes down, get prepared for a grand fireworks display accompanied by a performance of the 25th Army Band at Fox Acres Park in Foxmoor subdivision. Bring a picnic blanket to enjoy the show.

The Days of the Old West Rodeo, organized by the Sawtooth Rangers, will take place on July 2, 3 and 4 at 7:30 p.m. Pre-events will take start at 6:30 p.m.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the newly rebuilt rodeo grounds will take place with Hailey Mayor Rick Davis, other Hailey officials and the Sawtooth Rangers on Saturday, July 2, at 7:15 p.m., before the opening night of the rodeo.

Rodeo tickets are sold at all Atkinsons' Markets and at the Hailey Chamber of Commerce, 706 S. Main St.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com

Hailey Fourth of July Events:

Monday, July 4:

9 a.m. to noon: Children's Carnival on the Farmers Market lot, 215 North Main St.

11 a.m. to noon: The Black Jack Shootout Gang show, Main Street.

Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Fourth of July Parade .

1:45-2:45 p.m.: Fourth of July Criterium bike race .

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Ice cream social at the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Hailey.

6:30 p.m.: Days of the Old West Rodeo finals competition.

After dusk: Fireworks west of town and the 25th Army Band at Fox Acres Park.




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