Express-Wagon Days

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Kathy& Patsy Wygle Grand Marshals





1958 2019



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Flowers make life











Happy Holiday!





EY | (208) 725-0606 871 Warm Springs Road, Ketchum, ID

es celebrat

Express photo by Roland Lane

The Big Hitch makes its way down Sun Valley Road during the 2018 Wagon Days parade. Onlookers say they are continually amazed by the large 19th-century ore wagons.

Wagon Days celebrates history, community Diverse events are lined up for Labor Day weekend By KARI HENKEN


Express Intern

assive ore wagons rolling down Main Street, cowboy poets and roaming musicians filling the streets of Ketchum and mules and horses replacing cars on the roads—Wagon Days must be here! This Labor Day weekend marks Wagon Days’ 62nd year—well, sort of. The Wagon Days parade began in 1958 as a tribute to Ketchum and the Wood River Valley’s mining legacy. Started by a nephew of Horace Lewis, the founder of the Ketchum Fast Freight Line, which used wagons to ship ore and silver back from regional mines, in collaboration with then-Ketchum Mayor George Venable and Rotary Club Chairman Bud Hegstrom, the first Wagon Days parade featured six ore wagons used as part of the freight line in the 1880s as its centerpiece. Today’s Wagon Days has extended beyond just a celebratory parade; it is now a weekendlong event that takes locals and visitors alike back to a Ketchum of old each Labor Day. With an exciting lineup of kids events, live music and, of course, the Wagon Days parade (officially called the Big Hitch Parade), Wagon Days has been a destination event for decades. But the parade and event that gained statewide attention did not always run (or trot) according to plan. Due to flagging interest by the original organizers and opposition from some residents to the sometimes unruly crowds that attended the event, Wagon Days entered into a hiatus in the late 1960s, in violation of a directive from the donors of the prized ore wagons to the city of Ketchum, the Lewis family. It wasn’t until the parade was revitalized by the city in 1976 that Wagon Days was transformed into the packed Labor Day weekend that it’s now known as. “It’s hard to believe this now, but this town closed over Labor Day. Nobody was here in the

1960s and 1970s,” said former Ketchum Mayor Jerry Seiffert, who was instrumental in reinstating Wagon Days in 1976. “Having Wagon Days over Labor Day would get businesses back in action for a little bit, to extend the summer season.” There was no money in the city budget to spare for Wagon Days, and it required both extra staff time and many volunteer hours to pull off such a feat, Seiffert said. “The City Council told me, ‘If you’re crazy enough to do it, then go ahead,’” he said. “But it’s been going strong ever since— since ’76.” Today, Wagon Days Labor Day weekend signifies the coming end of summer—and the winding down of the busy tourist season in the Wood River Valley—with a celebration of the local history of a bygone, bustling mining economy. “There are a few events that are really important to me, because they’re part of the vision I have for Ketchum,” current Mayor Neil Bradshaw said. “Wagon Days hits two of our core values—connecting the community and adding vibrancy to our town. It’s a chance to celebrate our history and heritage and connect with the community and the past so we can learn for the future.” Around 25,000 people come to celebrate Wagon Days and see the parade, one of the largest nonmotorized parades in the West. Bradshaw emphasized the celebration as the symbolic end of summer for the community. “For me, I love seeing people walking, people on the streets and just seeing different members of the community—whether they’re on the wagons or on the side of wagons,” he said. “While the city leads this event, there are so many volunteers and members of the community that participate in so many ways. Wagon Days brings a smile to our town.” This year’s Wagon Days lineup sees a return of the beloved Papoose Club flapjack breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings, as well as a barn

dance on Friday night, children’s activities throughout the day on Saturday, cultural and intertribal dance demonstrations and the Big Hitch Parade—followed by a street party with live music from country musician Brandon Lay—all on Saturday. The parade, Wagon Day’s signature event, features wagons, buggies, carriage and stagecoaches, all pulled by animals. The Big Hitch ore wagons, the parade’s finale, are pulled by a 20-mule team, and truly bring spectators back to the days of the Wild West, when mining dominated the Wood River Valley’s economy. “People love Wagon Days and that makes it an easy event to support,” Bradshaw said. “I will continue to grow and support it as much as possible.” Ketchum’s iconic event is slated to be as captivating as it was when it made its miraculous return in the late 1970s, albeit for new generations of onlookers. Looking back at how far the event has come, the former mayor says he’s happy with where Wagon Days is today—and we have his efforts to thank for its reappearance. “Wagon Days?” Seiffert said with a laugh. “Oh, it’s doing just fine.”

Wagon Days headquarters The Ore Wagon Museum and Shop, located at 500 East Ave. in Ketchum, is the headquarters for all things Wagon Days. The large ore wagons used in the annual Wagon Days Parade are now lined up outside. Inside are tidbits of Ketchum and Sun Valley’s rich mining history. As a part of this year’s festivities, on Friday, Aug. 30, cowboy poets will recite poems at the museum, and the museum will also host a barn dance later that night.

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2nd July 4th HAPPY Monday, 4TH OF September JULY: Tuesday,

No Waste or Recycling Collection Services Collection Services We are closed for Fourth of July. We are closed for Labor Day.

All collections will be delayed one day this week, collections willMonday be delayed day this week, withAll services provided andone Wednesday-Saturday. with services provided Tuesday-Saturday.



Thank You For Another Wonderful Summer!

310 N. Main St., Hailey 208-928-7111 •



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photos by roland lane

What’s your favorite thing about the Old West?

“The beauty of the natural landscape, along with the abundant wildlife.” LINDSEY SPURLING-WRIGHT, Nature lover

“My favorite thing about the Old West was watching the movies they made about them. Especially “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” with Clint Eastwood.” SHAYLA KOFFLER, Coffee lover

“Family connections, no technology and the horse wagons.” SANTOS SERVA, Hailey Coffee Co. owner

“My favorite thing about the Old West was the clean air and the wide-open spaces.” MARJE SIMAY, Burbank, Calif., resident

Happy Trails on this Labor Day Weekend!

From all of us at Wood River Insurance “I love the wagons and the simplicity of the times then.”

“There were a lot less people and more open space.”

MARIBELL RIVAS, Hailey resident


“Being able to ride up to the saloon and park it out front.”

“I love the simplicity of life and the fresh air.”

MISSY LIPTON, Horse riding instructor

PETE LEE, Part-time Sun Valley resident

“I appreciate the effort it took back then to get anything accomplished. I loved the hats, too!”

The simplicity of life and how the Old West led to the freedom of America.”

ELK SPENCER, Board Bin employee

WILDER CURTIS, Student at Chapman University

Community. Compassion. Commitment.



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Native Americans to return for Wagon Days Exhibition powwow planned for Festival Meadows By TONY TEKARONIAKE EVANS Express Staff Writer

A relatively new Wagon Days tradition featuring Native Americans with ancestral ties to the Wood River Valley will continue this year with an exhibition powwow at Festival Meadows in Sun Valley. “We welcome all the people, visitors and residents of the Wood River Valley to attend and participate in the dance presentation and demonstration,” said Fort Hall Tribal Court Judge Leo Arriwite, organizer of the event. In addition, a newly expanded cultural exhibition at Forest Service Park in Ketchum will provide historical background on the Shoshone and Bannock tribes. “The Wood River Valley was and still is visited by the first people, who are the Northern Shoshoni people or Wihi’Nite, meaning “from the knife’s edge,” and the Sheepeater Shoshoni people,” Arriwite said. “The Bannock or Pah’Nite means ‘from the water’s edge,’ and they came later, after the introduction of the horse by the Spaniards.” The dancing, singing and drumming performances will take place before the parade on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. on the grassy hillside just east of Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church. The natural amphitheater will resonate with the traditional drumming and singing of the Ghost Canyon drum group. Look for the tipis and you will know you are there. Following the performance, the general public is invited to ask dancers and performers to take group pictures in front of the tipis. “Don’t be afraid to ask to take a picture,” Arriwite said. He said oral history presentations may also take place during the performance or at Forest Service Park. Arriwite is a member of the Agai Dika (Salmon-eater) band of the Northern Shoshoni. “The Northern Shoshoni people are considered a horse culture people and lived in a region that stretched from Canada to Mexico,” he said. “The Sheepeater Shoshoni [Tuku Dika] are from the same area as their dominant relatives the Northern Shoshoni, but preferred to remain in the high mountains of Wyoming, southwest Montana and central Idaho, which is where the Wood River Valley is located.”

