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Ronan Pioneer Days features fuzzy beasts, fishing, more

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The Ronan Pioneer Days were back in town for a weekend filled with fun that included a long list of activities from family karaoke to rodeo events. 

On Friday morning, the event kicked off with the Kids’ Fishing Derby that was sponsored by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter. Participants went to Ronan City Park to drop a hook in the water. The Creston Fish Hatchery and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes donated about 300 fish to the derby. The fish were put in the creek going through the park as well as a few large pools under the gazebo. “The biggest fish was caught by the smallest kid,” VFW member Jack Fay said as he recalled watching a small girl bring in a four-pound fish. VFW Auxiliary President Rocki Davis said the fish that are not caught during the event will remain in the creek for people to catch another day. Events continued throughout the afternoon, including a golf scramble, rodeo and street dance. 

On Saturday, the Ronan Middle School was filled with three-on-three basketball players. Runners and walkers participated in the 40th Annual Mission Mountain Classic Run, and the softball tournament also got an early start. At noon, children filled the fair grounds for the Kiddie Slicker Rodeo. About a dozen kids got up the nerve to ride a sheep through the arena, which is often seen as a precursor to bull riding. Most of the children seemed to be having a good time, although a few had looks of terror in their eyes as it came time for them to hop on a fluffy beast. One small child went as far as to say, “I hate dirt,” which many of the adults laugh.  

The kiddie rodeo continued with a Child Round Up, which is where kids are dressed in matching shirts and given candy. Their parents have to find their child’s shoes and the right kid. The game was made even more interesting as the announcer said to the kids that the parents were going to take their candy, so the kids went running and tried not to get caught. Then, in a role reversal, there was the Chicken Round Up, which is where the chickens ran from the kids. 

The day ended with the Ronan Pioneer Days Open Rodeo and another street dance. On Sunday, a volleyball tournament was held, along with a parade. The third day of rodeo action took place with wild buffalo rides, and the night finished with family karaoke. 

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