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Oak Creek Labor Day fun set

— Main Street in Oak Creek will remain open for this weekend’s Labor Day celebration, a visible reminder that the celebration’s most ardent supporter is no longer here.

Lorretta Gerise, a longtime resident of Oak Creek, died recently.

Gerise was the heart and soul of the celebration, Sonja Norris, a member of the Oak Creek Town Board, said.



“If she was still here, we would have had Main Street closed down for the festivities,” Norris said.

The Oak Creek Labor Day Committee organized the town’s first celebration in the mid-1980s.



Its responsibilities have since fallen on the shoulders of a few. Oak Creek Town Mayor Deb Van Gundy is one of those.

She and Bill Paxton, owner of Spiro’s Tradin’ Post in Oak Creek, have been feeling a little overworked lately. “It’s pretty much dwindled to the point where we’re twisting arms to get people involved,” Van Gundy said.

This year, Oak Creek’s Labor Day festivities are at the same time as Michael Martin Murphey’s WestFest in Steamboat Springs. But Van Gundy said he still expects strong Oak Creek crowds, Van Gundy said.

“Just about everyone who has moved away comes back here for Labor Day,” she said.

She expects a good show of people from Craig. Rick Allen and Mike Fuller from Craig radio station KRAI will emcee a comedy show tonight at 7 p.m. Routt and Moffat County businesses have donated items for an auction at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“The Last of the Good Old Days” begins today in Oak Creek at 7 a.m. with a pancake breakfast at the Ambulance Barn on Main Street and concludes on Monday evening with a performance by the band “In Flight” in the patio area of the VFW.

For those early risers who don’t want to slack off on their Labor Day holiday, a five mile run and two mile walk will begin at 8 a.m. Monday at the Oak Creek Post Office. Senior citizens get to run free of charge.

Although the community’s involvement in planning the festivities has become something reminiscent of “the good old days,” faithful volunteers are confident they can still produce a fun family experience this year.

“It has fallen on the shoulders of just a few people in recent years,” Norris said, “but it still is a tradition that we know we need to keep going.”


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