Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Wagon Days to honor longtime volunteer

Jane Eittreim to serve as grand marshal


By AMY BUSEK
Express Staff Writer

    Jane Eittreim, who started as a Wagon Days volunteer 34 years ago, has been selected as this year’s grand marshal for the Labor Day weekend celebration of Ketchum’s mining heritage.
    The annual Wagon Days festival celebrates regional history, in part by showcasing the antique Lewis Ore Wagons that were used to haul ore from the mountains to a smelter in the Wood River Valley in the 1880s. 
    Eittreim has never had a public role in the festival, according to events coordinator Heather LaMonica Deckard, choosing instead to work behind the scenes.
    “Even when she worked full-time as a property manager, she found time to coordinate the picnic for the more than 400 parade participants each year,” Deckard said. “She also was one of the first organizers of the pancake breakfasts that raise money for the Papoose Club children’s programs.”
    Eittreim’s son Ryan serves as a brakeman on the wagon train every year and has volunteered in the parade since he was 5 years old, according to a news release.
    The weekend-long festival began over 50 years ago. The Big Hitch Parade—scheduled this year on Saturday, Aug. 30—features wagons, buggies and stagecoaches and ranks among the largest non-motorized parades in the Pacific Northwest.  
    “[Eittreim] represents the type of person who makes Ketchum such a wonderful community,” Mayor Nina Jonas said. “She has never sought recognition for herself but instead has simply done her part to make this a better place for all of us.”




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