30 years of Gypsum Daze | VailDaily.com

30 years of Gypsum Daze

The event has grown from a small parade at the fire department into a happening community gathering

By Lauren Glendenning Brought to you by the Town of Gypsum

Gypsum Daze schedule of events, July 18-20
Tickets for Gypsum Daze will go on sale May 1st at http://www.gypsumdaze.com

Free Fishing for Kids @ Gypsum Ponds – 5 p.m.

Food and shopping Vendors @ Rec Center Parking Lot - All-Day
FREE Kids Playland @ Library Parking Lot – All-Day
Pickleball Tournament @ Cotton Ranch Courts – 8 a.m.
Youth Talent Show @ Lundgren Theater – 6 p.m.
Gypsum Daze Stampede @ Gypsum Rec Center Parking Lot Stage – 8 p.m.

Food and shopping Vendors @ Rec Center Parking Lot - All-Day
FREE Kids Playland @ Library Parking Lot – All-Day
Gypsum Fire Dept Pancake Breakfast @ Gypsum Rec Center Parking Lot – 7 a.m.
Gypsum Daze 5K Run/Walk @ Lundgren Blvd. – 8 a.m.
Parade @ Valley Road – 10 a.m.
Classic Car Show @ Lundgren Lawn – 11 a.m.
Free Shooting Sports BBQ @ Gypsum Rod & Gun Club – 12 p.m.
Jalapeno Eating Contest @ Food Court – 2:30 p.m.
Concert @ Lundgren Theater – The Lone Bellow at 7 p.m. & Scotty McCreery at 8:15pm

The rain was relentless the first year that Pam Schultz remembers organizing Gypsum Daze — it poured down so hard that the entire event turned into a sloppy mess, and all Schultz and other organizers could do was laugh.

“Guys were carrying their girlfriends over their shoulders. Oh my God, the mud was just horrid,” Schultz recalls. “The lightning was popping. We just laughed the entire time — that’s all we could do was laugh.”

Schultz, who has been on the Gypsum Town Council for more than 20 years now, had taken over organizing the event after envisioning making it bigger and better. Up until this time — it was the late 1980s — Gypsum Daze was a small parade at the fire department. There was a baseball game and a street dance at night, but Schultz knew the community could make it better.
So, after laughing off the unfortunate weather situation the first year, she hoped the second year would be smoother.

“Except the second year, the musician we had hired came to start his act and he was drunker than a skunk,” Schultz said. “He got up there to sing and he was foul-mouthed, so we said, ‘you’ve got to get out of here — we can’t have this.’”

So Schultz and the other community volunteers persisted on. They stayed focused on the vision to create a community event that could unite Gypsum, a town with so many wonderful community members but without a Main Street or centralized community gathering place. For this one weekend each year, Gypsum Daze becomes the town. It defines the town.

“From there, it just got bigger and better,” Schultz said. “People had more and more ideas for events and the community was willing to chip in to provide additional family-friendly activities for the weekend.”

Today’s Gypsum Daze
With nearly 30 years since the days when the event began its modern evolution, Gypsum Daze has become so much more than a small-town event for the community. It still embodies that spirit, but now it’s a destination for people from neighboring communities.

The Town’s population has nearly quadrupled since the first Gypsum Daze, said Assistant Town Manager Jim Hancock. New development has included a new town hall, a recreation center, a library, an outdoor sports complex, an outdoor theater, eight Pickleball courts, a Costco, three traffic signals and a roundabout — with another roundabout currently under construction — gun club expansions, the Dry Lake Motocross Track and the Gypsum Creek Golf Course.

And the talent this little town attracts for the Saturday night concerts is truly impressive. This year, Brooklyn-based The Lone Bellow is kicking off the concert followed by headliner Scotty McCreery, a country singer who won the 10th season of American Idol.

Talent in past years has included other well known acts such as The Charlie Daniels Band, LeAnn Rimes, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Thompson Square and Rodney Atkins, to name a few.

“The level of talent we bring in for Gypsum Daze is one of the main draws, especially for attendees from outside of Gypsum” said Taylor Slaugh, the Town of Gypsum’s Communications and Marketing manager. “But for the Gypsum Community, Gypsum Daze is like a big neighborhood party and a time to catch up with friends and neighbors. For this reason, it has always been something the Town Council has been a huge proponent of.”

Something for everyone
Most everything at Gypsum Daze is free, except for food that’s for-purchase from various vendors, and the concert tickets. This year, the concert pre-sale tickets ($20 for adult general admission, kids 12 & under are free) will will be available starting May 1, 2019 at http://www.gypsumdaze.com or at Ridley’s Market in Gypsum or at Gypsum Town Hall. Day of concert tickets from the Box Office will be $30.

One of the things Schultz is particularly proud of is how Gypsum Daze offers something for everyone. It was always a goal to make the event especially family-friendly, and thanks to things like the free fishing for kids at Gypsum Ponds, the Kids Playland and the Youth Talent Show, local kids have plenty of ways to enjoy the event with their families.
For anyone brave enough, the jalapeno-eating contest has become a big hit, with cash prizes for participants spanning all ages.

The Gypsum Creek Cruisers Car Show is open to all classic cars, pickups, off road vehicles, antiques, street rods, muscle cars, racers and toys. This event has become one of the crowd favorites every year, Schultz said.

Experience Gypsum
While the Town of Gypsum might not have a Main Street or a downtown area, the Town has been working on a master plan to help create more walkable paths and town parks all within a 10-minute walking radius.
A lot of the master plan focuses on improving some aesthetics around town. One goal is to improve Gypsum’s “front door,” the entrance to the Town from I-70, by attracting some new development there.

The town’s Master Plan is available for those interested in learning more at http://townofgypsum.com/town-master-plan

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