Go and Do: Celebrate community at 52nd annual Silt HeyDay
Festival kicks off Saturday morning in Veterans Park
The year was 1968 when Silt Resident Bob Gordon brought forth the idea of a community celebration after he attended a similar event called BigFoot Days in Northern California.
After several meetings, the townsfolk officially decided to have such a celebration in Veterans Park in Silt the first Sunday of every August.
The only question remaining: What to call it?
One person suggested, “Hey, let’s call it …” while another said, “Hey, what about …” and thus, Silt HeyDay was born in August 1969.
“It was pretty much a grassroots, small-town event,” the Silt HeyDay Committees Peggy Swank said.
Postcards were sent to every home with a Silt address with a description of the planned celebration and asking for contributions, money, time, food or whatever could be donated.
The celebration kicked off with a pancake breakfast before the parade marched down Main Street. Meanwhile, over in the park, games were played as families and friends set up for a potluck-style meal.
Later that night, people danced under the stars at the nearby tennis courts to bring the inaugural Silt HeyDay celebration to a satisfying close.
52 celebrations later
Silt HeyDay returns Saturday and will look similar to what it did many moons ago.
The celebration returned to its original location at Veterans Park last year with a theme of “Grab your boots, we’re going back to our roots.”
“When COVID happened. it gave us time to rethink things and what we really wanted. And what we really wanted, more or less, was to go back to the smaller, hometown community event,” Silt Historical Society Vice President Chris Classen said.
The gathering will kick off with a pancake breakfast and live music by Feeding Giants at 7 a.m. before the parade makes its way down the new route through town.
Starting at Cactus Valley Elementary School, the parade will head south on Third Street before taking a left at Home Avenue, another left at Seventh Street, then head west on Grand Avenue back to the elementary School. The parade will be announced from the gazebo in Veterans Park.
Members of the Garfield County 4-H club will be this year’s Silt HeyDay Parade grand marshals.
“One of their (Garfield County 4-H club) themes is to ‘Make the Best Better,’” Swank said. “Another one of their themes is ‘4-H Grows Here.’ So, we chose our theme this year to be ‘Community Grows Here.’”
Live music and games
Similar to years past, the 52nd annual HeyDay will have both cornhole and horseshoe tournaments made up of 30 teams each.
The horseshoe tournament will take place in Stoney Ridge Park beginning at 11 a.m., and cornhole will be in Veterans Park at 3 p.m.
For those looking to compete in other games, or to watch, there will be a watermelon seed-spitting contest, pie eating contest and a jalapeno eating contest.
HeyDay goers will have three opportunities to listen to live music on Fifth Street, which will be closed for the festivities.
“We’ve gotten approval to close off a couple of the roads around the park so that the kids can get over to the playground,” Swank said. “We’ve basically got two blocks of area that we will be able to run events from.”
Pancake breakfast and Feeding Giants band: 7-9:30 a.m.
Flag raising and national anthem: 8 a.m.
Arts and crafts booths: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
HeyDay Parade: 10 a.m.
Beer and wine booth: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Anvil Points Quilt Show: 11 a.m. at Silt Historical Park
Horseshoe tournament: 11 a.m. at Stoney Ridge Park
Vintage base ball game: 1 p.m. at Roy Moore ball field
Exit 42 band: 1:30-4:30 p.m. on Fifth Street
Cornhole tournament: 3 p.m.
Watermelon seed spitting contest: 3:30 p.m.
Pie eating contest: 4:30 p.m.
Jalapeno eating contest: 5 p.m.
The Real Deal Band: 6-9 p.m. on Fifth Street
Colorado River Fire Rescue open house: all day
Music kicks off at 7 a.m. with Roaring Fork Valley band Feeding Giants; an acoustic trio with a combination of smooth, sweet harmonies and acoustic melodies covering an eclectic variety of genres from classic country, americana, classic rock and indie folk.
Exit 42 out of Palisade will bring country and Southern rock to the stage from 1:30-4:30 p.m.
Closing out the night with some traditional country will be the Real Deal Band starting at 6 p.m.
Vintage ‘base ball’
Since the mid 1990s, HeyDay goers have been treated to a 19th century style vintage baseball game. Old school baseball terms such as hurler, scouts, bug bruiser, cloud hunter and outer garden will be tossed around the ball field.
“Basically the vintage baseball game is how they played during the Civil War era,” Classen said. “They dress the part, too, when they’re playing.”
Players hit the field at 1 p.m. sharp in the baseball field just east of the Silt Historical Park.
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