GRANGEVILLE With a day earlier start to the rodeo, the annual Grangeville Border Days celebration gave participants more time to celebrate the July 4 holiday. Rodeo events ran July 1-3 with main festivities going July 2-4.
Border Days three days of egg tossing saw 4,290 participants for 2016, with July 4 being the biggest day for participation with more than 1,750 people throwing eggs to their family and friends.
This year’s top tossers are all from Grangeville.
Winners the first day, July 2, were familiar father-son team Craig and Lee Spencer.
“We’ve been doing this for probably 30 or 35 years,” the duo guessed. This is the third time they have won.
July 3 winners were friends and 2016 Grangeville High School graduates Cole Lindsley and Austin Parks.
“We’ve been partners for about 10 years,” Cole said. “But we’ve been doing the egg toss a lot longer than that.”
“And this is our first win,” smiled Parks.
On the third day, July 4, it was back to a family affair: Winners were Mike Key and his daughter, Chantel.
Chantel is the first female in Free Press memory to win the coveted egg toss trophy and money.
“My brother won once but this is our first time,” she smiled.
“We’ve been participating … forever!” Mike laughed.
A toss-off over the Border Days flags on Main Street by the Blue Fox on July 4 left Lindsley and Parks as the overall egg toss champions.
Following the rodeo, some residents enjoyed an opportunity to listen to music, do some dancing, and visit with friends while drinking a beer. Others, like Lindsay and Ben Pollan of Grangeville, were happy to socialize with other adults.
“We come out to get an evening away from the kids for a couple of hours,” Ben said.
Lindsay said they have grown up with Border Days and have been enjoying the concerts for almost 30 years. While the entertainment, Lewiston’s Coltrain this year, has been a staple for them, the Wild Horse Race is one event that is relatively new for this couple.
“This is my fourth time [participating],” he said. While he wasn’t able to saddle the horse Saturday night, he has managed that task in the past.
After a night of rodeo and entertainment, many sauntered over to the Masonic Lodge the next morning for a hearty breakfast.
Kate and Kimberly Seaver, both of Grangeville, were chatting about plans for their day Monday. Kimberly gave her mom a rundown list of items they would need for the day, including water balloons.
“I have a squirt gun,” said Kate, which elicited a high-five from her daughter.
“This provides a break for a busy weekend,” Kate said. “It’s a good breakfast.”
And while guests were filling their bellies, artists were setting up their booths in Pioneer Park. Everything from photography to woodworking, and jewelry to books was available for purchase.
Garrett Harris and his wife, Haley, were in town from Lewiston to check out the Art in the Park.
“Every year we come back,” Garrett said. “This is my first time back in three years. As a kid we did everything [at Border Days]. The year, we did the parade and [Art in the Park]. It’s always a good time coming back.”
“I just moved back, about two and a half weeks ago,” said Chrissy Johnson, 1997 GHS grad, who returned to Grangeville after having lived in Gresham, Ore.
Johnson was with her daughter, Presley, 7, at the mini carnival on Sunday, July 3. Border Days is a tradition for her, one that she’s passing on to Presley: “We come here every year,” she said.
“She’s never missed one since she’s been born,” Johnson said.
“It’s tradition; I grew up coming here every year,” said Jessica Schlader, and every year since she’s grown up. She enjoys Border Days and especially the rodeo: “I love the rodeo.”
On Sunday, July 3, she and her family – husband, Will, and their girls: Julia, almost 3, and Brynna, 1 – were taking a food break at Heritage Square.
“Julia is pretty excited about the rodeo,” Schlader said, “and the fish she won,” a gray goldfish she happily displayed.
For 40 years, Carl Edwards of Mt. Idaho has enjoyed the smiling people out and about during Border Days. On Sunday, he was seen after the parade showing off a photo, he said, “of a very good friend of mine – have you seen him?” Some of those he showed apparently got the joke and gave a chuckle, and some just smiled and went on their way.