Johnstown hosts annual BBQ Day today
June 2, 2017
Johnstown BBQ Day
» 5-9 a.m. — Fireman’s breakfast, Johnstown Firehouse on Telep Avenue. Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for kids 12 and under.
» 10 a.m. — Parade, starting at the North 3rd Street and Telep Avenue, ending at South First Place.
» 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Family games, food booths and craft fair at Parish Park.
» 5-8 p.m. — Barbecue in the park, at the Parish Park main stage. $6 for a meal ticket.
» 9 p.m. — Fireworks at Roosevelt High School.
Johnstown's annual BBQ Day is today, an age-old tradition for this small town southwest of Greeley.
The annual event has taken on many different names throughout its history.
When it began in 1912, it was actually called Dairy Day, something concocted by local farmers to promote dairy in the region. Circus tents were erected to host cattle judging competitions, and farmers from across the state trekked to Johnstown with their families and livestock in tow to enjoy entertainment, food and talks from leaders in the dairy industry, according to the town's website.
Now, 105 years later, Johnstown continues the tradition by offering food, family entertainment and fireworks, all at a low cost.
Devin Davis, who is in his sixth year as chairman of the Johnstown BBQ Day Committee, said every year the celebration is growing.
"The event is getting so big that we've had to turn vendors away," he said.
The celebration maxed out this year at 80 vendors. Davis said he hopes this is enough to keep the estimated 10,000 attendees happy.
It all begins at 5 a.m. at the Johnstown Firehouse, where firemen will serve the annual Fireman's Breakfast of pancakes, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage and coffee. Breakfast lasts until the parade lineup at 9 a.m.
Davis said the parade, beginning at 10 a.m. at the corner of North 3rd Street and Telep Avenue, has over 80 entries. A special feature of the parade will be honoring military veterans.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., a multitude of family games will also take place in Parish Park. Davis said the human-sized hamster balls of years past are making a much-requested return.
Living up to its name, barbecue provided by Cafe Mexicali in Greeley will be served from 5-8 p.m. in Parish Park, accompanied by returning performers HomeSlice Band.
Roosevelt High School's play "Is There a Doctor in the House?" will begin at 7 p.m. and go until the start of the fireworks show, at 9 p.m.
"The fireworks this year is a little longer than last," Davis said.
Today promises to be a packed day for Johnstown, and despite all the work it takes to put it together, Davis said BBQ Day is one of his favorite days of the year.
"What a neat thing for the town to provide a celebration like this for Johnstown and the surrounding communities," he said.