A small-town affair at its finest | SteamboatToday.com

A small-town affair at its finest

Oak Creek festivities offer fun for all

Avi Salzman

— Chelsea Iacovetto glared in horror as her father stepped up to the line at the “Dunk A Cheerleader” booth at the Oak Creek Labor Day festivities Monday afternoon. Iacovetto, perched on a tiny seat over a tub of water, was taking her turn as the cheerleader in the contest, which was meant to raise money for new uniforms.

Cody Iacovetto reared back and threw.

Ball one.

Chelsea laughed mockingly at her father.

Ball two.

“Nice try Dad,” she yelled.

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With the last ball in hand, Cody reached back and let fly.

Steee-rike! The ball hit the bullseye.

And, just like that, the Soroco cheerleader was dunked.

Chelsea arose shivering from the freezing vat to greet her father with a spray of water.

Cody Iacovetto, smiling at his daughter’s temporary misfortune, said he wasn’t sure exactly how he felt about watching her fall into the water.

“I had mixed emotions,” he said. “I wanted to support the cheerleaders, but I really didn’t want to see her go into that cold water.”

With some families showing their love in comical ways, the Oak Creek festival was, once again, a rollicking small-town family affair at its finest. The always-eclectic festival offered everything from a rubber ducky race and sack races to a kid-friendly moonwalk bubble in Decker Park following a parade down Main Street at 10 a.m. Monday was the third day of the festival.

“The parade was very good and they gave away a lot of candy in support of the children,” said California resident Ralph Reece, who was visiting his son for the weekend and enjoying the post-parade hubbub at The Mugshot cafe on Main Street.

There was also an early morning 5-mile foot race won by Davis Miller, a 15-year-old from Steamboat Springs, and a 2-mile race.

The festival was called “The Last of the Good Old Days,” though one Oak Creek native said the good old days are long gone.

“It’s not quite as good as the good old days, but it’s still very nice,” said Treba Montgomery, who was talking with friends in Decker Park. Montgomery said the 1950s and 1960s were the best of times for Labor Day in Oak Creek. She said she used to go to a booth where the attendant would have to guess her name or give her a ticket for a ride. Because she has an obscure name, she could always fool the attendant.

“I could ride free all weekend,” Montgomery said.

The rubber ducky contest floated down Oak Creek around 11 a.m. with 480 colorful ducks ambling aimlessly through the stream, oblivious to the fact that humans had money riding on their tiny inflatable shoulders. The contest has been held for half a decade and pays for much of the maintenance at the ice rink in Oak Creek.

Prizes included half a beef, a whole pork and a DVD player. Organizer Tim Corrigan said the contest was expected to raise about $4,000.

The festival concluded Monday night with a concert by the band “In Flight.”