Dueling fire trucks

A highlight of the annual Hartsel Days celebration is the dueling fire trucks ... don’t forget to bring your umbrella. This year’s festival takes place Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug. 4., and is full of activities for everyone. (Photo by Lori Bennett/The Flume)

Want to participate in a true Colorado mountain town festival? Come to Hartsel Days, Saturday, Aug. 3 and Sunday, Aug 4.

This event is truly one of a kind and how many people can say they have watched a bed race, seen real live sled dogs race through town, and bet on a quarter-mile rubber duck race?

Music, vendors, a parade, auction, free breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday, lots of food, fun and a few quirky things such as a moving jail and cow plop bingo abound.

This year children’s activities, which includes those who are over 18, but young at heart, will feature the duck dip game, darts and balloons, ring toss, bean bag toss and money mountain. These are just a few of the activities.

If participating in the darts and balloons game, organizers ask that you please refrain from aiming towards former spouses.

Speaking of activities that may cause trouble, Hartsel Days features a mobile jail which is infamous for incarcerating both innocent and guilty people. If the jailer happens to be in a good mood or has received a proper bribe, the prisoner may have his Miranda rights read, the opportunity to plead his or her case, or be set free.

To document your fun or your release from jail, a photo booth will be available all weekend.

Saturday morning, Hartsel Days kicks off with a hearty breakfast of eggs, pancakes and sausage cooked and served by the Hartsel Fire Protection District Auxiliary. Breakfast will be served from 9 to 11 a.m. A donation to support the auxiliary is requested.

The auxiliary will also sponsor a flea market, games and a booth where visitors can make tie-dye T-shirts.

Have you ever wanted to meet a firefighter up close and personal? This is your chance. Firefighters from the HFPD will be available for you to meet and learn how to become a firefighter.

The firefighters also welcome questions. Popular questions include: 1. How many pounds does your firefighter uniform weigh? 2. How many people have you rescued? 3. Justin the firefighter often gets asked: Are you married?

Like music? The versatile and super-popular Colorado band, Split Window, will be playing from 1-5 p.m., Saturday. The Infused Gurus band will play Sunday, from 1-3 p.m.

Sled dog demonstrations and races by Snowrunners and Siberian huskies will be seen throughout the day Saturday.

Sunday begins with breakfast at 8 a.m., followed by Cowboy Church at 9:30 a.m.

The parade, featuring the famous dueling fire trucks and motorcycle Color Guard will begin at 11 a.m. Note: Many will be happy to learn that a car with no brakes declined to participate in the parade.

Then, the moment many have been waiting for ... the annual Buck-a-Duck Race. This race begins at 1 p.m., and depending on how fast the South Fork of the South Platte flows, the race will end anywhere from five to nine minutes later. Firefighters will don wetsuits and capture the winning rubber-duck and losing ducks with professional rubber-duck-catching nets.

Parking is free, although two local residents will provide preferred  two-hour parking with no security for just $300. Proceeds will go to purchases of Coors Banquet beer.

The Hartsel Community Library will also be hosting their annual book and bake sale. Bargains on sweets and books are big.

In addition to baked goods, popcorn, donuts and snow cones will be served around town.

Hungry for watermelon and a chance to win? Enter the watermelon eating contest.

Have you ever wanted to hear a story from Brother Ray, local resident who is so famous he no longer uses a last name? Just drop into the teepee and listen to a story.

South Park Cheer has also provided a Dunking Tank. You know what to do.

Vendors, including the popular wine jelly and massage therapist, will be on hand.

Restaurants, peach stands, gas station, coffee shop and the general store will all be open

For more information or to become a vendor, email HartselDays@gmail.com or call 719-838-2540.

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