Native men, women and children will participate in the powwow dance performances, including the Traditional Dance and the Owl Dance, “which is our version of the two-step,” Arriwite said. Other dances will include the Traditional Men’s Sneak Up and the Women’s Jingle Dance. “To end the performance, the audience will be asked to come and dance with all the dancers in the round dance,” Arriwite said. The Community Library Center for Regional History will have a new traveling exhibit titled “In Good Faith” at the Regional History Museum at Forest Service Park in Ketchum from Aug. 28 through Oct. 26. The exhibit is curated by Orlan Svingen, professor of history at Washington State University, and his students. It tells the story of the 1868 Virginia City Treaty between the United States government and the Shoshoni Tribe, which was never ratified by the government. The centerpiece of the exhibit is the 57-minute documentary “In Good Faith,” which focuses on the treaty, signed in 1868 by Chief Tendoy, leader of the Mixed-Band of Shoshone, Bannock and Sheepeater people in southwestern Montana Territory. Tendoy ceded 32,000 square miles of aboriginal territory in 1870 for a permanent treaty reservation in central Idaho. The treaty, however, was never enacted. In 1875, the United States accepted this treaty reservation cession of 32,000 square miles in exchange for a temporary reservation in the Salmon River country of Idaho. But In 1905, the U.S. rescinded its temporary reservation, prompting the Mixed-Band’s 200-mile removal south to the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. The exhibit tells this story through text panels, photographs, paintings, film and contemporary Shoshone artisan work and craft objects. “We are grateful to be able to share the decades of collaborative work between the Shoshone-Bannock tribe and the students and faculty at WSU,” said Mary Tyson, director of regional history. “This telling of the Virginia City Treaty and the case for reparations is a powerful story for all ages.” For more information, visit

Express photo by Tony Evans

Native Americans give a cultural demonstration in Sun Valley during Wagon Days weekend in 2018.

Schedule of events Native American exhibition Friday, Aug. 30, 4-5:30 p.m. Opening reception for the exhibition “In Good Faith” will be held at the Regional History Museum at Forest Service Park in Ketchum in conjunction with the Wagon Days celebration. The reception at 131 River St. is free and open to the public. This is an opportunity to meet the curators, history professor Orlan Svingen and his graduate student Jared Chastain, as well as Fort Hall Tribal Court Judge Leo Arriwite.

Barn Dance Saturday, Aug. 31, 7-9 p.m. Immediately following the grand marshal ceremony at the Ketchum Town Square, the Wagon Days Barn Dance will take place at the Ore Wagon Museum, featuring music by Old Death Whisper. All are welcome to the celebration at 500 East Ave. Groups of meandering musicians will also roam town playing and singing at various locations.

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Born to be Wygle Sisters Kathy and Patsy Wygle head up Ketchum’s Wagon Days Parade By MARK DEE Express Staff Writer

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Brien and Norma Wygle lost four daughters to Sun Valley. First went Kathy, still in college at the time. Then Jan, and Gail, and, eventually, Patsy, the actress, all landing 650 miles from the Wygles’ Bellevue, Wash., home To this day, all four still live in the Wood River Valley. And Brien, at 95, still lives a state away. In the half century since Kathy first donned the blue dress of a Sun Valley Resort parlor maid, the Wygle sisters have imprinted their love for theater—and with it, their family name—on their adopted hometown. As actors, directors, producers and overall engines behind Laughing Stock Theater Company and the nexStage Theatre, Kathy and Patsy Wygle introduced generations to the dramatic arts. And, in the process, they brought a little culture to the Wild West. Call all that the audition for their next role: grand marshals for Ketchum’s annual Wagon Days parade. For a couple of “wannabe cowgirls,” there’s no better part to play. Those are Kathy’s words, by the way. When she quit Seattle for Sun Valley, people had just about caught up with sheep in the Idaho census. She was a smalltime ski racer with winters in mind. But when the mountain closed, the rangeland opened. And come summer, it was like she’d stepped back in time. “I realized Ketchum was a total cowboy town,” she said. “All the guys I had crushes on had horses.” She looked like a hippie, but wanted to be a cowgirl in a town KATHY AND PATSY WYGLE split clean along those lines. Ketchum was still a dusty row of seasonal bars and shops, a place you hit on your way from the resort to the ski lifts. It had one cop—a sheriff whom locals dubbed “Lester the Arrester.” To hear it now, it sounds like a Western, cut from John Ford. In the late ’60s, newcomers, with their college ideas and city-slicker ways, moved in. Long-timers didn’t like it. Vietnam put a point on everything. There were barroom brawls, Wygle remembers, and something that sounds like an actual riot at a makeshift commune near Corral Creek. Wygle was one of the few people who bridged the gap. Brien Wygle worked for Boeing. He was a test pilot—and, on the side, he raced hydroplanes, jet-powered speedboats nicknamed “thunderboats” for their telltale roar. At home, he was as practical with his family as he was impractical in his hobbies. Norma played the other part. She stayed in with the four girls, all born in a seven-year span. “An angel,” Patsy calls her, with a singing voice to match, passed down to her kids. She was a reluctant performer, but looking back, both say it was in her. “She loved us, and we could do no wrong,” Kathy remembers. There are bits of both parents in their daughters, Patsy and Kathy think. Like their father, they’re comfortable working without a net— albeit on stage, and not strapped to a nautical missile. Like their mother, they seem to treat everyone like family. Family: that’s how many in the area’s interwoven arts community tend to see them. Like Kevin Wade, who got his start in the Wygles’ drama camps—and, later, Laughing Stock—before co-founding his own company, The Spot, in Ketchum. Or Sara Gorby, a valley lifer who joined Laughing Stock after college before moving to her role running St. Thomas Playhouse. And especially local actress Claudia McCain, who has known Kathy Wygle since they were both teenagers. “I adore them both so much,” she said of the sisters. “It means a lot to everyone in the arts, seeing them honored like this—Kathy, for how she’s evolved, and the things she’s built. Patsy, for how much she’s given. They’re the perfect blend of two people to elevate and say, ‘This is something we’ve done as a community.’ I think they speak for all of us.” McCain remembers a time before Claudia McCain Laughing Stock came about in 1977, Local actress and the early days, when it was the only show in town. It staged its first play in a pizza parlor, then moved into the occasional bar before launching, full-bore, with a production of the musical “Cowboy” at the Sun Valley Opera House. A core group kept it together. Patsy and her late husband, Keith Moore, pitched in when they came during the summer. Laughing Stock played the hits: “Oklahoma,” “Annie,” “Oliver,” big musicals that filled the seats. They played more obscure shows, too. It didn’t matter, the town would turn out either way: Everyone, it seemed, knew someone in the cast. But theater wasn’t a full-time job back then, and Kathy Wygle had many others. “It wasn’t a life,” she said. “It was a hobby. Nobody got paid. We all did outside work.” She owned Creekside for a while, part of the venerable Warm Springs après-ski triumvirate alongside Apple’s and Barsotti’s. B.B. King played a set there, and two of her sisters got married inside, back

“It means a lot to everyone in the arts, seeing them honored like this.”

See WYGLE, next page



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Wygle sisters will ride in the Big Hitch Parade Continued from previous page when locals and visitors alike recited their “ABCs” by hitting each alphabetical haunt after a long day on the hill. She started Ketchum’s first pet shop, Wygle’s Tropical Fish and Birds, in Giacobbi Square. That didn’t last; she preferred to give the animals away to anyone who wanted one, Patsy remembers. From the sound if it, she’s worked at every restaurant in town, in nearly every role. Meanwhile, Patsy had moved to New York City. She zeroed her bank account—all $2,000 of it—and went there straight after graduation from the University of Washington’s acting program. In school, her thesis was a plan assessing the viability of a theater in Ketchum. As a teenager, she’d dreamed of starting one—and the idea grew with each trip spent by her sister’s side. But she wanted to get in “the game,” as she calls it. In New York, she meet Moore, another actor, and together they found some success Off Broadway and on soap operas. (Patsy got the most airtime on “One Life To Live.”) Off-season, she and her husband would light out to Idaho to perform with Laughing Stock. “She’s the actor, I’m the producer,” Kathy said of her sister. Keith Moore was a little bit of everything: creative director, set painter, janitor, whatever. “It energized everything, when they came.” Until each fall, when Patsy and Keith went back East. In the mid-’90s, Kathy was working in a T-shirt shop when a car dealership moved off Main Street, and Ketchum’s first dedicated theater moved in. When she began managing the nexStage, her first call was to Patsy. “I said, ‘I’ve got everything set up for you now,’ and they came out for good,” Kathy said. Patsy became the theater’s education director, and took over Laughing Stock’s Camp Little Laugh for children. With Keith, she taught speech and drama at the Sun Valley Community School. And, whenever they could, they took the stage. NexStage is now the Argyros Performing Arts Center, a 25,000-square-foot, multi-theater complex that dwarfs the old garage. In a way, it’s a tribute to what Kathy helped build—and, fittingly, an upstairs area has been named the Kathy Wygle Lobby. They still put on plays, and still work well together. In conversation, their sisterly jabs, trained over a lifetime,

Express photo by Roland Lane

Kathy and Patsy Wygle, sisters who have long been beloved and respected members of the Blaine County community, particularly in the performing arts, are the grand marshals of Wagon Days 2019. land softly, perfectly and nonstop. Kathy says she’s smarter. Patsy says she’s younger. Their differences, complementary, come from 30 years spent in the city, versus 30 years in the mountains, according to Kathy. But her sister is making up for lost time. “Now, she’s more like I was when I first came,” she said. “She wants to be a cowgirl, too.” Patsy smiled, thought it over. “Well,” she said, “I guess I do want a horse.”

Meet the marshals The community is invited to meet and honor the Wygles as the 2019 grand marshals at a reception on Friday, Aug. 30, from 5-7 p.m. at Ketchum Town Square. Food and beverages will be available.

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Ashley Cain-Gribble and Timothy LeDuc, the reigning U.S. pairs skating champions, will headline the seventh and final Sun Valley on Ice performance of the 2019 summer season on Saturday, Aug. 31, at the Sun Valley Outdoor Ice Rink.

