Former rodeo rough-stock competitor Gary Gregg of John Day will ride as grand marshal of the ‘62 Days Parade, scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, in Canyon City.
Gregg will have his wife, Loleita, by his side as they ride in a stagecoach driven by Prairie City resident Del Raymond.
The June 7-8 festivities, organized by the Whiskey Gulch Gang and others, include a long list of old-fashioned fun, celebrating the discovery of gold in 1862 in Canyon City.
Gary Gregg enjoys promoting the Grant County Ranch and Rodeo Museum in John Day as a member of the nonprofit’s board of directors.
A saddle he won when he became the 1959 National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association saddle bronc champion in Casper, Wyoming, is on display at the museum.
He also competed in bareback and bull riding for Oregon Tech in Klamath Falls from 1958-59.
“I only had two years to go for it,” he said, noting that the college he attended was a two-year school. “I met a lot of good people through rodeo.”
Gregg and other volunteers introduce visitors to the museum to many of the rodeo cowboys and cowgirls of the past and present, with photos and memorabilia on display. Photos of ranchers and how ranching and haying was done in the past before tractors and four-wheelers were used line the foyer and hallway in the museum.
Gregg’s roots run deep in the county.
He was in high school when he moved to Kimberly in 1948, his dad working as a timber feller for the W4 Ranch.
Gregg served in the Navy from 1951-54 in a naval aviation patrol squadron.
The pine cone didn’t fall far from the ponderosa. When Gregg returned from military service, he became a truck owner and operator and spent 48 years hauling long logs.
He said he enjoyed being self employed and could haul for anyone.
Building old-time buggies was a hobby Gregg picked up about 30 years ago, and he has made several custom-made horse drawn vehicles, including meadowbrook carts, over the years.
Gregg has worked with the Blue Mountain Eagle for 10 years, distributing newspapers to area businesses.
He said he and his wife, who spent her early years in Dayville, enjoy living in Grant County. They moved away for short periods of time, but always found themselves returning to the place they call home.
“As far as the whole Northwest is concerned, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else,” he said.
The ‘62 Days Celebration kicks off Friday with music from Copper Ridge at Sels Brewery at 9 p.m. Sels opens at 4 p.m.
The People Mover will provide transportation every half hour in the paved area by the park. For more information, call 541-575-0329 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the parade, call Melissa Galbreath at 541-620-0898.
‘62 Days Celebration
• Sels Brewery opens at 4 p.m. with music from Copper Ridge at 9 p.m.
• Breakfast at Mabel’s Cafe at 7 a.m.
• Gold Rush Run and Walk, registration at 7 a.m., 5K starts at 8 a.m. in front of Sels.
• Parade at 11 a.m., with registration starting at 9:30 a.m. in the Humbolt Elementary School parking lot. Inland Street and Nugget Street bridges are closed off due to the spring flood. Portal or other streets to the north can be used.
• Activities after the parade — bed races, ice cream social and vendors at the park.
• Simulated gun fight and hanging re-enactment is scheduled for 2 p.m. outside Sels.
• Grant County Historical Museum will offer tours at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. with an Oliver Milk Wagon presentation at 10:30 a.m., American fiddle tunes at 2:30 p.m., a Cy Bingham enactment at 3 p.m. and an Annie Luce enactment at 3:15 p.m. For tour reservations, call 541-575-0362 or stop by the museum.