Friday, June 10, 2016/lk
There’s a yearly reminder of just how deep local roots go.
The Alder Creek Picnic and Rodeo near Bickleton this weekend is the place to witness what true family-friendly activities look like.
The town that could more accurately be described as a village still generates a strong feeling of pioneer spirit and community pride.
The annual gathering of families, who can be seen loading their cars and pick-ups on Friday night, continues a tradition more than a century in the making.
It’s a day of visiting with neighbors, an old-fashioned picnic, speeches and games.
Bickleton was one of the first communities in the region to host a rodeo to give the young men in the community a chance to burn off some steam.
Situated deep back in the lodge pole pines, the park is the place to see in action how families mourn the loss of their members and celebrate the good cooking of local church women.
It’s a time to watch the children catch a ride on the town’s oldest recreational vehicle, a 1929 Herschel Spillman Carousel.
Even today it gives riders of all ages a certain thrill.
The carousel rides on fanciful horses happen just a short few yards from a wood-planked arena where cowboys from all over the region ride alongside the local horsemen for buckles, cash prizes and bragging rights.
The whole Alder Creek experience can seem too good to be true.
It’s like a scene out of an old Andy Griffith episode, but the rarefied clear mountain atmosphere bears experiencing.
It’s a short 36-mile drive to Bickleton’s Cleveland Park, a drive that boasts a bit of history from every turn in the road.
Take the children and be prepared to spend a few extra hours after the rodeo to enjoy a dance or two under the stars.
The town has kept its festivities much like their village — family orientated.
This weekend promises to be laid back and relaxed.
Bring your chair, and be prepared to sit and chat with everyone you never knew you wanted to know.
“It’s Bickleton’s way.”