Border Days set for July 1-4
By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
Break out the cowboy boots, hats and Levis -- the 105th Annual Grangeville Border Days events are set to take place Friday through Monday, July 1 through 4.
With $13,800 in added money plus entry fees, the Border Days Rodeo will kick in its heels opening night, Friday, July 1, 7 p.m., with Family Night. Parents and their minor children get in for $25 and no alcohol seating is available.  Note that rodeo slack time is 1 p.m. with free admission.
Saturday, July 2, the rodeo will start at 6 p.m. Sunday, July 3, the rodeo also starts at 6 p.m. and will include a special “Pink Out the Stands” night to aid in cancer awareness. For everyone who wears pink to the rodeo, Grangeville Border Days will donate $1 to a local cancer fund.
Wild horse races will take place all three days of the rodeo with the fastest time throughout all three rodeos winning buckles and added money sponsored by Ray Holes Saddle Company.
After the rodeos July 2 and 3, a free concert with “The Hitmen” will be presented.
Admission prices: $10, age 12 and older, $5 under age 12, under 6 free.
The rodeo is sanctioned by Idaho Cowboys Association, Pro-West, and NPRA. Rodeo stock is provided by Gold Buckle Rodeo out of Roosevelt, Wash.
The annual raffle will offer a $1,000 first prize, $300 second prize (sponsored by Quality Heating) and $150 third prize (sponsored by LeAnne’s Flower and Garden Center). Tickets are $2 apiece and winners will be drawn at the July 3 rodeo.
2017 Border Days royalty tryouts were held June 28.  Winners will be announced at the July 3 rodeo. A visiting royalty luncheon will be held at the Eagles Hall on C Street following the July 4 parade (about noon). To RSVP call or text 983-8286.
Major rodeo sponsors include Gortsema Motors, Les Schwab Tire Center, Asker’s Harvest Foods, CHS Primeland, Grangeville Super 8 Motel and Buds PowerSports.
This year’s parades, with the theme of “Home Sweet Home,” will take place Friday and Saturday, July 2 and 3, at 2 p.m., and at 11 a.m. on Sunday, July 3.
This year’s grand marshal, Wayne James, will lead the parade along with Border Days Committee members and Queen Maggie Chmelik and Princess Hailey Russell.
To enter the parade, call Tanner Maynard at 451-1003.
The Kiddies Parade is set for Sunday, July 4, prior to the main parade with sign-up at the courthouse lawn.
Saturday night, July 2, following the rodeo, the country western band from Lewiston, Coltrain, will be entertaining the crowd.
Sunday, July 3, also following the rodeo, the country rock band Hitmen will perform.
Free admission is offered to all the above musical events.
The cowboy breakfast will be held July 2, 3 and 4, 6 to 11 a.m., at the Masonic Temple Lodge at Main and Hall streets. This is sponsored by Lodges No. 9 and 87, out of Mt. Idaho and Kooskia, respectively. This all-you-can eat breakfast features ham, pancakes and eggs as well as beverages.
Street sports, including the Super Egg Toss, are scheduled for July 2, 3 and 4, on Main Street, at 9 a.m. each day.
The Toy Scramble, sponsored by Grangeville Health and Rehab., will be held July 2, following Street Sports. Children age for 6 and younger will be given bags and then invited to scramble for a variety of toys, coins and candy.
Art in the Park will fill Pioneer Park Monday, July 4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact Jamie at Grangeville Centennial Library, 983-0951, for vendor information. Walking Tacos will be for sale from Trinity Lutheran Church parishioners starting at 10 a.m., and old-fashioned strawberry shortcake from the Methodist Church will be available starting at 11 a.m.
The annual Firecracker Fun Run is set for Saturday, July 2. Sign up at Main and State streets at 6:45a.m. The race starts at 7:45 a.m. Call Joanne at 507-0720.
The Hole in the Wall Art Show, sponsored by Central Idaho Art Association, is set for July 2 and 3, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at Ray Holes Mini Mall.
Bicentennial Historical Museum on College will provide a variety of historic displays and will be open July 2, 3 and 4, 1 to 5p.m.
The Camas Prairie Cruisers will offer a free car show Sunday, July 3, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., next to Pioneer (city) Park (Ray Powell’s home). All cars are welcome. Call Annelle at 983-2333.
A mini carnival will be held at Heritage Square throughout the week and will include a bouncy house, 25-foot slide and mechanical bull as well as other games, the Grangeville Volunteer Fire Department’s fish pond and a variety of food and merchandise vendors.
Fireworks will be held Monday, July 4, 10 p.m., at the Grangeville High School football field.
For details and to check schedules for any last-minute changes, go to