U.S. pairs champions to headline ice show Labor Day finale is Saturday for Sun Valley on Ice

104 N. Main St. • Hailey 208-726-3313

By JEFF CORDES Express Staff Writer


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Sun Valley on Ice’s Labor Day weekend show on Saturday, Aug. 31, features the 2019 U.S. National pairs skating champions, 24-year-old Ashley CainGribble from Texas and Timothy LeDuc, 29, from Iowa. They’ve already had a memorable year personally and professionally, and they’re planning for a busy fall with competitions at Salt Lake City, Utah; Las Vegas, Nev.; and France from September through November. Pairs skating partners since 2016, Cain and LeDuc placed third in the U.S. Championships in 2017 and fourth in 2018. They were alternates for the 2018 Winter Olympics. Cain, from Coppell, Texas, hails from a skating family. Her father, Peter, competed for Australia in pairs at the 1980 Olympics, and her mother, Darlene, skated for Canada in ice dance. She first skated at age 2, and competed at 4. LeDuc, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, started in Learn To Skate and didn’t have private lessons until he was nearly 14. Both LeDuc and Cain were strongly influenced by watching the American skaters in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. 2019 has been a pivotal year in their careers and partnership. Second after the short program in Detroit this past January, Cain and LeDuc had the free skate of their lives for 141.89 points to win the national title with a 212.36 score. Cain, who had suffered a concussion only six weeks before nationals, became the only U.S. skater to win national pairs titles at the Novice, Junior and Senior level. And LeDuc became the first openly gay competitor to win a U.S. national pairs title. The lone U.S. pair competing at the 2019 World Championships in Saitama, Japan, during March,

they had one main objective for their first world competition. Cain and LeDuc needed to finish within the top 10 to regain the second spot for the U.S. at worlds for the first time since 2017. The U.S. had been able to send just one pairs team to the 2018 Winter Olympics and to 2018 and 2019 world meets. Ninth after the short program, Cain and LeDuc nailed down the ninth-place overall finish with a total of 193.81, which was 17 points better than the 10th-place team. It was the best finish at worlds for a U.S. pairs skating team since 2016. LeDuc said afterward that they had accomplished their preseason goals if medaling in the Grand Prix, winning the national pairs championships and going to worlds and regaining a second spot for the U.S. at the 2020 world finals. This past June 1, Cain married Dalton Gribble at The Nest at Ruth Farms in Ponder, Texas. For the 2019-20 International Skating Union Grand Prix, CainGribble and LeDuc were selected to compete at Skate America on Oct. 18-20 at Las Vegas. They will skate in the U.S. International Classic on Sept. 17-22 at Salt Lake City. Entering their fourth season together as partners, the pairs team will skate in the Internationaux de France on Nov. 1-3 in Grenoble, France. Their short program music for 2019-20 is “A Storm Is Coming,” by Tommee Profitt featuring Liv Ash. Free skate music is “Experience,” by Ludovico Einaudi with music from the “Moonlight” soundtrack. Saturday’s 70-minute show complete with the entertaining Sun Valley on Ice ensemble numbers begins at 8:45 p.m. Tickets are on sale at 208-6222135 or online through ticketfly. com or at Grandstand show-only tickets range from $69-$99, or $49 for youths 12 and under.



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Wednesday, August 28, 2019


Wagon Days breakfast serves more than food Papoose Club fundraiser supports youth programs By TONY TEKARONIAKE EVANS Express Staff Writer

A community tradition since 1977, the Papoose Club’s Pancake Breakfast is the best way to get things started on Wagon Days weekend. The event will take place on Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, in Ketchum Town Square from 8 a.m. to noon, with a full plate of pancakes, sausage and eggs. Cost is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors and youths. Kids 3 and under can eat for free. People get more than a breakfast when they join the event. It’s a time to socialize with other festival participants, some of whom have been attending for decades. Participants can watch notable locals flip pancakes and plan the day ahead. The nonprofit Papoose Club was founded by a group of socially minded moms in 1954. The volunteer organization supports youthoriented groups in the Wood River Valley through fundraising activities and community events. Each year, the organization raises tens of thousands of dollars, half coming from the Pancake Breakfast. The Express file photo by Roland Lane reason for its success is Pancakes and other tasty breakfast foods help that more than 1,000 people (and about 100 volunhundreds of Wagon Days fans gear up for the teers) show up for it. festivities over the weekend. This year, the “We make it possiPapoose Club’s Pancake Breakfast events are ble for kids of the Wood scheduled for Saturday and Sunday mornings River Valley to grow up in Ketchum Town Square. with access to a wide variety of activities,” the Papoose Club website states. “The Club’s mission is to support cultural, social educational and athletic activities for the children in the Wood River Valley.” The Papoose Club supports about 20 local organizations, including Girls on the Run of the Wood River Valley, Rotarun Ski Area, the Sawtooth Botanical Garden Bug Zoo, St. Thomas Playhouse, the Sun Valley Center for the Arts/Company of Fools, Syringa Mountain School, The Community Library children’s library, The Hunger Coalition, The Spot and the Wood River Land Trust Student Conservation Council. For more information about the organization or to make a donation, go to

Register at

Express file photo

Strike Gold At The Silver Car Auction Classic cars have been a part of Wagon Days for more than three decades— and on Labor Day weekend, the Mitch Silver Collector Car Auction will return to Sun Valley for its 32nd year. This time, they’re expecting 150 cars up on the block Saturday and Sunday at Sun Valley Resort. They include classics, collectibles and probably a few things casual fans have never even heard of. Sellers can check in from noon to 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, and from 8-9 a.m. Saturday, with preview and bidder registration from 8-10:30 a.m. Saturday morning. The bidding with a memorabilia sale will be at 10:30 a.m.— spectators and serious bidders are equally welcome. For more information, go to





Wednesday, August 28, 2019

20-Mule-Hitch Jer


LEAD The smartest mules in the team. Always keep the center chain taut—and usually straight.

A crupper around the base of the tail prevents the harness from sliding forward. On the wheelers, there’s also “breeching”—a strap that wraps around the hindquarters to prevent the wagons from running into the back of the animal. The wheelers would be the only assist from the team in slowing down the train.

SWINGERS Essentially veteran pointers, their advanced training gives them the ability to step over the haul chain and make adjustments without signals from the muleskinner.

SIXES, EI The six mules the jerk line. their names fo from the mu speeds or directions t wagons and They are loos chest

Blinders keep the mule focused on the job ahead and not distracted by goings on behind her. Chain traces have a leather sheath over them so they don’t pinch the mules’ sides.

The 20-mule hitch pullin by a 120-foot-long “jerk horse or mule in front was the jerk line. The attached to the lead left, a quick jerk co chain running u This allowed around w

The hames are covered with a leather flap to prevent dust and debris getting into the collar. Only the Lead mules wear bells. The bells are the mule skinner’s personal property, and served an important function in announcing that a big mule hitch was coming around the bend.

Express graphic by Kristen Kaiser

Authentic jerk line guides the Big Hitch How do the mules safely transport the historic ore wagons? By EXPRESS STAFF The prized showpiece of Ketchum’s Wagon Days Parade, the Big Hitch, is one of the nation’s most authentic examples of the mule-drawn wagon trains that once carried ore from central Idaho mines. As in all the Wagon Days parades since 2001, the Big Hitch in this year’s parade will feature a team of specially trained pack mules directed by an artist of sorts, the muleskinner. In the 1880s, during the heyday of Ketchum’s mining era, muleskinners had only two means of control over the powerful stock: their voices and the jerk line, a rein that ran up to 200 feet from the front of the team to the rear. During the Wagon Days parade, muleskinner Bobby Tanner will once again revive the dying art of using an authentic jerk line to guide a team of up to 20 mules—pulling a cargo of six, 3-ton ore wagons—through the streets of Ketchum and Sun Valley. A resident of Bishop, Calif., Tanner in 2001 returned the employment of the jerk-line-driven mule team to Wagon Days after a three-decade hiatus. In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, draft horses drew the Big Hitch through Ketchum, but typically lacked the power and stamina to complete the entire parade course.

