Far Out Routt festival celebrates Oak Creek Labor Day tradition
The Labor Day crowds attending the final day of the 2023 Far Out Routt celebration seemed unaffected Monday amid sporadic rain and the hint of autumn in the air.
With blue skies and a crisp breeze, a small but somewhat serious group of runners signed up for the “No Fun Run” and set off from outside Town Hall just after 10 a.m.
The 5K run, in various forms and distances, has long been a part of Oak Creek’s Labor Day celebrations, which are all part of a longtime tradition beginning in 1913 — a year when coal miners wanted to show unity among workers and their unions, according to the Oak Creek Trails and Tracks Museum.
State Rep. Meghan Lukens walked with the local Democrat Party at the parade. She said she did not kiss any babies or see Republican Party exhibition, but that she shook a lot of hands and was grateful for the community connection.
“The Oak Creek Labor Day festivities are always just a giant celebration of Oak Creek and the Oak Creek community and south Routt County,” Lukens said. “For me, it’s a great way to say hello to many constituents.”
Lukens added that she enjoys learning from the community.
“It’s a really great way to ask constituents questions and learn from them because I am always trying to listen and learn about opportunities,” Lukens said. “And I always hear loud and clear from the community members to support agriculture, support affordable housing, support economic development and diversity and support our beautiful environment and natural resources … So, it was a really fun event.”
After the Monday morning running event, the festivities quickly broke out into an all-out parade down Main Street. The procession included local hockey players from the Oak Creek Kodiaks program, members of the local fire department and politicians such as Lukens, Routt County Commissioner candidate Angelica Salinas, and the town’s former mayor, Melvin Myers.
This year’s Labor Day celebration in Oak Creek started on Wednesday with live music hosted at Franciosi Brothers restaurant, followed up by a karaoke and beer pong session hosted across the street at Colorado Bar on Thursday.
Events ranging from a fishing derby to a hula hoop contest, a musical chairs competition and a comedy show filled the schedule through Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the town’s celebration reached its Monday finale.
Trevor Ballantyne is the city government and housing reporter. To reach him, call 970-871-4254 or email him at tballantyne@SteamboatPilot.com.
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