Dove Creek residents and hundreds of their relatives and friends from across the country marked Independence Day on Wednesday with the town’s 63rd annual Pick ’n’ Hoe celebration.
The celebration started at 9 a.m. with a parade and opening ceremony, but the big event was a pig chase in Weber Park at 2 p.m. The event was organized by Tabitha Henderson and Chelsea Garchar.
Garchar estimated that more than 3,000 people showed up for what has become one of the town’s longest traditions. She said she served at least 2,000 meals at the event.
“It is a tradition that has been going on for 63 years, and it is to not only celebrate Independence Day but to celebrate local farmers, miners and firefighters,” Garchar said.
Attendee Sheryl Davis said that the pig chase was the event that people really come for.
The annual pig chase was held in Weber Park within a circle of spectators. Only children participated this year because of safety concerns.
“It has been going on since the beginning, and we separate by size of pig and kid and separate boys and girls,” Garchar said. “It is an old farmer tradition.”
The pig chase began with small pigs for girls ages 5 to 7 and expanded to teenage boys with a medium-size pig.
The day ended with a 21-gun salute and a fireworks display put on by the Dove Creek Volunteer Fire Department.
“It is a nice way to get out and meet with each other and make new friends, and that is why we come,” said Takara Harrington.