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The Trapper Time Warp

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New location brings record number of booths to Trapper Days

By Ben Wiebesiek

FORT LUPTON — Trapper Days commence this week with a new location for vendor booths, and a record level of participation.
    Mark Payler, the superintendent of the Weld Re-8 School district, said the Trapper Days Committee he’s worked with has done a great job bringing the event together for this year’s celebration.
    “It’s been a great committee,” Payler said. “Folks have really come together for this volunteer effort. People from the community have really responded. It’s been a group of a lot of veteran folks who have done this at some point in time.”
    He said the group first starting talking about plans for this year’s Trapper Days in January.

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    “And then, for about a monthly basis, the group has been meeting,” Payler said. “Then in August, they met several times. Everybody has taken on responsibility. Some folks are working on entertainment, some on the vendors, some on getting items for the auction,” Payler said. “Our hearts and souls are in Trapper Days.”
    A new location for the vendor booths has pulled in a record number of vendors: the count currently stands at 90 vendor booths.
    “Part of the excitement for the vendor booths is the fact that it’s returning after an absence to down town. For the past several years it’s been out at the Recreation Center,” Payler said. “It’s been a number of years. This is my 10th year, and during my very first year with the district, Trapper Days was down town. So it’s been about a decade since we actually had this event downtown.”
    Payler thought the idea of being able to go directly from the parade to vendor booths would give the event a natural flow.
    “Then with the entertainment down on the other side, down by Wholly Stromboli, I think people will see integrated approach, and I think there’s a lot of excitement about that,” Payler said. “That plus the idea that we’re trying to keep this family-oriented,” Payler said. “There will be some bands Friday night out at the Rec Center, so we’re not totally getting away from the tradition out there.”
    There will also be a beer and wine garden out at the Recreation Center for adults to enjoy.
    “We start up again early Saturday morning with the South Platte Valley traditional pancake breakfast leading into the parade, which leads into other events down town,” Payler said.
    Buses will be provided immediately following the parade. Visitors can park their car and take the bus to the events. Pick-up and drop-off locations are: Downtown Bank of Colorado, Recreation Center and the historical fort.
    “Obviously the historic fort is part of this celebration,” Payler said. “They have their trapper rendezvous out at the fort. For folks who want to stay part of the afternoon down town and then come back to the fort and partake in the activities there, the opportunity is there. In fact, if you ride the bus, your admission to the park will be free. If you choose to drive, they will charge $5 per car. So if you want free admission to the fort on Saturday, make sure you hop on one of the busses going around.”
    The schedule begins Thursday with the Yellow Ball Golf Tournament at Coyote Creek Golf Course at 222 Clubhouse Drive in Fort Lupton. The tournament benefits the Kelly Martinez Cancer Fund and the Fort Lupton Chamber of Commerce.
    The trapper rendezvous begins Friday, Sept. 6, featuring a mountain man encampment, traders’ row, flint and steel demonstrations, blacksmithing and a black powder shoot.
    The Recreation Center’s free entertainment lineup begins 8 p.m. Friday at 203 Harrison Ave.
    Saturday’s pancake breakfast begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at the newly-renovated Fire Station #1 at 1121 Denver Ave.
    “This is the one time that Fort Lupton does truly come together to celebrate our heritage, and to celebrate what true community is,” Payler said. “And I’m just hopeful people participate in this opportunity to make it a fun and exciting and safe weekend for everybody. Really, at the end of the day, it’s a group that came together for all the right reasons: for the city to celebrate our traditions and look forward to that bright future as well.”

Contact Ben Wiebesiek at
303-659-2522, ext. 205, or email bwiebesiek@metrowestnewspapers.com.