Celebrating 25 years of racing in Redstone
REDSTONE, Colorado ” Shirley Thomson and a few other Redstone old-timers remember the early days of the annual sled dog races when the mushers and their dog teams raced right down historic Redstone Boulevard.
“They went down to the campground, and back into town on the trail behind our house, then down by the Redstone Inn,” said Thomson. “The announcements were made from the second porch on the Inn, looking right down onto the boulevard.”
Thomson, 86, and her late husband David would often plan family reunions around the annual sled dog race weekend each winter, with children and grandchildren in town for what’s grown to be a true, pull-out-the-stops community event over the years.
One problem with having the races along the boulevard, Thomson said, was that spectators would often bring their own dogs.
“People thought, well, it’s a dog sled race, we’ll take our dog; that really caused havoc,” she said.
These days, the races take place at Chair Mountain Stables, located across Highway 133 from the town of Redstone, behind the coke ovens. And there’s now a strict rule for spectators: Do not bring pet dogs.
The 25th annual Redstone Sled Dog Races are held this weekend, with races beginning at 9:30 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, concluding at 1 p.m. each day.
According to Lisa Wagner of the Redstone Community Association, the event’s main organizer, some 40 teams are expected this year for what is one of the premier events on the Colorado Mountain Mushers Association. Teams will be racing in a variety of categories including 4 Dog Mix, 4 Dog Pure, 6 Dog Mix and 6 Dog Pure, with junior, rookie and open divisions. Skijoring events will also be included in a separate division.
There are also a variety of side events in Redstone as well, including the Dog Days of Redstone doggie parade starting in front of the Redstone Inn at 2 p.m. Saturday. Later that evening, at 6:30 p.m., there will be live music featuring Gerhard Hill of Alpine Echo at the Crystal Club Restaurant.
And, look for kid’s and adult snow sculptures along Redstone Boulevard and at Redstone Park both days.
Chair Mountain Stables will also be offering sleigh rides along the boulevard, plus a special sleigh ride out to the historic Redstone Castle for tours both days.
The event was founded by Bob Morrison, continuing for 25 years, except for a couple of years when there wasn’t enough snow, Wagner said.
“This is the biggest event of the year for the Redstone Community Association,” she said. “Everybody in the community comes out and works together to make it happen. It’s a real community event, and such a family event.”
Local businesses and restaurants along Redstone Boulevard will be open during the weekend events as well, and there are food concessions at the race arena.
For more information on the Redstone Sled Dog Races and general Redstone information, visit http://www.redstonecolorado.com.
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