MONTE VISTA—The 96th Annual Ski-Hi Stampede wrapped up another successful weekend, drawing thousands of tourists to Monte Vista for music, parades rodeos and more. “Families, Farms and Friends” was the theme of this year’s events, a candid way to honor the area’s history and economy and look toward a prosperous future.
Old Dominion and Runaway June played a lighthearted concert to a packed crowd of about 4,000 country music fans Thursday night. Runaway June posted on social media about horseback riding near Monte Vista before the show, telling the crowd how much they enjoyed Colorado and closing with their hit song “Lipstick.” Old Dominion opened with their recent hit, “Snapback” and played several songs from their upcoming album “Happy Endings” mixed with their established hits like “Break Up with Him,” “Beer Can in a Truck Bed” and “Said Nobody.” Both bands expressed their appreciation for the lively, enthralled audience throughout Ski-Hi.
Friday’s parade marched through Monte Vista on schedule, lasting roughly 30 minutes and including many crowd favorites. Saturday’s parade nearly doubled in size and length, lasting just short of an hour. Despite the recent personnel change in the band program, the Monte Vista High School Marching Band made a gallant appearance in Friday’s parade and performed on the Saturday route twice, clearly one of the crowd’s favorite performances both days. Several other remarkable entries made the effort to fit the “Families, Farms and Friends” theme with all entries being well received. There was a great blend of community organizations and services like Kiwanis, the American Legion Riders, Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake, Rio Grande Hospital, SLV Health, La Llave Family Resource Center and many more, as well as individual businesses and other community organizations, like the Monte Vista Assembly of God Church that brought several different classic cars and modern sports cars. The Rio Grande County Democrats also brought gubernatorial hopeful Cary Kennedy and Attorney General candidate Joe Salazar to campaign. The parade organizers extend their thanks and appreciation to the VFW Color Guard, The Sand Dune Shriners, Sand Dunes 4-H Club Pooper Scoopers, Monte Vista Police Department and the Monte Vista Parks Employees for their continued support of the parade. The awards are listed below:
Senior Division Floats
Stampede Award-Monte Vista Kiwanis Club-Float with the most creative design
Pride of the Valley Award -La Llave Family Resource Center-The most unusual or unique
Sweepstakes Award-Monte Vista Cooperative-Best Adaptation of the theme
Judge’s Award-Sunflower Bank-Best small float
Bikes, Walking, Go-Carts, 4-Wheelers and Misc.
Sweepstakes Award-Torres Floral Design with walkers
Youth Division Floats
1st place-Sargent School District
2nd place-Rio Grande Savings & Loan (Monte Vista Volleyball)
3rd place-Beaver Creek Youth Camp
Judges Award-Southern Colorado Computer Services
1st place-SLV Antique Iron Club
2nd place-Brett & Kelly Deacon
Honorable Mention-Mosca-Hooper Fire Truck
Horse & Riders
All Around Award-Equine Specialties-Sunka Wakan Ranch
1st place-Unicorn & Cowpokes
1st place-Savona Thomson
1st place-Lilie Fleck
2nd place-Garrett Thomson
1st Place-Bucky Claunch Family & Maker Family
The Monte Vista Band Boosters Hamburger Fry was held on Friday and Saturday following the parade at the Sunflower Bank parking garage. T-shirts were available for purchase alongside the seven dollar tickets to a full burger meal including chips, drinks and dessert, another successful fundraiser to support the popular band program.
The amateur rodeo event took place on Friday afternoon, lasting about two hours. Although brief, the barrel racing, team roping and tie down roping was still full of excitement and featured competitors of all ages. The results of the amateur rodeo are listed below.
1st Ryan and Mitch Canty
2nd Clay and Samantha Corizine
3rd Ty and Brett Canty
4th Albert and Chase Francis
5th Albert Claunch and Andrea DeHerrera
6th Jodi Garcia and Carolyn Edwards
7th Scott and Tel Honeycutt
1st Jared Sinclair
2nd Ryan Canty
3rd Cord Crowther
4th Blake Denton
5th Albert Claunch
1st Sandy Southway
2nd Samantha Corizine
3rd Shirley Claunch
4th Karleigh Cooley
5th Trina Parnell
6th Helen Smith
7th Courtney Logan
8th Trudy Rheingans
Saturday morning saw the return of the Pancake Breakfast, this year put on by the Monte Vista Kids Connection. According to Kids Connection Director Anika Velasquez, the breakfast was fairly slow until 7 a.m. when they got a rush of about 30 people at once. Roughly 100 people ate at the breakfast, which included a tip jar contest between Kids Connection staff and a table with a variety of sweet toppings. “The new facility really helped,” Velasquez added, “It was great to see community members out and supporting the Kids Connection.” Keeping the community informed about what services Kids Connection offers was their primary motivation in allowing their members to eat for free, to bring in their parents and family members to see the full facility and all of the productive and positive possibilities for local children after school and in full days through the summer.
The Kids Connection thanks the following donors for their support. Their donations to the pancake breakfast made the event possible, the Roepke family, the Yanez family, the Valdez family, V&V True Value Hardware, the Andrews family, the Neuerburg family, the Vance family, Monte Vista Co-op, Mountain King Potatoes, Jim Poston,Cory Velasquez, the Bounds family, the Enderle family, Vern Maez, Heidi Velasquez and Chris Garcia and the Monte Vista Chamber of Commerce for their donation and for sending volunteers.
The Fourth Annual Steel Stampede Car Show was held at Chapman Park following the Saturday parade. The family-friendly event did not include as many vehicles as organizer Larry Garner would have hoped for due to the rainy weather, but about three dozen vehicles of all different eras, makes and models were present, from a 1916 Model T to a modern Dodge Viper and everything in between, including trucks, motorcycles, low riders, imports and innovators of the modern street scene. This year included two live bands, Blue Sky playing first, performing a mix of classic rock hits and Teknicolor wrapping up the afternoon with their own, harder original music. Steel Stampede also included an auction for vehicle-themed art and memorabilia, lots of door prizes both car-themed and donated from local businesses, and an array of vendors. A pinewood gravity derby track was another popular feature for the children in attendance. As always, the non-traditional awards were a big draw for gearheads, including trophies made from relevant car parts for “Best Gasser,” “Best Exhaust,” “One Low Mofo,” “Top Club,” “Show Stopper” and more.
Garner would like to thank “Bob Phillips, Daniel Avila and Avila DJ Services, Lightshine Music, Wayne Pacheco/Widowmaker Apparel, all the folks who donated door prizes, our awesome sponsors, and the many volunteers who made the show possible. A big thanks to all the artists who contributed artwork to the art auction for making the event successful.” The full list of awards is below:
Top Club - Street Knights
Rockin’ Less than 4 Wheels - Michael Golden
Outlaw Derby - Ren Johnson
Gravity Derby, small cars - Joe Esquibel
Show Stopper - Frank Veliz
One Low Mofo - Mark Areano
Best Gasser - Tyler Magness
Best Exhaust - Karl Kloeppel
A Little of This, a Little of That - Edward Goolwin
Twisted - Kyle Black
Heavy Duty - Trace Larson
In addition to the Wright’s Amusements Carnival, which persevered even through the weather occasionally stopping it, the dances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday night in the multi-purpose room at Ski-Hi were also packed. Dancers of all ages and skill levels enjoyed The High Rollers performances, kept secure by a private security firm in addition to MVPD and RGSO.