James is Border Days Grand Marshal
By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
Area rancher Wayne James will serve as the Border Days Grand Marshal 2016.
“I’m so honored – I never thought I’d be chosen for this,” James smiled from his 200-plus acre ranch on the outskirts of Grangeville. “But, to be honest, I do have the family history for it.”
James’ grandfather moved with his family from Missouri in 1910, settling on property adjacent to where James currently resides.
“My dad was about 6-years-old at that time,” James said.
That following year, the family attended a September 1911 Border Days event that a picture documents: on the back is written, “Taken at Border Days Sept ’11.”
“That’s how far my family goes back to Border Days,” James smiled. “The first one which probably just had a couple of horse races, some games and food.”
James and his family ranched in the area, and he still runs cattle on the family acreage.
“Between my father and me, we also actually had a continuous running hog operation for 63 years,” he said. 
James attended Columbus School on Cottonwood Creek, riding his horse to the one-room schoolhouse about two and one-half miles. He attended the through the eighth grade, and then he started at Grangeville High School.
He graduated from GHS in 1953 and it was then that his parents gave him a possession he treasures and uses to this day: a custom-made Ray Holes saddle. The leather tooling design may be worn, but the saddle shows signs of a life of hard work and love of being atop a horse.
In 1964, James met the love of his life, Sandra. The couple lived a full life together, married just short of 39 years, when she died in 2005.
“The best day of my life was when I held her hand and married her in Coeur d’Alene,” James smiled. “The worst day of my life was when I held her hand as she died.”
James plans to ride his 25-year-old Appaloosa, Toby, in the parades and has been riding Toby around the ranch to get him in shape.
“I’m looking forward to spending time with my friends and family during Border Days,” he smiled.

