Chicken chucking, cornhole tournamenting, lawn mower racing and an electric night parade could never be more perfectly combined with the dozens of other events that make up the famous Labor Day Celebration in Pioche.
Though the town is tiny in size, the celebration is always grand drawing large crowds of visitors for the entire weekend. This past weekend, Pioche hosted its 111th Annual Labor Day celebration with a theme of “Blame it all on My Roots,” which has been in planning since the beginning of the year.
Kristina Lloyd, chair of the Labor Day Committee, said the weekend went wonderfully, just as planned. With slightly fewer softball teams this year, the crowd was possibly smaller, but nonetheless the little town was booming with an overflow of visitors for the celebration. The softball tournament began Friday evening and there were eight teams this year. Danny Lloyd reported there were three different tournaments and Time 2 Mash from Las Vegas won the upper tournament, while the Outsiders from St. George won the lower, and the Frontier Grill from Roosevelt won the one-pitch tournament. He said the tournament is usually cutoff at ten teams, and they ended up with eight, which was still really good. The tournaments continued on through Sunday and kept the park very busy.
This was the second year for the ATV barrel racing, and it was a success again with over 25 participants. This was also the second year for the cornhole tournament, which continued to be a blast for many participants. The horseshoe tournament took place Saturday and Sunday and was popular as it is has been year after year. The singles horseshoe tournament winners were Gary Shifflett (Class A), Jerry Schafer (Class B), and Daniel DeBoe (Class C). The doubles winners were Bo Anders and Gary Shifflett (Class A) and Tanner Wilkin and Richard Simpson (Class B). The 10K on Monday had over 65 participants, a possible record, with Eric Olson the overall male winner with a time of 44:14 and Cydney Condie the overall female winner with a time of 53:39. The weekend always has two parades, one of which is a night parade where floats and parade entries are adorned with lights and special effects. This year the Mathews Family Farm won first place at the night parade, the Cathedral Gorge Inn won first place at the day parade and the Wood/Meyer Family won the parade grand champion with their Irish Dragon float.
The street dance, DJ’d by the LCHS Radio Club, was a blast as it always is as was the live music at the park (Headz or Tailz) prior to the phenomenal fireworks put on by Pioche Volunteer Fire Department. Alongside these larger events, were dozens of other events throughout the weekend such as the pet show, trap shoots, craft fair, fishing derby, mining events, and a western saloon show, only to name a few.
The park also had a multitude of food vendors and a few booths selling unique products. The weekend, needless to say, was extremely full of fun and different events to reach the interests of just about anyone, and the overall theme centered around the rich wild west history of Pioche, as it did in 2015, which continued to be a hit. The celebration is the work of many different people and entities, all of which put forth a lot of hard work and effort to ensure a successful and fun weekend.