How does it work? Operation of the jerk line truly is an art. The line, which is attached to each member of the team, is manipulated by a number of distinct whips and jerks. The movements effectively command the mules—which are trained to respond to the subtleties of the jerks—to maintain a specific course. The muleskinner operates the jerk line from atop the “near side wheeler,” the mule closest to the left wheel of the lead wagon. Wheelers, the stout mules positioned closest to the wagons, were historically the only animals in the outfit that were rigged to help brake the wagons on downhill slopes. In front of the wheelers are mules called “pointers.” In addition to helping with pulling, their function is to guide the wagons. They must be trained to step over the train’s haul chain to make sharp turns. Ahead of the pointers are the “sixes,” “eights” and

Express file photo

The muleskinner and his crew command the team of mules as they drive the wagon train around the corner of Sun Valley Road and Main Street in Ketchum. “tens.” The six mules span the middle of the jerk line. Taking directions from the muleskinner, they shift speeds or pull in different directions to help steer the wagons. In front of the sixes, eights and tens are the “swingers,” which are essentially veteran pointers. Their advanced training gives them the ability to step over the haul chain and make adjustments without signals from the muleskinner. They were harnessed behind the leaders. The sixes, eights, tens and swingers were loose, without head or chest harnesses. The lead team, in front of the swing-

ers, always kept the center chain taut—and usually straight. Going around a curve in the road, the taut chain must bend. To effectively bend the chain is the responsibility of every mule between the pointers and the leaders. The immense complexity of operating a jerk line, combined with evolutions in the mining industry, eventually left the muleskinners as a forgotten group. Tanner, however, has revived the lost art of operating a jerk line, after he used historic documents to teach himself how to train mules and drive a wagon train.

rk Line Mechanics


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AFF • Illustration by KRISTEN KAISER

Jerk Line

wagons full of ore over Trail Creek Summit were controlled e.” The driver, or muleskinner, would ride the left (near) draft the wheel. In his left hand was the brake line. In his right k line laced through the collars of the swing mules but was ar mule’s left side of his bit. A steady pull meant to go manded the mule to go right. There was one continuous erneath all the wagons all the way to the lead mules. he swing mules to pull that line on either side orners as long as the line was taut. The wagons ld follow suit in the same locations.

HTS & TENS an the middle of ey need to know aking directions kinner to shift l in different help steer the ke the corners. without head or rnesses.

ORE WAGONS The first wagon (Lewis Lead) was built entirely of hardwood by employees of Horace Lewis in 1889. It may be the largest freight wagon still in existence. The wagons follow suit according to what the team dictates.

WHEELERS This stout team is the muscle in getting the freight moving. You’ll see them really throw their might into the collar.

SWAMPER This person rides on the side of the wagon. He’s the brake man and helps tend to the mules and supplies.

The wagon trail over Trail Creek Summit was narrow, rugged and steep, at a 12% grade. That’s why the wagons are narrow and very tall. The twisting route hugging the mountainsides made for a harrowing transport. Map and graph courtesy of E.B. Phillips

MULESKINNER This is the driver of the team, and he rode the near (left) side wheeler. E L E VAT I O N ( f t )


POINTERS In addition to helping with pulling, their function is to guide the wagons. They must be trained to step over the train’s haul chain to make sharp turns.

Trail Creek Road (from Corral Creek to Summmit)

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Poster celebrates Wagon Days mules Artist Molly Snee has been working for city of Ketchum By GREG MOORE Express Staff Writer

Image courtesy of city of Ketchum

In the 2019 Wagon Days poster, count carefully and you’ll find all 20 mules for the Big Hitch.

Mules, mules, mules—the 2019 Wagon Days poster features 20 of them waiting to be connected to the Big Hitch, a chain of six ore wagons from the Lewis Fast Freight Line. On Saturday, Aug. 31, the mules will tow the wagon train down Sun Valley Road into Ketchum, where they make a turn north onto Main Street. “There’s something intriguing about painting a group of animals, instead of inanimate objects,” said Molly Snee, creator of this year’s poster. Snee said she’s been drawing and painting her entire life. She graduated from Syracuse University in New York state with a degree in fine arts and illustration, which, she said, is geared toward commercial work. Now 29, Snee moved to Ketchum from New York City about five years ago after attending a summer wedding here. “I haven’t found a good reason to leave,” she said with a laugh. While here, she has been able to pursue a career in illustration, providing drawings to The New York Times’ op-ed page, BuzzFeed and other media. Topics have included White House cabinet officials and a story on tips for women traveling abroad. A recent subject was an exploding missile in Russia. Snee began working for the city of Ketchum last year, creating illustrations for event posters, flyers and the city newsletter. Mayor Neil Bradshaw said last year that her work has improved the quality of all the materials. Her work included the

2018 Wagon Days poster. She said her mass-media work has been of “newsy” subjects that have been “pretty conceptual” and done digitally, so she has enjoyed assignments such as Wagon Days posters. This year’s poster was done in gouache, an opaque watercolor. “When I do things like the Wagon Days poster, it’s much more fun to work in traditional media,” she said. Snee said that over the past year, she has been able to work full-time as an illustrator. “I hope it proves enough to keep doing it for years to come,” she said. Her current project is a mural for the interior of the Ketchum Visitor Center. The Ketchum Arts Commission set aside a 9-foot-high by 25-foot-wide section of wall for a mural summative of the city’s cultural identity. So far, the work in progress has remained under wraps, but Snee said it should be unveiled in time for Wagon Days.

Get your Wagon Days poster here! The 2019 Wagon Days poster can be purchased for $20 at the Ore Wagon Museum in Ketchum, on Fifth Street across from City Hall. Also available for purchase there are reserved bleacherseating tickets and Wagon Days hats, T-shirts and water bottles. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Sept. 1.



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Who’s in the big Wagon Days parade? Scores of nonmotorized entries to ride, march along route through central Ketchum The following is a list of participants in the Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade, in the order they are scheduled to appear:

1) Ketchum Police Department Beginning the Wagon Days parade are riders Lorraine Wilcox and Dave Aslett, representing the Ketchum Police Department.

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2) David Ketchum American Legion Post 115 The David Ketchum Post American Legion Hall is a gathering place for veterans of America’s past and current wars. The post proudly counts among its number veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. They still serve today in supporting Boys State, Girls State, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and American Legion baseball, and provide assistance dogs for wounded warriors.

3) 2019 Wagon Days Grand Marshals Kathy and Patsy Wygle

208-726-7777 208-726-7790


The city of Ketchum honors the 2019 Wagon Days Grand Marshals Kathy and Patsy Wygle. For more than 50 years, Kathy Wygle has remained at the center of theater arts in Ketchum. She served over 20 years at the helm of the nexStage Theatre, ensuring that the tradition of theater and culture remains in Ketchum. She and her sister, Patsy, introduced generations of community children to the arts. Kathy Wygle founded Laughing Stock Theater in 1977. In 1992, she became executive director of the Sun Valley Repertory Company, which later became the Sun Valley Performing Arts/nexStage Theatre. Patsy Wygle has been a theatrical force in the valley for decades. She and her late husband, Keith Moore, began performing musicals for Laughing Stock in 1988. Patsy and Keith also headed the Upper School Theatre program at the Community School for six years. The Wygles continue to run Laughing Stock Theater in Ketchum, producing the annual Shakespeare Festival and “A Christmas Carol.” They also run after-school classes and Summer Stages, a summer performing arts camp held in July. Kathy and Patsy have made significant and lasting contributions to this community and its culture for many years.

4) Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw Riding in the wagon is Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw, accompanied by his wife, Ivana, and his parents, Frances and Tony Bradshaw, who traveled from London to be here today.





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The City of Ketchum proudly presents Wagon Days weekend. Riding in the Lewis Coach are Ketchum City Council members Amanda Breen, Jim Slanetz, Michael David and Courtney Hamilton. The Lewis Coach was given to the city of Ketchum along with the Lewis Ore Wagons. Horace Lewis began the Ketchum Fast Freight Line soon after the town was founded on Aug. 2, 1880. The magnificent wagons carried the first load of ore from the Elkhorn Mine to the railroad in Kelton, Utah. One hundred and forty years ago, this coach could often be found parked in front of the Lewis Family home, which is the present-day home to The Elephant’s Perch. The coach is driven by Mike Swainston.

6) City of Sun Valley


Riding in this wagon are Sun Valley Mayor Peter Hendricks and his wife, Lisa-Marie Allen. This John Deere carriage dates from around 1900 and was restored to its original condition by Wayne Orvick of Wood River Carriage Works. The carriage was purchased by the city of Sun Valley along with a sleigh. The carriage was originally used to transport guests at the old Geyer Hot Springs Resort in the early 1900s.


7) The Holding Landau Carriage






Riding together are two women who have helped shape the Ketchum and Sun Valley community in significant and lasting ways: Mrs. Carol Holding and Mrs. Glenn Janss. Both women have been honored in previous years as Wagon Days grand marshals, and Wagon Days is honored to have them here with us today. This carriage is a beautifully restored circa-1880 five-glass landau carriage. Sun Valley Co. provides the ground for the staging area where parade contestants line up for the parade, without which this parade would not be possible. Pulling the Landau is a team of gray Percherons driven by Calvin Chatfield.

8) The Blaine County Museum’s Heritage Court The Heritage Court includes: Connie Grabow, nominated by the city of Ketchum. She represents Sun Valley and Ketchum. She has volunteered for many organizations, including The Community Library, Moritz Hospital and many cultural and sports organizations. Verla Goitiandia, nominated by the Blaine County Historical Museum. She represents Hailey and is honored for her work with 4H and as an election poll worker and managing the Hemingway School kitchen. Judy Peterson, nominated by the Blaine County Fair Board. She drove school buses for several years and helped with her husband’s wood-hauling business. Pam Rayborn, nominated by the city of Bellevue. She was born in the Sun Valley Lodge. She managed a trailer park in Hailey and worked as a ski instructor at Rotarun.

Open 7:00am - 10:00pm daily •

See ENTRIES, next page



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9) Americanas The Americanas have been performing for 35 years and in more than 500 performances. Throughout the years they have had more than 400 riders. They have been to Washington, D.C., three times and have performed at the Rose Parade. The lead riders are riding “Roman,” or two horses at a time with a foot on each horse. Riding with them is their founder, Mel Griffeth.

