MONTE VISTA— Another successful Ski Hi Stampede is in the books. This year’s 98th Stampede offered something fun for everyone.
Thursday’s concert got everything kicked off with around a 3,500 people flocking to the Ski-Hi stands. The double concert featured Walker Hayes and Randy Houser. Hayes opened the concert and sang some of his most popular songs for the crowds. His song “90s Country,” made its debut on Good Morning America and was one of the highlights of the concert.
Houser who’s racked up more than three consecutive number one hits finished out the concert and kept crowds swaying to the end. The concert finished with a bang as fireworks lit up the night’s sky.
Promptly after the concert ended, the first night of dancing began. People got on their dancing shoes and danced the night away to the music of Texwestus.
Friday morning started the first day of the Stampede parade, which ran again with even more entries on Saturday. The theme “Teachers are Super Heroes,” was well captured by the parade floats. Bands from Monte Vista schools showed school spirit and hard work as they marched the streets with their music. People from all over the Valley lined the streets of Monte Vista to observe this historic parade. There was close to a 1,000 people Saturday who came to watch the 100 entries parade up the streets. But the show-stopping moment of the parade Saturday was when a Monte Vista fireman proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the street under a stoplight. “We all held our breath as he was on one knee, until she shook her head yes. The crowd cheered!” Kandy Freeman, parade committee chairman said.
Every year there is a lot of work that goes into organizing the parade. “There’s a network of behind-the-scenes individuals who continue to support the parade as well year after year: the lady who sews the letters on the theme banner, the provider of the sound system, the announcer, the driver of the car carrying the parade marshals, and a long list of others who continue to provide help for each parade,” Freeman commented.
This year’s carnival provided lots of thrill and fun with over 47 attractions. The carnival started Wednesday with a canned food drive for the Monte Vista Food Bank. They saw record-breaking contributions that night as many people came to the carnival to help with the drive and have a good time.
Of course there was also the famous Ski-Hi Stampede rodeo bringing in around 6,000 folks over the course of three days. Boyd Polhamus, a nationally recognized rodeo announcer, kept crowds informed. Spectators got to watch classic events such as bull riding and entertaining events, like the calf dressing competitions. This year, teams of three or four people, had to try and put a pair of underwear on a calf. They also incorporated a costume contest with this event with a prize for the team with the best costumes.
With concerts, dances, rodeos, parades and more, there is a lot of work and organizing that goes into Stampede. Every year, volunteers and Stampede board members work tirelessly putting in long hours and nights to make these events possible. All year round they plan and do their best to keep the Stampede tradition alive. “It takes the cooperation of the entire town, inhabitants included, to put on an event of this magnitude,” Freeman relayed.
The local law enforcement also works hard every year to keep everyone at the events safe. They work extra shifts and stay vigilant so that everyone can have a fun and safe time.
The Ski-Hi Stampede rodeo is the oldest rodeo in the state of Colorado. It dates back to 1919 when the first Ski-Hi Stampede rodeo was held from Aug. 11-13. Old newspapers from the time reported that more than 10,000 people came to watch the local competitions. There has been a Stampede rodeo every year since then except for two years during World War II when no events were held. Today— nine decades later— thousands of people are still gathering at the Ski-Hi Stampede to participate in this famous event. With all the tradition behind it Stampede is big part of the city of Monte Vista and its history.
In two short years the 100th year of Stampede will be taking place; big plans are already in the works to celebrate!
Stampede Parade winners, “Super Heroes Teach:”
Senior division floats
Stampede Award- Monte Vista Kiwanis Club
Pride of the Valley- Rainbow’s End of Monte Vista
Judges Award- U.S. Tractor & Harvest
Bikes, walking, go-carts, three or four-wheelers and misc.
Sweepstake Award- The Polished Edge
Youth division floats
1st Place- Monte Vista Kids Connection
2nd Place- Colton’s Heroes
3rd Place- Sangre de Cristo Peaks 4-H Club
Honorable Mention- St. Peter’s Lutheran Church & School
Honorable Mention- Sargent School
Honorable Mention- Monte Vista School
Judges Award- Southern Colorado Computer Services
1st Place- SLV Antique Iron Club
2nd Place- Mosca Hooper Fire Department
Horse and rider
All Around Award- Blue Barn Farm, Sunka Ranch
1st Place- High Country Clysdales
2nd Place- Denton Insurance Agency
Juniors, 13-18 years old
1st Place- Garret Thomson
2nd Place- Savona Thomson
Juvenile: 1-12 years old
1st Place- Blue Barn Farm
2nd Place- Zoey Hall