The 2010 Ronan Pioneer Days was an affair to remember, with loads of old-fashioned fun for the whole family to enjoy. “Basically, we as a group like to get things done, and we don’t like sitting around waiting for things to happen,” Ronan Pioneer Days Secretary Robin Nelson said, explaining this year’s theme “Git ‘er Done.”
The volunteer-organized event spanned across three days and continues to be an excellent celebratory outlet for the community.
The Kids’ Fishing Derby kicked the weekend off on Friday at 8 a.m. in Bockman City Park, with 152 registered kids catching 550 fish that were planted in Spring Creek especially for the event.
The fishing derby was sponsored by the Ronan VFW and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, CSKT, Whitefish Credit Union and Ronan Sports and Western donated prizes. Creston Fish Hatchery provided the fish.
Community Bank celebrated its centennial anniversary with a free barbeque for the whole community to enjoy. The afternoon celebration took place in Polson, followed by the Ronan celebration later that evening.
The Bull-O-Rama was the first rodeo of the weekend and was followed by Friday night’s street dance, featuring music by Della and the Dealers.
The music, sponsored by Pheasant Lounge and the Second Chance Saloon, entertained until early in the morning.
But swarms of children and parents were ready to enjoy a constant stream of Saturday’s activities.
Starting at 8 a.m., athletes could choose from playing in the 3-on-3 “JAM”boree” or running in the Mission Mountain Classic Run at Community Bank. The “JAM”boree lasted throughout the day on the steaming asphalt of the makeshift courts outside Ronan Middle School.
At 10 a.m., kids, dressed as their favorite cartoon character, paraded down Main Street in the Kiddie Parade.
Children and parents began waiting for the Kiddie/City Slicker Rodeo to begin at 12 p.m. The popular event drew kids and parents from all over Lake County.
The young participants got the event rolling with the Kids’ Sheep Riding. Many of the young cowboys and cowgirls grabbed on tight and rode the bucking sheep for a full eight seconds. But a few young buckaroos fell off early and ended their few seconds of fame jittery and in tears.
The unwilling participants of the event, the sheep, were donated by David Peck.
Loads of laughter from the rodeo’s spectators erupted when mothers’ attempted to find their children dressed in matching t-shirts and hats. Frantic mothers raced to catch their young ones, who were instructed to run away from their anxious mothers.
Some little riders became confused in the event’s stick horse event, and raced to the opposite side of the arena instead of stopping short at the finish line. Dairy Queen, Lynn’s Drive In and McDonalds donated 130 ice cream and treat certificates to all participants.
Community children attempted to dress sheep for a prize at the Kids’ Sheep Dressing and the Calf Cash Race boasted a $5 prize for hands speckled with animal droppings.
Monetary prizes were provided by the Valley Bank and calves were courtesy of Lonnie Metzger.
The dust and heat rose as the afternoon wore on with the famous Chicken Scramble. Children were given an opportunity to chase a few chickens with a bill attached to the birds’ scrawny legs. Sherry Vaughan, Jake Welker and Lyle Evans provided the chickens. Valley Bank and Dairy Queen provided monetary prizes.
The final event was the pig scramble. More than 100 children tried to grab one of two greased, squealing pigs. The pigs were later auctioned off to Rocky Mountain Mini Buckers.
Saturday’s events continued with the Stock Car Racing and Demolition Derby and the open Rodeo and Wild Cow Race.
The final event of the day was another street dance featuring “Coup de Ville” on Main Street.
The events continued on Sunday with a Pancake Breakfast sponsored by the Lake County Council on Aging at the Ronan Senior Citizen Center at 7:30 a.m, and 16 teams competed in the volleyball tournament at Bockman City Park.
Parade spectators began lining the filling the sidewalks on Main Street at 11:30 a.m. and the parade got on its way at 12:30 p.m.
Floats featuring Ronan businesses, political candidates and Ronan High School classes proudly made their way down the main drag, while the Olsson family served as the grand marshals of the parade. The family drove down Main Street with 10 cars from the 10 decades that Community Bank has been in business.
The Ronan Volunteer Fire Department ended the parade with a splash, cooling down the street with two sprays from the fire hose.
Children were elated by the refreshing water, while adults dodged the icy water.
Pioneer Days ended with another Open Rodeo and Wild Buffalo ride at 3 p.m.
“I think it went real well, considering the weather,” Nelson said.
1, Cari Carter’s Hillbillies and Log Truck
2, St. Ignatius Scouts
3, Ronan High School “Class of 60”
1, Ronan Telephone Company
2, Hunts Timber
3, Community Bank
Best Horse Mount: Felecite McDonald
Best Horse Group: McDonald Family
Best Animal Drawn: Ky Bartels
Best Pioneer Dressed: Ole Leary’s Old Ladies
Best Native Dressed: Felecite McDonald
Best Native Group: McDonald Family
Best Antique Auto:
1, Dick and Monte Wunderlich “1916 Dodge”
2, Lonnie and Marie Smith “1930 Ford Model A Coupe”
3, Richard Tobol “1946 Ford 1/2 Ton Pick up”
Best Classic Auto:
1, Gordon Schliep “1953 1 Ton”
2, Robin and Judy VanNess “ 1957 Chevy Bel-Air two door hardtop
3, Ellen Kaphammer “1956 Olds Holiday”
Best Antique Tractor or Small Engine:
1, George Stonehocker “ Masey Harris Tractor”
2, Ed Brueckmann and Family “Trailer of Antique farm engines”
3, Ace Lake “1949 Minneapolis Moline Model RTN”
Best Stock Car: Don Webster “Northwest Modified”
Most Humorous: Cari Carter’s Hillbillies and Log Truck
Peoples Choice: “Pa Pa’s Crew” Mini Burro with kids
Most Original: Boy Scouts St. Ignatius