10) Rebecca’s Private Idaho and World Bicycle Relief Rebecca’s Private Idaho is a ticket to the wild, rugged Idaho that few people know. Ride 100 miles with mountain-bike endurance champion Rebecca Rusch on grueling gravel roads through canyons, over summits and across high-mountain basins. When you’re done, experience a healthy dose of Western hospitality and the good feeling that comes from supporting charities like the Wood River Bike Coalition, Bikes Belong and World Bicycle Relief.

Express file photo

The Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade features numerous horse riders, as well as horse-driven stagecoaches and carriages, among scores of entries that make it one of the largest nonmotorized parades in the Northwest. The Americanas riding group is a popular entry in the parade year after year.

11) Jerome High School Ambush of Tigers Marching Unit Approaching is the Jerome High School Ambush of Tigers Marching Band, led by Drum Major Vanessa Estrada, Band Director Hiroshi Fukuoka and Color Guard Coach Amanda Hall. The Ambush has performed in regional and national parades, including the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., and the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade in Portland, Ore., and makes regular appearance at the Wagon Days Big Hitch Parade. The Ambush would like to thank Jerome Music Boosters, the Jerome School District and all of its fans for their continued support.

12) Ralphie the Camel and Friends Ralphie, Humphrie and Dude. These camels are owned by Jeral and Jeanie Williams of Idaho Falls. They are Bactrian camels. The Bactrian camel has two humps on its back. The humps are composed of fat, not water as is often said. Camels have served as pack animals since ancient times. Their tolerance for cold, drought and high altitudes enabled travel along the Silk Road.

13) Buffy the White Buffalo And now, a special treat for Wagon Days! Please welcome Buffy, a white buffalo. To Native Americans, the bison or American buffalo is a symbol of sacred life and abundance. The birth of a white buffalo is said to provide hope and is an indication of good times to come. Buffy lives in Idaho Falls with Jeral and Jeanine Williams.

14) Prospector Squeaks Prospector Squeaks, his brother, Oreo, the trapper and their loyal companion, Okey the Donkey, bring their furs and ore from the mines into town to trade for supplies before heading back into the wilderness. They are accompanied by their sisters, P.T. and Lydia Hotsprings on their trusted donkey, Lil’ Bit, for a visit to the local market and an evening of dancing.

15) Lewis and Clark Voyage of Discovery on Mustangs A family of Spanish American mustangs from the Pryor Mountain and Elko, Nev., herds carry Capt. Meriwether Lewis (Ralph Harris) and trusted scout/hunter Shawnee/French Canadian Georges Druyard (Tom Crais) and Mohawk trapper John Grey (Tony Tekaroniake Evans). Silver Chief and Sunshine are the parents of Red Velvet and Tango. The family of mustangs live together in the mountains of Fairfield on the Tommy C Three Ranch.

16) Northern Shoshoni and Sheepeater Shoshoni and Bannock bands Welcome to the Northern Shoshoni and Sheepeater Shoshoni and See ENTRIES, Page 14


Sun Valley Resort 150 cars expected • CONSIGNMENTS Welcome Bidders and spectators invited A sampling and look at some of this year’s selections up for auction •



Lot 27 - 1977 MGB

Lot 44 - 1957 Porsche Speedster Replica

Lot 46 - 1998 Chevrolet Corvette

Lot 47 - 2009 Dodge Challenger

Lot 50 - 1965 Chevrolet Pickup

Lot 52 - 1954 Mercury Sun Valley

Lot 240 - 1968 Pontiac GTO

Lot 68 - 1969 Oldsmobile 442

Lot 72 - 1972 Chevrolet Corvette

Lot 80 - 1955 Ford Pickup

Lot 84 - 1955 Studebaker

Lot 87 - 1990 Harsco 6X6 RV Conversion

Lot 88 - 1959 Willys Overland

Lot 213 - 1955 Ford Thunderbird

Lot 226 - 1969 Ford Mustang

Lot 321 - 1964 Lincoln Continental

Lot 40 - 1963 Chevrolet Belair

Lot 229 - 1978 VW Body by Karmann




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Bannock bands, representing the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation, Idaho. The Shoshoni people who have always inhabited the central Idaho/southwestern Montana and the Wood River Valley of Idaho are returning to their homelands, where they have lived for generations, before the opening of the West by Lewis and Clark. Their journey west was guided by a young Shoshoni woman, named Sacajawea, and her descendants are here today, celebrating along with the citizens and residents of Ketchum/Sun Valley. This is a reintroduction of the original people of the Wood River Valley and surrounding areas where the Shoshoni and Bannocks returned to gather/hunt and harvest in their annual subsistence areas. The traditional clothing worn are called “regalia” and should not be referred to as costumes. The warriors on horses are considered the “lords of the Pacific Northwest Rockies,” living and traveling throughout the toughest terrain and carving out a way of life many have considered hard. Today is the is the beginning of new friendships and the opportunity to learn about the first people of the Wood River Valley.

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This is Quaden out delivering his mail on his cart. The first horse-drawn mail cart started in 1914 from St. Louis to San Francisco.

18) Ice Cart Kodie is driving the Ice Cart. The first ice cart was built in early 1900. Children would run to the ice wagons to get ice shavings on a hot day.

19) Blaine County Democrats Riding in this wagon is state Sen. Michelle Stennett, state Rep. Muffy Davis, state Rep. Sally Toone, Blaine County Commissioners Angenie McCleary, Jacob Greenberg and Dick Fosbury and Blaine County Assessor Jim Williams.

20) Black Peruvian Pasos These two beautiful black Peruvian paso horses live and play here in Sun Valley. Peruvian pasos are the smoothest-riding horse in the world. Both their gait and the flashy leg action are completely natural. Peruvian pasos were bred and used in Peru by ranchers who had to travel many miles each day to work their ranches and wanted to ride in comfort. These beauties are owned by the Riccabona family. The big gelding is Rudy and was born in San Antonio, Texas. Rudy’s rider is Steve Riccabona, a Keller Williams real estate agent here in Sun Valley. The little mare is Misty. She was born in Carey, Idaho. Misty’s rider is Amanda Porino of Sun Valley. These horses are bright and show a lot of personality. Rudy and Misty enjoy a parade but really love to walk the trails high into the mountains and run the dirt roads around the rivers.

21) The Get-Away-Cart Gang way—Miss Moneybags, Galena McMahon and her accomplice Stealin’ Stu have pulled off one of the greatest heists in Ketchum’s history by emptying the vaults of the Isaac Lewis First National Bank. She’s not in the clear yet—Sheriff Austin is hot on their trail and he doesn’t give up easily.

22) Ketchum Firefighters Local 4758 and Wood River Firefighters Local 4923 Taking part in a time-honored tradition dating back to 1954, the Ketchum Professional Firefighters Local 4758 and the Wood River Firefighters Local 4923 are riding in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The Muscular Dystrophy Association is the world’s leading nonprofit health organization sponsoring research seeking the cause of and effective treatment for neuromuscular diseases. Money raised today by “filling the boot” provides services and support such as free clinics, motorized wheelchairs and other much-needed specialized equipment to more than 600 southern Idaho residents who have muscular dystrophy. Thirty-eight local children had the opportunity to attend MDA summer camp in McCall, Idaho, due to your generous donations. At camp they meet other children with neuromuscular diseases. They have the chance to socialize, swap stories of their experiences and, most importantly, have some fun. Participants enjoyed the zip line, swimming, boating, archery and treasure hunts. Joining the firefighters is Jacob Bottinger and his family. Jacob is the Idaho state ambassador to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

23) Smokey the Bear



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Since 1944, Smokey’s been working hard to inspire Americans to prevent wildfires. Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign has educated generations of America about their role in preventing wildfires. Despite the campaign’s success over the years, wildfire prevention remains one of the most critical issues affecting our country. Smokey’s message is as relevant and urgent today as it was in 1944. Wildfire prevention remains crucial, and he still needs your help. Smokey’s catch-phrase reflects your responsibility: “Only you can prevent wildfires.” Remember that this phrase is so much more than just a slogan—it’s an important way to care for the world around you.

24) Jose Heredia Demonstrating the Mexican culture of floreo de la reata (rope tricks) and charro (maneuvers on horse and on foot) are Jose and Cesar Heredia (father and son). Jose learned the charro traditions from his father, like his father learned from his. And now his son, Cesar, is following the tradition learning from him. Charro traditions include breaking horses, rounding and branding cattle and floreo de la reata. They perform in several events around the Treasure Valley and annually in the Wagon Days parade.

25) Escaramuza Charra Sueño Dorado The escaramuza charra is the only female equestrian event in the Mexican charrerìa. The escaramuza means “skirmish” and it consists of a team riding horses See ENTRIES, next page



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choreographed to the rhythm of Mexican music. The women ride sidesaddle and wear traditional Mexican costumes that include sombreros, dresses and matching accessories. A team consists up to 16 women, but only six can ride at a time. The routine is practiced in an arena.