2016 Border Days Grand Marshal Wayne James with his horse Toby. Photo by Lorie Palmer.

Chmelik, Russell are Border Days Royalty
Border Days Queen 2016 Maggie Chmelik
‘Always my dream’ to be queen
By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
“This has definitely been an experience I never want to forget,” said Maggie Chmelik of Grangeville. “Yes, it’s a lot of work, but it teaches you not only responsibility, but also how to be organized.”
Chmelik has served as the 2016 Border Days Queen. She is the daughter of Joe and the late Julie Chmelik and will be a senior at Grangeville High School.
“I’ve had a blast and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Chmelik said. “The traveling, the shopping, scrapbooking – so many memories were made, even it was changing in less than two minutes in a little car or going through a wet and rainy parade or a freezing cold winter parade!”
Chmelik has two older sisters, Abigail, 20, and Jolene, 18, and one younger sister, Rachel – known as “Gus” by most people – who is 14. She is a member of the Fenn Livestock 4-H Club where she serves as secretary and has been a member of Triple Bar Drill Team for six years. She served one year as princess for Triple Bar. At school she has participated in track and field, HOSA and FFA.
“Being Border Days queen has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl,” Chmelik said. “I always admired the queen on her pretty horse, all dressed up, and I wanted to be that girl and I cannot believe I am now that girl.”
“I hope that other little girls look up to me the way I looked up to past royalty, and I hope those little girls have the chance to do this and represent Border Days one day,” she added.
Chmelik said she is actually a very shy person, “but once you get to know me, I’m not,” she said.
“Being royalty brought me out of my comfort zone and I’m so happy I was able to do it, especially for that reason,” she said.
Following graduation from high school next year, Chmelik plans to attend nursing school and become an RN. Currently, she is employed as a server at Hilltop Restaurant and Grangeville Country Club.
Chmelik is sponsored in part by Mountain View Dentistry, Irwin Drug, Super 8 Motel and a group of other supportive community individuals and businesses.
“I encourage all young girls to participate in royalty if they can because it is fun and teaches you a lot and also gives you the opportunity to represent something great – Grangeville’s Border Days Rodeo and events!” she said.
Chmelik’s favorite part of Border Days is the team roping event at the rodeo and her favorite Border Days food is a long dog.
Border Days Princess 2016 Hailey Russell
Going places, meeting new people have been highlights
“Being royalty has been a great experience because I have gotten to go to so many fun places and meet a lot of new girls,” said Hailey Russell.
Russell has served as the Border Days Princess this past year. She is the daughter of Valor and Lorie (Palmer) Russell and granddaughter of E. Arlene Palmer, all of Grangeville. She has two sisters: Elizabeth, 34, and Avery, 23.
“I encourage other girls to try out and be a part of the Border Days experience and represent their community – we need fresh young faces and it is such a great opportunity to meet people and be a spokesperson for Border Days,” she said.
Russell will be a junior at Grangeville High School this fall. At school she has participated in volleyball, basketball and track. She is a member of Idaho Drug Free Youth and BPA as well as Varsity Blue Select Choir and Tri-M Music Honor Society. She served as Kooskia Saddliers Queen in 2014.
A member of Rough Riders 4-H Club, she also participates in church, enjoys art, snowboarding, photography and occasionally works at the Snowcone Shack as well as pet sits, baby-sits and mows lawn. She has been in dance class for the past 11 years.
“Following high school I would like to attend Boise State University, but I am unsure yet of what I want to do for a career,” she said.
Russell is sponsored by Clearwater Saw Shop, Lindsley’s Home Furnishings, Rock-Right Drywall and Painting and many other community businesses and individuals.
“I would like to especially thank Joe Chmelik for the use of his horse, Weippe, this year,” Russell emphasized. “Thank you so much to Maggie and the Chmelik family for all their support throughout the entire year.”
Her favorite event at the rodeo is bull riding and her favorite Border Days food are funnel cakes.

The 2016 Border Days royalty are Queen Maggie Chmelik, left, and Princess Hailey Russell, right. Photo by  Shilo Bradley Photography.

Wren takes on roll of Border Days Royalty Advisor
By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
There’s now a feminine touch to the Border Days Committee.
Anna Wren stepped up last year as the royalty advisor.
“It was kind of random,” she said. “At first I was just interested in getting a play day set up at the arena, then I heard the committee could use a royalty advisor, so I called.”
That set in motion for Wren to take on the duties as chaperone. It is unclear the last time a chaperone was available for royalty, but records indicate it was still a practice in the late ‘90s.
Wren was born in the Silver Valley and raised and graduated from high school in Clarkston, Wash. She grew up riding horses all her life and served as Asotin Rodeo Royalty in 1999 and later chaperoned royalty in Asotin.
She attended nursing school and later met and married Brian Wren who grew up on the Camas Prairie. She now works at both St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood and St. Joes in Lewiston. She is still heavily involved in riding horses and carrying flags in various events such as the Lewiston Roundup.
“I really want to help grow this program and help it succeed,” she said. “Part of that was to participate in activities in the winter as well as the summer months.”
This included being instrumental in helping current royalty, queen Maggie Chmelik and princess Hailey Russell, involved in the winter events of the surrounding communities including White Bird, Cottonwood and Grangeville’s Christmas events.
“Of course the girls still participate in the regular parades and rodeos, but it’s so good to get them out in the public and represent Border Days during the off-months, too,” she said.
Wren stressed “more community involvement” as one of her goals and has been working around her own busy schedule to help make Border Days Royalty something young girls get excited about one day participating in.
The Wrens have three boys, ages 11, 9 and 7, and one daughter, 4.
“She is also a reason I want the program to be successful so hopefully one day she can participate,” Wren explained.
Anyone interested in trying out for royalty or who has questions can all Wren at 983-7892 and leave a message for her to return.

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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