Despite Rain, Wind And Cold Weather, 125th Celebration Was All Fun

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Intermittent rain did not keep attendees from having fun at the 125th's community picnic on Main Street Thursday evening.

The crisp breeze did not keep people from the parade Saturday morning.

Indeed, it seemed that all those who attended 125th events this past week had fun.

We, Payson Roundup employees, certainly got a kick out of walking in the parade. There were many smiling faces, as we walked the parade route, giving out candy and copies of our special 125th collector's edition. Along the way, Cynthia Espinosa held her puppy, Trina, and watched the parade with her friend, Kolby Campbell.

Jinx Pyle's first tale of the day was about his father Gene hunting a squirrel. It brought laughter from listeners.

Marty Stuckenberg told about her grandparents' journey from Missouri to settle Little Green Valley, just east of Payson. The wagon train took six long months to get here.

There are countless details to be taken care of to make an event successful.

We first saw 125th chair, Ginger Schoettinger, looking for the parade marshal. She was still working hard when we ran into her 10 hours later at the Zane Grey Mystery Theatre on Saturday.

Food and events manager, Gary Bedsworth, looked dapper in his maroon vest, as he chalked out lines for the cakewalk.

Down at the park, children were lined up to ride a model horse and try to rope the steer that shot out straight from under its legs.

Peaches, Razz and Pokadotz were among the APS clowns painting faces and making balloon animals for children.

Walking into the quilt show was a walk back in time that let us recall quilt patterns from our youth.

We thought it sad that the names of so many of the quilts' stitchers had been lost to time.

Although Eddie Armer intimated that cowboys don't play guitar until it is nighttime and they've had a few drinks, he, and the talented musicians who took the stage at the museum, made the park ring with music.

There seemed to be more adults than children mugging for the camera, behind the historic costume cutouts.

The actors of the Zane Grey Mystery Theatre gave unforgettable melodramatic performances. It was 53 degrees in the park when Saturday's performance ended, but the players showed absolute professionalism. We hope this heralds the return of community theater to Payson.

Anyone interested in horses missed a great time Sunday afternoon.

People could pet the classy marching Percherons of Bison Ranch. Marvel at the sleek lines of the Icelandic riding horses. Smile at the mutton-bustin' young 'uns.

From barrel racing and pole bending of the rodeo world to its counterpart, English dressage and jumping exhibits, people in the grandstands enjoyed the show.

We bet there were more than 100 volunteers who donated items and helped, but the main committee who put together the 125th (in no particular order) are:

Gary and Diane Bedsworth, Shirley McCoy, The Rev. Lowell Andrews, Tim Ehrhardt, Paul and Diane Sexton, Eddie Armer, Sandy Carson, John Stanton, Dave Swanson, Jinx and Jayne Pyle, Bob Edwards, Dean and Judy Baker and the town's Parks and Recreation staff, Kathleen Kelly and Jim West, the Payson Pilots Association, and the Payson Gila County Sheriff's Posse and "Kate and Sue."

We thank all who put together this event. It took a lot of hard work and planning, and it was a fun celebration.

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