26) The Concord Stage The Abbot Downey Concord stages were most commonly used on transcontinental runs, changing horses every 20 miles. It was a grueling 15 mph ride for the passengers. What separated Abbot and Downing from other coachbuilders of their day were the vehicles’ handsome appearance, durability and overall quality. These masterpieces of construction have no equal. Concord stages were the first to offer shock-absorbance through braces—an important feature not just for passengers, but for the animals pulling them, too. These braces allowed the coach to rock back and forth and swing sideways, too, providing forward momentum for the teams. This Concord stage is part of the Rock family’s Hook Draw collection, driven by Jim Barton of the Carey Bar B Ranch with his beautiful Percherons.

27) Ms. Idaho Senior America Queens 28) Snake River Stampede Whiskey Wagon The Snake River Stampede in Nampa, a top-10 PRCA rodeo, proudly presents its restored 1880s freight wagon, which originally ran the Caldwell-to-Jordan-Valley route. Today, it represents Snake River Stampede Whiskey. The hitch is being pulled by matched Belgian-quarter-horse-cross draft horses.

29) Snake River Stampede Stagecoach The Snake River Stampede, a Hall of Fame rodeo in Nampa, Idaho, that just celebrated its 104th anniversary, proudly presents its icon Snake River Stampede Stagecoach. The stagecoach, an original M.P. Henderson coach of Stockton, Calif., was built in about 1885 and ran the Murphy-Silver City route up through the early 1900s. The coach just underwent a complete restoration and is being pulled by Belgian-quarter-horse-cross draft horses.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019


30) River Grove Ranch Peruvian Pasos Peruvian pasos are known as the Cadillac of horses due to their naturally smooth gate. The breed has been perfected for more than 400 years and is considered the national pride of Peru. These are surefooted horses that go long distances through all kinds of terrain never breaking their gait. Leading the Peruvian pasos is Nicole Brass, a fourth-generation Idahoan from the pioneer Brass family. Nicole breeds and trains these naturally gaited horses at River Grove Ranch in Hailey.

31) Wood River Chapel This is what a funeral procession would have looked like in the Wood River Valley in the late 1800s. This original wagon entry is complete with a coffin of the era commonly called a “toe pincher.” The horses are two brothers, Doc and Eddie.

32) The Old Frontier Gang The Old Frontier Gang is riding in an original Yellowstone stagecoach over 100 years old. The Old Frontier Gang was originally called The Hailey Hellers. It has been in existence for nearly 50 years. The coach is an original Yellowstone coach made in New Hampshire by the firm of Abbott & Downing. The horses are Percherons named Joe and Benny and are owned by Richard and Eric Barney.

33) Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center provides therapies to qualifying participants. The goal of therapeutic riding is to promote independence through learning riding skills. Riders combine physical activity, cognitive stimulation and emotional connection with the horse. The strength, rhythmic motion and warmth of the horse allow riders to improve muscle tone, balance and coordination while enjoying exercise and learning in a positive, safe environment. Horse and rider become a team, offering the student the opportunity to develop the kind of communication skills, trust and accomplishment that go beyond the barn. The connection between animal and human has been proven to foster respect and confidence, while the gentle, loving nature of the horse lessens anxiety and fear. Students become highly motivated to learn and to grow toward their full potential.

See ENTRIES, Page 16


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34) Trailing of the Sheep Festival The Trailing of the Sheep Festival will celebrate its 23rd year Oct. 9-13. Five days of wonderful and informative events for all ages are listed on its website. Check out the full schedule of culinary adventures, wool fest classes, the Folklife Fair, Sheepdog Trials, dancing, music and educational opportunities, all concluding in the Big Sheep Parade on Sunday, sponsored by the city of Ketchum, and its Happy Trails Celebration at Town Square.

35) The Papoose Club and Old Time Fiddlers The fiddlers have been a part of Wagon Days for many years. You can see them playing each morning at the Pancake Breakfast. This favorite local event will be held Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to noon at Ketchum Town Square. Volunteers from Papoose Club--one of the Wood River Valley’s oldest philanthropic organizations--will dish up all-you-can-eat pancakes, scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, juice and hot coffee.

36) 1910 Troy Tank Wagon

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A pair of early-1900s Troy Tank wagons used to transport Standard Oil petroleum products in the Magic Valley of Idaho and the Baker Valley of eastern Oregon, pulled by a three-abreast team of grey-Percheron-thoroughbreds-cross horses. Both are owned by Jerry Wilcox of Vale, Ore.

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37) Southern Comfort Gaited Horse Club

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Southern Comfort Gaited Horse Club is located in the Treasure Valley and raises money to share with various horse charities in the area. The club promotes sound, naturally-gaited horses, including the popular Tennessee walker, the various mountain breeds and the Spanish paso finos. They love to share the smooth ride and versatility of these gaited breeds with fun shows and play days, horsemanship clinics and performances featuring their two drill teams. Today we have their Spanish team in the pretty red-and-black skirts and fan shawls, and their American breed team in their striking red-and-black outfit.

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Mighty Mike, age 3, and Little Dan, age 9, are miniature horses owned by Debbie Hook of McCammon, Idaho.

41) River Sage Stables

208-726-4711 181 First Ave N. Ketchum

Tap and Di, two beautifully matched Haflingers, pull the carriage from River Sage Stables of Bellevue, owned by Richard and Penny Weiss and driven by Pat Mcgary, who are joined by Steve and Nancy Carandall Wall in the carriage.

42) Happy Ass Ranch


Restored 1920s Studebaker hitch wagon was purchased at a Sisters, Oregon, auction. The only salvageable original parts were the floor boards. Great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of this wagon. Pulling the hitch is Spanky, a 21-year-old quarter mule. Spanky won the single-hitch entry in 2014 at Bishop Mule Days and is representing the Happy Ass Ranch from Middleton, Idaho.

43) The Susie Q Ranch and Zions Bank Hitch


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The Susie Q Ranch in Picabo and Zions Bank present a restored 1870s livery wagon discovered near a train station in Nevada. The wagon has been beautifully restored. The wagon is pulled by Mike and Max, a team of spotted drafts, and driven by Greg and Amy Peterson. The team and wagon are owned by Harris and Amanda Simmons, owners of the Susie Q Ranch.

44) Nabel Horse Training Henry Nabel is a reining trainer from Caldwell, Idaho, here to celebrate Wagon Days and the spirit of the West! Some of the best-trained horses in Idaho got their start at Nabel Horse Training.

45) Sunnyside Farms Inc. Sunnyside Farms is a nonprofit organization that strives to preserve and promote the Norwegian fjord horse for therapeutic use. It breeds its imported horses to create genetic diversity and sustainability in the rare and unique equine. As they age, the farm partners with its horses to provide behavioral health and wellness to people of all ages in southwestern Montana and outlying areas. Learn more at

46) D.L. Evans Bank The entry is a restored-to-working-condition Midwestern grain wagon circa 1890. The horses are owned and driven by Scott Heins from Rupert, Idaho. The entry is sponsored by D.L. Evans Bank and the Boot Barn in Twin Falls.

47) Ace Wrecking Service Ace Wrecking Service—“You wreck ‘em, we haul them, from broken wheels and crashes, to being stuck in a rut, runaways and ensnaring bogs. We tow 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’ll Ace any tow job, guaranteed.” Ace is a 19-yearold miniature horse. Silvia Lockyer is the teamster. Elizabeth Lockyer is leading Molly, a 10-year-old miniature mare.

48) WW Mules Crowds love these homegrown gray Molly mules, Zip and Dot. They are full sisters and were raised on the farm of Von and Pat White. They are pulling a new two-seat buggy being used for the first time. Makayla Taylor is the newly crowned queen of the Cassia Fair and Rodeo, held the third week in August. Makayla is 18 and from Malta, Idaho. Today she is riding her favorite ranch horse, 26-year-old Ruby. See ENTRIES, next page


Wednesday, August 28, 2019



Continued from previous page

50) Cassia County Fair and Rodeo 51) Days of the Old West Rodeo Ambassadors The Sawtooth Rangers Riding Club hosts the Days of the Old West Rodeo each year over July 2-4, and these lovely ladies are two of the Days of the Old West Rodeo ambassadors.

52) Sawtooth Rangers The Sawtooth Rangers produce the annual Days of the Old West Rodeo in Hailey every Fourth of July.

53) Lincoln County Fair and Rodeo Senior Queen 54) Lincoln County Junior Queen 55) Richfield Outlaw Day Junior Queen 67) Idaho State Riding Association The Idaho State Riding Association was established in 1947. The association consists of 13 clubs with a total of 240 members, who compete in precision drill, parade and team gaming events. Interested parties or groups can find it on Facebook. Current ISRA president is Kelly Smith. Representing the Idaho State Riding Association are: the Cassia County Sheriff’s Posse, an all men’s riding group from Burley, Idaho; the Minidoka Wranglers, an all-women’s riding group from Rupert, Idaho; the Mini-Cassia Outlaws, a junior co-ed posse ranging from 8-18 years old, from Rupert, Idaho; the Snake River Saddlemen, a co-ed family-friendly riding group from Rupert, Idaho; the Chaparrals, a co-ed riding group from Pocatello, Idaho; the Highlander Hoofbeats, a women’s riding group from Soda Springs, Idaho; the Madison County Sheriff’s Posse Upper Valley Wranglers, a co-ed riding group from Rexburg, Idaho; the Jefferson County Posse from Rigby, Idaho; the Jefferson Junior Posse, a co-ed junior riding group from Rigby, Idaho; the Gem State Riders, a women’s riding group from Shelley, Idaho; the Renegade Riders, a women’s riding group from Pocatello, Idaho; the War Bonnet Junior Posse, a co-ed junior riding group from Idaho Falls, Idaho; and the Magic Valley Silver Spurs, a co-ed riding group from Rupert, Idaho. The members of the Idaho State Riding Association are honored to participate in the Wagon Days Parade and festivities.




