Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wagon Days: The tradition lives on

Weekend events celebrate Ketchum’s ore-mining history


The Big Hitch, a train of authentic wooden ore wagons from Ketchum’s mining heyday, makes its way down the Wagon Days parade route in Ketchum. Photo by Mountain Express

On Labor Day weekend, the cities of Ketchum and Sun Valley host the historic Wagon Days celebration. The holiday weekend is packed with a variety of activities, many of which celebrate the Wood River Valley's rich mining history.

The Big Hitch Parade is the highlight of the celebration. It has been recognized as the largest non-motorized parade in the West, displaying dozens of museum-quality buggies, carriages, tacks, carts, buckboards and wagons of every variety in existence today. The Wagon Days Big Hitch, historic wagons used to haul ore from rural mines to processing centers, is powered by an authentic 20-draft-mule jerkline. Adding spice to the parade is a lively assortment of authentically costumed individuals and numerous breeds of horses, from Arabs to Morgans to Pasos. It also features professional and scholastic marching bands from around the state and the Intermountain West.

But there's more. In these pages, you'll find your pass to a long list of activities this weekend, from the Great Wagon Days Duck Race—a fun, charitable benefit—to a re-enacted Western street fight. Giddy up!

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