Estimates have this year’s Chuckwagon Races attracting a record-setting crowd.
Final counts have not yet been made, but a representative estimated that this year’s attendance reached 25,000, surpassing the previous 20,000 number of attendees.
An informal survey of attendees had visitors in from throughout the country, most mounted on horseback. In previous years over 5,000 horses and mules were on hand, a number expected to rise, along with visitors, as final results are tallied.
Beginning Sunday evening and through Labor Day Monday a steady line of trucks pulling horse trailers were seen moving north and south on Highway 65 as visitors returned home.
Incidents were reportedly few at press time. One law enforcement officer said two men had been taken to jail in two separate instances when they were “too drunk to find their campsite.” Ambulance crews, on site for the event, reported low incidents. One exception was two juveniles who were racing their horses during a trail ride Friday night, and collided with a wagon. One was helicoptered out. The injuries were reported serious but not life-threatening.
More mud was in the camping area than what had been seen in recent years, as early-season rains came into the county in August. This did not appear to impact camping, however.