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68) City of Ketchum Water Wagon The water wagon and commissary were used to carry water for the mules and men on journeys across the plains and desert. The wagon is pulled by a team owned and driven by Bob Tomaski from Montana.

HAPPY Labor Day!

69) Ketchum-Warm Springs Riding Club The Ketchum-Warm Springs Riding Club is one of the oldest riding clubs in Idaho. It was formed in the 1950s to keep horses in shape for hunting season, but has evolved into a sociable group of trail riders who enjoy good meals, great company and a nice ride in the mountains. Members currently range from Bellevue to Stanley. The club has historically met every Wednesday evening in Adams Gulch. It also brings out young 4H riders in the hope of keeping riding clubs alive and well. The Riding Club rides in front of the Big Hitch each year to help remind the crowd that safety is important, so please stay well back, and thanks for coming out to the parade!

70) City of Ketchum Big Hitch As always, the best for last. The grand finale to the Wagon Days parade, the Big Hitch. These six original Lewis Fast Freight Line ore wagons were originally used to transport ore from the mountains that surround the valley. These wagons traversed the dangerous Trail Creek Summit. The Horace Lewis family donated the wagons to the city of Ketchum. Pulling the wagon is a 20-draft-mule jerkline, driven by professional mule skinner Bobby Tanner of Bishop, Calif., assisted by his crew and brakeman: Tim Deckard, Doug McClean, Jesse Deckard and Ryan Eittriem. Please keep quiet as the hitch passes as the mules must be able to hear voice commands.

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WA G O N D AY S 2 0 1 9


Brandon Lay celebrates small-town America Country musician to headline Street Party By CHRIS MELVILLE Express Staff Writer

Many communities around the world have their unique celebration or festival that captures their values and traditions. Ottery St. Mary in Devon, England, runs flaming tar barrels through crowded streets for Guy Fawkes Day. Mohács, Hungary, dons demonic Busó masks the day before Ash Wednesday to frighten away winter and Turkish invaders alike, should there happen to be any. In Ketchum, Idaho, dozens of horsedrawn wagons proceed down the street in one of the largest completely nonmotorized parades in the nation. The annual Wagon Days festival celebrates the early days of the Wood River Valley, the trailblazers and pioneers. This retrospective event features—in addition to the parade—pancake breakfasts, cowboy poetry recitals, dances, an intertribal dance demonstration, children’s activities and a largescale street party, which this year features a live performance by up-and-coming country music star Brandon Lay. Following the Big Hitch Parade through downtown Ketchum on Saturday afternoon, Lay will bring a healthy dose of country music to the celebration. “Country music and Wagon Days go well together,” Ketchum Mayor Neil Bradshaw said. If both the musical genre and the festival espouse American roots culture, the cowboy mythos, values of freedom and individualism, and a commendable amount of boot-stomping revelry, then they more than go well together—they go hand-in-hand. While musically speaking, Lay has a distinctly country-Western sound, the Tennessee songwriter cites the likes of Tom Petty, Bob Seger, Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne and John

Mellencamp as major influences. Like those American rock ’n’ roll titans, Lay has cultivated a quintessential small-town USA vibe. In many ways, his formative teen years echoed the mentality of Springsteen’s “No Surrender” or Mellancamp’s “Small Town”—youthful optimism, sports, high school and car radios. “I felt like I was living those songs, and they reassured me,” Lay said.

Speaking on this line and the overall message of the song, Lay said, “Your spectrum is only so wide when you’re 17. You think you’re the first to do everything. There’s something universal about that phase, about only knowing so much, with such big life changes around the bend, approaching college and other defining moments.” Seventeen may be behind Lay now, but big life changes still await him on the horizon. “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers” stacked up more than 53 million plays on Spotify, and with successful follow-up singles streaming in kind and a contract with EMI Records, an album release is only a matter of time. Lay will come to Ketchum in the midst of an extensive tour of the United States, but Wagon Days will be the only festival on his agenda with such an impressive array of horse-drawn carriages. The street party begins as soon as the Big Hitch Parade ends. The city will close off East Avenue next to Ketchum Town Square for the duration of the concert, and festivalgoers will have ample opportunity to party, enjoy the music and celebrate Ketchum’s pioneer history in style.

“I felt like I was living those songs, and they reassured me.” Brandon Lay

Singer-songwriter Before long, Lay took to writing his own music and lyrics, bringing his own personal stamp to the landscape. In 2017, he released his debut single, “Speakers, Bleachers and Preachers,” which insightfully captures his hometown experiences and pays tribute—in the title and chorus—to his three greatest influences. One line in particular from that track reflects the thoughtfulness with which Lay reflects upon his roots: “We were acting like we weren’t like every other small town.”

Music, poetry and more Cowboy Poets: Friday, Aug. 30, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ore Wagon Museum, 500 E. Ave., Ketchum. Barn Dance: Friday, Aug. 30, 7-9 p.m. at the Ore Wagon Museum. Meandering Musicians: Friday, Aug. 30, 7-9 p.m., musicians perform at various location around town. Street Party with Brandon Lay: Saturday, Aug. 31, after the parade on East Avenue next to Ketchum Town Square.

Cowboy poets Friday, Aug. 30, will see plenty of fun festivities to set the tone and get people excited for the main Wagon Days celebration on Saturday. The first official Wagon Days event will take place Friday at the Ore Wagon Museum in Ketchum from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. During that time, some of the top cowboy poets in the West will congregate in the museum to recite their works. Cowboy poetry is a fixture of all American Western art and festivals, and has been an intermittent feature of Wagon Days for decades, finally becoming an annual occasion in 2013. This year will bring something a little new and different to the cowboy poetry lineup. As organizer David Barovetto put it, in the past the cowboy poets have mostly been “old timers” who are now, sadly, “dying off,” which is exactly why he has decided to pump new blood into the roster. While some favorites like Bryan Dillworth of Bellevue, Idaho poets Orel Elser and Bruce “Loose Lip” Pinson and Oregon poet Coyote Joe Sartin will all be present, Barovetto has enlisted two teenage cowboy poets, as well. Colton Blankman, 14, and Thatch Elmer, 15, both from Utah, will make their Wagon Days debut this year. “They’re both pretty extraordinary,” Barovetto said. “We’ve got a new generation of cowboy poets emerging, and the timing couldn’t be better.” People can swing by the Ore Wagon Museum— which, incidentally, Barovetto designed to house the wagons back in the ‘70s—to listen to some world-class cowboy poetry and get into a proper mood for Wagon Days. Barovetto is also in charge of the Meandering Musicians, who will perform at various locations around Ketchum from noon to 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. The musicians help capture a palpable feeling of celebration—one that Barovetto said he was inspired to cultivate by a scene in the John Wayne classic “Red River.” All these festivities help to celebrate Ketchum’s cowboy roots and hype up the atmosphere for the big parade on Saturday.

Small but mighty: Bellevue celebrates 95th Labor Day immediate funds for those in need. This year, because it is the 10th anniversary, there will also be a 10k run. Pets are welcome, as are families with strollers or on bikes. The run begins at 9 a.m. at Bellevue Memorial Park on Fourth and Cedar streets. Because of the 10k, this will be the first year that there will be an aid station on BY ALEJANDRA BUITRAGO the course. The station will be on the corner of Bayhorse Express Staff Writer Road and Chestnut Lane. The 5k runners will pass the Without much pomp and circumstance, Bellevue has station once, around the first mile of the course, and the quietly been creating its own legacy of sorts. After ore 10k runners will pass the station twice, once around the wagons trace their way through the streets of Ketchum, 2-mile mark and a second time around mile 5. another lively parade makes its way down the stretch of Resident Sara Burns created the 5k run 10 years ago, state Highway 75 that constitutes Bellevue’s downtown. after going through the city’s budgetary process on the With two full days of music and vendors, the celebration City Council and seeing that there weren’t sufficient funds to cover all of the city’s needs and each departcenters around family fun. ment’s necessities. The registration fees for This year, with a new Labor Day Celebrathe race, $25 for the 5k and $35 for the 10k, go tion chairwoman—Heather Johnston—a new to the Burn Out Fund. breath of life is being blown into the festivities, with a focus on the future and a concentration Registration online is open until Aug. 30, on low-key, family-friendly entertainment. after which those who want to race can register the day-of at the start line. There are also a The events will kick off Sunday, with a day limited number of T-shirts for racers, so those of music and food vendors at Memorial Park. who want a shirt should register online by This year’s bands include Two Gun Rig, visiting and searching BLDC Jukebox Widowmakers, Coyote Joe Sartin Fun Run/Walk. with Brian Dilworth, Bella Soul, the Mitchel Beyond food vendors, a choo-choo-train Gregory Project, the Hurdy Gurdy Girls, ride for kids and live music for everyone to Dewey Picket and Howe, Mia Edsel and enjoy, the city is also taking the opportunity Friends and Old Death Whisper. Tammy Davis to talk about important matters affecting This year’s food selection will be broader Bellevue councilwoman its future. A booth, manned by Mayor Ned than in previous years, Johnston said. Vendors include The Smokey Bone, The Taco Fix, Sun Valley Burns, city employees and council members, will be set up Snowshave, Taqueria al Pastor, Idaho Funnel Cakes, Miski at Memorial Park to gather citizen input on where the city Chiri serving popsicles, the Sawtooth Brewery, Contreras is going and where it should focus its limited resources. family serving Mexican food and Purely Popped popcorn. Councilwoman Tammy Davis, who has been involved On Monday morning, Labor Day, locals and guests are on and off with the City Council since the early 2000s, invited to join in on the 10th annual 5k run to benefit the Bel- said she thought the idea would be a good opportunity to levue Fire Department’s Burn Out Fund, which supports engage with citizens on a deeper and more casual level local families who have experienced house fires, providing than at council meetings.

