A busy, event-filled weekend is on tap for Lake City, kicking off with the revival of a historic Lake City tradition, dormant since 2004: Packer Days – a weekend of fun, survival and mystery meat. The band People Talkin’ featuring Patrice Palmer, Craig Palmer and Michelle Martin will perform at Packer Saloon and Cannibal Grill at 6 p.m. Friday, May 26.
High School Graduation will be held at Lake City Community School on Saturday, May 27, in the school courtyard (or the Armory, in case of bad weather) at 11 a.m.
School superintendent Dr. Leslie Nichols and members of Hinsdale School Board will preside, and the graduation will conclude with refreshments. The ceremonies will include musical selections by members of Lake City Stinger Band and commencement addresses delivered by each of the nine graduates — Christopher Scott Athey, Griffin Lee Boyce, Cara Lea Chambers, Kayla Michelle Chambers, Megan Hardt Levine, Jakob Michael Murphy, John Hatley Nichols IV, Ian James Scroggins and Margaret Elizabeth Stuntz.
Diplomas will be presented by Phil Virden as President of Hinsdale County School Board.
In addition to the nine Lake City Community School graduates receiving their diplomas on May 27, two homeschool students — Mariah McClung and Braeden Smith — are also graduating this month.
Saturday, May 27, James Bratcher will lead the “Pack your Bag” demonstration in Town Park at
3 p.m., teaching onlookers the essentials of emergency preparedness in the back country. Whether going out for a week, a weekend or just an afternoon, Bratcher will outline all the items outdoorsmen should have with them at all times.
Chillin’ Internet Coffee Shop and Cafe will have live music Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., featuring Jeff Heaton and an open mic night for anyone who wants to take the stage.
On Sunday, May 28, at 10:30 a.m., the Run For Your Life Survival 5k will take place. According to Lake City/Hinsdale County Chamber of Commerce Director Amy Frierson, 18 people are signed up for the race, and she can accept five more if any runners are still interested.
“The purpose of the race,” Frierson explains, “is to compete in teams of three to five people. There will be four checkpoints and at each one, an essential survival task will need to be completed before advancing to the next one.”
The tasks include building and properly extinguishing a campfire, constructing a shelter, splinting an injured team member and evacuating the injured person to the next checkpoint. Checkpoints will be located at 1) the parking lot by the ice wall, 2) Memorial Park waterfront area, 3) the parking lot across from Wee Care and 4) the Lake City/Hinsdale County Visitor’s Center.
Also Sunday, from 4:30 until 6:30 at the Armory, the race awards ceremony and Mystery Meat Cookoff will occur. Tickets are $5 for an all-you-can eat Cannibal Taster Ticket — tasters will try and guess the type of meat used in each dish and will vote for best dish overall. Friersen says eight dishes are registered to date, and interested parties can call the Chamber of Commerce at 970-944-2527 if they would like to register a dish. This event will include a cash bar.
Mountaineer Theatre will show The Legend of Alfred Packer Sunday evening at 7:30 p.m.
The movie was filmed near Fairplay in 1980, directed by Jim Roberson and produced by Mark Webb from a script by Burton Raffell. The “Alferd” spelling and pronunciation of his first name is not used in the film.
According to Mountaineer Theatre owner Phil Virden, one review he read stated “This film is unintentionally funny as it was so ineptly acted. The two actors that play the grotesque mountain men steal the show, while Packer is portrayed as a burley, half-crazed Civil War vet. Despite the bad acting, the locations and costumes are great.” Full review, page 12.
One anecdote from the film’s production was that it was filmed on weekends since the actors were from Denver and worked at “regular jobs” through the week. One time, they forgot Packer’s beard. They went to a local convenience store and bought a box of Brillo pads to put together a beard.
The Hinsdale County Museum will open to the public at 10 am, Saturday, May 27 and remain open through Monday, May 29, Memorial Day, displaying its extensive Alferd Packer exhibit.
Also, at the Museum as an added enticement, Lake City Jazz Band will perform near the Transportation Building at 2 pm.
A Memorial Day service will be held at Veterans’ Memorial park beginning at 10 a.m. on Monday.
The program for the service is expected to last approximately 30 minutes and will be emceed by County Commissioner Cindy Dozier. There will be a presentation of flags and a speech given by Lake City resident Robin Gowdy who served four years active duty and two years with Washington state national guard. His speech will address losing soldiers in combat.
Russ Brown will read a poem of his own composition entitled “Remember Them This Special Day.” WORLD is told the poem begins with “Remember them this day, for they will not be here. Only in our memory and mind we hold them dear.”
Dan File will give the invocation, and taps will be played on trumpet by Tara Hardy, Bob Matthews and Ken Matzick. Bill Goodwin will sing the National Anthem.
Josh Willis, of Honor Life Memorials, was in Lake City on Monday, May 22, inscribing new names on the Veterans’ Memorial tablet to be unveiled at the ceremony. Names on the tablet now include Forest Cadwell, Ralph Horton, Richard Cooper, Robert Lee Williams, Burton Smith, Shane Smith and C. Crandall Howard.