More kids activities planned for Sportsman’s Holiday

Organizers of this year’s Sportsman’s Holiday celebration say they’re tired of watching the festival diminish from what it was years ago.

So they’ve set out to get it back on track.

“Anything we can dream up we will bring in because we are sick and tired of people coming, getting in their cars and leaving, and not spending any time in our little town,” said Patti Wood, a Chamber of Commerce board member, who is one of the organizers. Others are volunteer Leita Seiber-Bar and board member Billie Weber, who have stepped in after chamber Director Carlene Erickson had to resign last month due to health reasons.

The festivities this year begin with the Coronation Dinner Thursday evening, July 10, at which the Sportsman’s Holiday Queen will be selected.

Activities Friday begin at 3 p.m. with a Kiddies Parade on Long Street, starting at the parking lot behind Les Schwab Tires and traveling to the parking lot behind the Rio Theater. Registration for parade participants is being accepted at the Chamber of Commerce. For more information or entry forms, contact Billie Bjornsen at 367-5512 or 409-2186. Entries cost $2. No motorized vehicles or large animals are permitted in the parade, Bjornsen said.

Following the parade, a stick pony rodeo is planned for the Evangelical Church parking lot from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., featuring three age groups: 2-3, 4-5 and 6 years old.

“It will be more like a play day,” Bjornsen said. “It won’t just be barrels. We’ll be doing four events.”

Cost is $1 per event. Prizes for first through third place will be awarded, along with participation ribbons.

The Sweet Home NPRA Rodeo opens Friday with a 7 p.m. performance at the Rodeo Grounds, 4100 Long St., and will continue on Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.. Cost is $10 for adults, $8 for children and seniors.

The rodeo will continue promoting “Tough Enough to Wear Pink” on Sunday Sportsman’s Holiday weekend.

The rodeo is donating cash from ticket sales on Sunday to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Sweet Home Economic Development Group board member Kellie Kem wanted to remind people to show their support by wearing pink on Sunday at the rodeo.

Kem is the board’s liaison to the Rodeo Committee and a former member of the Rodeo Committee.

“Even the toughest cowboys wear pink,” she said.

Tough Enough to Wear Pink is meant to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research, Kem said.

The Sweet Home Rodeo started supporting the campaign in honor of Susan Fitzsimons, a rodeo supporter and volunteer who was a cancer victim, Kem said. “She inspired us to have a little bit more to do with that. She’s inspired us to remember the survivors.”

On Saturday morning, things kick off at 10 a.m. with the third annual Sportsman’s Holiday Mile race, which starts and finishes on Long Street in front of Sweet Home High School. Race day registration is $10 per person, with discounts for youngsters under 18 running with a participating parent. All runners and walkers are eligible to win prizes donated by local sponsoring businesses. The race course follows the parade route down Main Street.

The Grand Parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Entries are still being registered at the Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve mailed a zillion of them (entries) out,” Woods said.

Following the parade, a Kids Carnival will be held in the parking lot between the Rio Theater and Lorene’s Restaurant till 3 p.m., Woods said. She said the event will include a dunk tank, games and food for children.

She said chamber representatives are encouraging merchants to conduct sidewalk sales during and following the parade to help residents and visitors become more familiar with local businesses.

The Working Loggers Olympics will start at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

On Saturday night, the annual Fireworks Display, put on by the Sweet Home Volunteer Firefighters Association, will be held at dusk at Foster Dam.