This year’s theme is ‘The Future of Bellevue’

“We’ve got a great community, a great city, but could it be better? It could always be better.”

Express photo by Roland Lane

Bellevue’s annual Labor Day Celebration will take place Sunday and Monday, centered around events at Memorial Park. The parade will take place on Monday at noon on Main Street, followed by food and live music at the park. “This is about gathering more community input,” she said. “Hopefully, we will be creating a more transparent means of communication.” The booth will also have information on upgrades completed by the city, as well as information on a new watermetering system that will begin next year. Residents will also be able to register to vote, if they have not done so already. A series of public meetings, town halls and a possible online survey will follow the Labor Day Celebration booth, all in the hope of making the city’s future brighter, and more in line with what community members want. “We’ve got a great community, a great city, but could it be better? It could always be better,” Davis said.



WA G O N D AY S 2 0 1 9

FRIDAY, AUG 30 Cowboy Poets: Bryan Dillworth, Orel Elser, Bruce "Loose Lip" Pinson, Coyote Joe Sartin and teenagers Colton Blankman and Thatch Elmer will all recite their work. It's some of the best cowboy poetry in the West! Ore Wagon Museum, 500 East Ave, Ketchum. 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Red Light Challenge: Live music in the lounge. No cover. The Limelight Hotel, 151 Main St. S., Ketchum. 6-9 p.m. Dusty Hayz & Friends: Live country, western, and all-time favorites. A Taste of Thai, Just south of Liberty Theatre, Hailey. 6:30-8:30 p.m. 208-7209895.

Meandering Musicians: Michaela French, Mark Mueller, Tom Lantry and many more will provide the soundtrack to the Wagon Days weekend, with live music all throughout town! Various locations around Ketchum. 12-6 p.m.

Barn Dance: It's not Wagon Days without dancing. Swing by for free live music by local favorites Old Death Whisper! Ore Wagon Museum, 500 East Ave, Ketchum. 7-9 p.m.

"In Good Faith" Exhibition Opening: Join for an opening reception for the new exhibit, "In Good Faith." Curated by Dr. Orlan Svingen, Professor of History at Washington State University (WSU) and his students, it is the story of the 1868 Virginia City Treaty between the United States Government and the Shoshone Tribe, which was never ratified by the government. The opening reception is free and open to the public. Come meet the curators, Dr. Orlan Svingen and Jared Chastain, and figures in the film, including Leo Arriwite. Regional History Museum, 180 First St. and Washington Ave., Ketchum. 4-530 p.m.

Palmer Anthony: Come enjoy some live music by Palmer Anthony and a full band. $5. Whiskey Jacques', Main Street, Ketchum. 9 p.m. Labor Weekend Live Music: Live Music Friday night with Nekkid Rednecks at 9:30 p.m., Karaoke Saturday night at 10 p.m. and DJ B-Rad Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. No cover charge! Silver Dollar Saloon, 101 S Main St, Bellevue. 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

Exhibition Opening Celebration: Celebrate the opening of "Marketplaces - From Open Air to Online." Five artist explore ways in which the last twenty-five years have seen a transformation in the way Americans buy and sell goods and services. How do we buy and sell not just goods, but pieces of the companies that provides those goods? Sun Valley Center for the Arts, 191 Fifth St. E., Ketchum. 5-7 p.m.

Papoose Club Annual Pancake Breakfast: The annual Pancake Breakfast is held in conjunction with the Wagon Days festivities and the parade will follow Saturdays breakfast. The Papoose Club will be back to fill your plates on Sunday with more eggs, sausage, fruit, juice and coffee! $10 or $7 senior/youth or free under 3. Ketchum Town Square, Corner of 4th Street East & East Avenue, Ketchum. 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Meandering Musicians: Michaela French, Mark Mueller, Tom Lantry and many more will provide the soundtrack to the Wagon Days weekend, with live music all throughout town! Various locations around Ketchum. 9 a.m.-12 p.m.


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Wihi'nite Cultural and Inter-tribal Dance Demonstration: Together with the mixed bands of Sheepeaters and Bannock, the Northern Shoshoni will demonstrate dance and drumming deeply rooted in the traditions of the west. Festival Meadows, Sun Valley. 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Big Hitch Parade: It's the main event! The largest non-motorized parade in the West will make its way down Sun Valley Road and Main Street, celebrating the Wood River Valley's pioneer past. 1 p.m. Street Party: Country musician Brandon Lay will light up Ketchum with a free concert following the Big Hitch Parade! Ketchum Town Square, Fourth St. and Leadville Ave., Ketchum. 2:30 p.m. Doublewide: Live music in the lounge. No cover. The Limelight Hotel, 151 Main St. S., Ketchum. 6-9 p.m. Blakadaar and The Hand: Live music with a double bill! $5. Whiskey Jacques', Main Street, Ketchum. 9 p.m. Elizabeth Cook: Enjoy live music. $25-$45. The Mint, 116 South Main St, Hailey. 9 p.m. 208-788-6468.



Grand Marshal Reception: Come by to meet and celebrate Wagon Days Grand Marshals Patsy and Kathy Wygle. Ketchum Town Square, Corner of 4th Street East & East Avenue, Ketchum. 5-7 p.m.

Joanne Wetherell

Children's Activities: Enjoy a great selection of games and activities for children of all ages! Fourth Street between Walnut and East Avenue, Ketchum. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gallery Walk: Galleries around Ketchum open their doors for a free evening of art and wine. Various galleries, Around town, Ketchum. 5-8 p.m.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Bellevue Labor Day Celebration: Join in the celebration! Live music, food vendors, family-friendly activities and more! Bellevue Memorial Park, Third Street between Cedar and Elm, Bellevue. Ketchum Antique & Art Show: Yearly Wagon Days Antique Show. More than 40 dealers selling the unique and collectible antiques from all over the Northwest. One more fantastic event going on during Wagon Days in Ketchum! Call 208-312-4900 or email Across from Ketchum Post Office. Papoose Club Annual Pancake Breakfast: The annual Pancake Breakfast is held in conjunction with the Wagon Days festivities. Fill your plates on

Sunday with more eggs, sausage, fruit, juice and coffee! For more information about the Papoose Club, to volunteer, or to make a tax-deductible contribution please visit our website. $10 or $7 senior/youth or free under 3. Ketchum Town Square, Corner of Fourth Street East & East Avenue, Ketchum. 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Off The Wagon Days Celebration: Join after the race for a grand ol' time! Free and open to the general public! Food trucks and vendor booths, live music on the main stage, in partnership with Sun Valley Records. Rock out to Graham Guest, High Mountain Herd, Michaela French and Friends, Jeffery Halford and the Healers. Festival Meadow, Sun Valley. 11 a.m.-6 p.m. off-the-wagon-days-party. Country Cookout: Sun Valley Opera presents a classic country cookout featuring live music by upand-coming star Brandon Lay! Don't miss out. $175. River Grove Ranch, Hailey. 530 p.m. Ryan Bingham: Acclaimed singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham is going to rock Sun Valley! Presented by RJK Entertainment and the Sun Valley Resort. The Social Animals to open. $35-$120. Sun Valley Pavilion, 300 Dollar Road, Sun Valley. 5:30 p.m. Travis McDaniel: Live music in the lounge. No cover. The Limelight Hotel, 151 Main St. S., Ketchum. 6-9 p.m. Mark Mueller: Live music on the deck. No cover charge. Lefty's, 231 Sixth St. E., Ketchum. 6-9 p.m. RJK Entertainment After Party: The Social Animals will light up the place following Ryan Bingham's concert at the Sun Valley Pavilion. $7. Whiskey Jacques', Main Street, Ketchum. 9 p.m.

MONDAY, SEP 02 Bellevue Labor Day Fun Runs: 5k and 10k runs. $25-$35 to register, depending on the length of the race. Bellevue Memorial Park, Bellevue. 9 a.m. Bellevue Labor Day Parade: Join in the celebration! Bellevue hosts its annual parade for the 95th Labor Day. Main Street, Bellevue. 12 p.m. Kevin Ware: Live music in the lounge. No cover. The Limelight Hotel, 151 Main St. S., Ketchum, 6-9 p.m.



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Charra Dancers: Come see some traditional Mexican Charra dancing in Festival Meadows, Sun Valley Road, Sun Valley. 10-10:30 a.m.




Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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