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Carrying on a legacy at the Garfield County Fair Parade

Sean Strode
Garfield County Communications Coordinator
From left, Karsen DuBois, Devon DuBois, William “Ham” DuBois, and Donna DuBois in Silt.
Sean Strode / Garfield County |

A few years ago, William “Ham” Dubois leaned down and promised a little girl that he’d buy her show pig at the livestock auction at the Garfield County Fair & Rodeo. As the auction bidding was heating up, Ham kept bidding the animal higher to make sure he kept his promise to that little girl. He had determination to go the course, and didn’t hold back his pocketbook.

After the auction on that little pig closed, and Ham won the bidding, his friend leaned over and said, “Bubba’s up next, get ready!” Yes, Bubba was the name of the pig that he was supposed to buy. Ham had just bid on and won, the wrong pig. Being a man of his word, he went back to the fair the next year and bought that little girl’s pig. He made sure he got the correct pig this time. He says he can still recall the little girl’s huge smile on her face after he bought the pig.

Supporting the community, keeping a promise and carrying through your word with actions for someone else’s benefit are things that run deep in the Dubois family. The past eight months have been an important time to celebrate community with the DuBois family. Many people in the community are familiar with the tragic loss of Rifle High School graduate, Captain William “Pyro” Dubois, on Dec. 1, 2014, when his plane went down in Jordan on a flight that was to be an attack on ISIS targets. Since that day, the community has offered gratefulness and strength for the DuBois family. Donna DuBois, Will’s mother, shares, “It’s a really good feeling, all of the support we have received and continue to receive.”

Keeping Will’s memory alive in the community is the reason the Garfield County commissioners asked the Dubois family to be this year’s grand marshals at the fair parade. In the parade, you will see William “Ham” (father), Donna (mother), Devon (sister), and Karsen (nephew) leading the parade along Railroad Avenue in Rifle.

“We were very grateful, honored, and humbled that the county commissioners want us to be a part of the parade. It’s an honor to be asked,” Ham DuBois said.

Will’s sister, Devon, added, “We feel really honored that Garfield County wants to continue to honor Will, and that he is being remembered in such a special way.”

The Dubois family has been a fixture in the Garfield County community for a very long time. “We have deep country roots here,” shared Ham. As the kids were growing up, they were a staple in the equestrian community. Every family member, at one point in time or another, has been a part of the fair here in Garfield County.

Devon DuBois shared, “We were always proud of Will and his accomplishments. Now it’s so nice seeing other people celebrate him too.” The family is grateful for this opportunity to have the memory of Will carried on. Beginning this year, the family will hold an annual Pyro’s “Push It Up” Trail Run/Walk 3.5k and 7.7k race to raise money for a scholarship in Will’s name. They have already awarded a scholarship to one recipient and hope to provide financial support to future combat pilots.

The Garfield County Fair Parade will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, on Railroad Avenue in Rifle. Spectators are encouraged to line up along the parade route early. Entrants can register floats, classic cars or marching bands for judging in the parade to win prizes. The parade route runs along Railroad Avenue from 16th Street down to Third Street. Register at http://www.riflechamber.com and click on events to enter the parade.


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