Rifle’s Centennial birthday party comes to an end this weekend
RIFLE – Warm apple pie, a big parade and a slew of fun activities and entertainment are all on the agenda for the third annual Apple Pie Days celebration and grand finale of Rifle’s Centennial birthday bash this weekend.”This is it,” said Susan McKeon, the Centennial events coordinator. “This is the grand finale.”The weekend starts with a free patriotic concert by the 101st National Army Guard Band at 7 p.m. today at Rifle Middle School.Saturday begins with a Centennial parade at 10 a.m. that starts on Third Street and heads down Railroad Avenue to the Garfield County Fairgrounds. The theme of this year’s parade is “A Walk Back in Time,” featuring decades from 1905 through 2005. More than 50 entries are signed up and spectators should grab a spot on Railroad Avenue close to Heinze Park to hear the announcer.At the fairgrounds, there will be a Cow Pie Bingo contest, in which a couple of cows will be placed on a large painted “bingo” board. The winner is determined by which square the first cow decides to “do its business.”The third annual Apple Pie Days celebration also takes place at the fairgrounds with the infamous baking contest and live auction beginning at noon. Apple Pie Days was actually started years ago, stopped, then was reinstated three years ago. Afternoon entertainment includes mutton bustin’ and a calf scramble for little cowboys and cowgirls, as well as a performance by the Navajo Gourd Dancers and Code Talkers. Activities for kids will be available through the Rifle Recreation Department.A tractor pull with “Thunder Mountain Fly-Wheelers” will be held in the outdoor arena and a cowboy horse race on the race track.From 5-7 p.m., Boogie Down Nights and Rockin’ Rob invites all those ages 9-11 to come dance in the indoor arena, with another dance from 8-10 p.m. for those 12-14 years.The weekend wraps up Sunday with a Lions Club pancake breakfast at 10 a.m. at the fairground, followed by an interdenominational church service by cowboy minister Mike Arnold.A live auction and tug-o-war takes place in the outdoor arena in the early afternoon.At 3 p.m. the Centennial Grand Finale begins with the Girl Scouts presenting the flag, a song by vocalist Melissa Sanquist and a Centennial Skydive. The Centennial Rifle Raffle also will be held.The party then moves to Deerfield Park at 3:30 p.m., with the first Outhouse Race as several five-member teams push their homemade outhouse – with one person seated on the “throne” – in a 500-foot race. The race begins on Acacia Avenue and spectators may view from the soccer field.Beginning at 4:30 p.m., there will be a four-band concert, food vendors and a beer garden in Deerfield Park. Music includes country from Cowboy Attitude; Mexican regional band Lideres del Norte; rock ‘n’ roll from Scooze; and hip-hop and R&B music by Boogie Down.The Centennial Grand Finale and Apple Pie Days celebrations end a seven-month commemoration of Rifle’s 100th year of incorporation in 1905. Happy Birthday, Rifle!
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