Hounds for the Holidays – PMC Hosts Weekend in the Forest

I'm Getting Tired of Talking to your Knee

I’m Getting Tired of Talking to your Knee

Thirteen small dog entries and some larger pooches were entered in the first ‘Bark in the Park’ Pageant this past Saturday, December 6th,  at the Enchanted Forest in Lamar.  The smaller the dog, the fancier the costume for a lot of the entries, some as young as four months old, like Tonto Crum who needed an assist up the stage steps by his owner.

My Booties are Cuties says Tika Marie

My Booties are Cuties says Tika Marie

There was a predominance of poodles and Pomeranians, decked out in holiday tutus and frills, and Tika Marie, the dachshund, apparently got cold feet and required some high-stepping boots while on stage.  There were five entry levels from Tiny to an X large dog for the over 100 pound category.

Fancy Is as Fancy Does

Fancy Is as Fancy Does

Diana Woller organized and hosted the event which was presented by Wolves Den Events.  Each contestant received a participation award and prizes were awarded to the top three winners in each division and all dogs were eligible for the “Best of Show” category which was determined by the audience.

Tonto Captured the Crowd's Hearts & Reserved Grand Champion

Tonto Captured the Crowd’s Hearts & Reserved Grand Champion

In the tiny dog division, Tonto, Tika Marie and a miniature poodle, Finley, placed 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  Two boxers won first and second place in the small dog division, Athena, owned by Leonor Gamboa and Tasha with a second, owned by Alexander Rupp.  Dozer, a Shiba Inu, took first in the medium dog class, Red, a Yellow Lab won a first for large dog and the extra large dog, Bella, a Great Dane owned by George Kunkardt, took first and Lobo, a wolf-hybrid owned by Annie Hillman took second.

Bella Standing While Red Take a Sneak Peek

Bella Standing While Red Take a Sneak Peek

Bella also took the  grand champion honors while on the other extreme in size, Tonto, won reserved grand champion.

I'm Just 2 Cute 4 U!

I’m Just 2 Cute 4 U!

Prior to the pageant, the Enchanted Forest was open for visitors, hosted by Prowers Medical Center volunteers from 10am to 4pm.  Karen Bryant, Chief Operations Officer at the hospital, said there was a good turnout right at 10am, and she expected the visitors to increase again with the start of the dog show.  The Chamber of Commerce had asked for businesses and organizations to volunteer to keep the Forest open for visitors for the three Saturdays in December.  Bryant noted that unfortunately, vandals had gotten to the Christmas lights in the trees, cutting some wires and taking some of the extension cords, a problem which has been an almost annual occurrence according to Lamar Police Department reports.

I'll Meet You in the Barking Lot

I’ll Meet You in the Barking Lot

“We have the train in operation right now, and the hospital has a hospitality table set up through the day,” Bryant noted, as Santa’s train and cars made a pass through the middle of Silvey’s Mountain in the heart of the Forest.  The man-made structure was named in honor of former Lamar businessman Silvey DeLoach after its first year of operation for his continued support of Lamar and Chamber activities.

Some longer lived Lamar residents will recollect that the origins of the current forest were pre-dated by a  man-made pathway of hundreds of trees which were individually cut early in December each year by several Lamar residents and transported back from the lower front range mountains.  At that time, up until the early 1990s, the Lamar Chamber offices were closer to Main Street, adjacent to the Madonna of the Trail statue and only a dirt parking lot was used by the train depot.  Before that period, the steam engine still sat in back of the Lamar Municipal Complex, allowing for more space for the chamber parking area.

All the trees were laid out in a path for Santa’s train to follow and were anchored in place using polyurethane foam which glued the tree trunks to the ground.  All of the trees were decorated with lights, donated by volunteers, including one taller tree, which by tradition would be located right by Main Street, near the BNSF railroad tracks.  After the holidays, the City of Lamar street department would use a front end loader to scoop up and remove the trees once the lights had been taken down.  Following the Parade of Lights, the audience would walk up to the Forest to join in the countdown for Santa Claus to throw the switch, illuminating the Enchanted Forest and opening it to visitors for another holiday season.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: Chamber/Local BusinesscommunityEntertainmentEventsFeaturedFestivalLamarProwers CountyRecreationTourism


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