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Mountain Echo Sports

Ron Mosher, Sports Editor

Unless otherwise stated, all photos are by Ron Mosher


From one busy weekend of Mountain Jubilee to another busy weekend of Burney Basin Days - there’s no rest for the wicked... or those just looking for a fun time. While the Mountain Jubilee at the Inter-Mountain Fairgrounds is a relatively new event, Burney Basin Days has been around for several generations - celebrating 60 years of providing family fun and memories.

The ‘Big’ parade is one of the most popular events, with people staking out their favorite viewing spots early.

Part of that popularity is due to the parade entries - especially the floats.

Burney’s own Donna Witherspoon is one of the people behind some of the most spectacular and ingenious floats over these some sixty celebrations.

In one of the earlier years of float building, Donna and her late husband Russ designed and built a float for the cub scouts. It was a gigantic castle that completely enclosed a vehicle and was extremely tall. When they group began moving this float extraordinaire to the parade staging area, they discovered that many of the overhead wires crossing streets were lower than the float.

No prob.

In order to move down the parade route, men walked alongside the float with long 2x4’s with cross bars attached to the top to lift the wires so the float could ‘float’ under them and complete the parade route.

Nothing stops a woman with a mission.

For the past several decades, Donna has been instrumental in preparing the Burney Lion’s Auxiliary floats - annual winners of most of the top parade prizes.

It’s people like Donna Witherspoon and others who’s creativity makes Burney Basin Days the success and fun-filled event that it’s been over all these years.

Another volunteer who has spent countless hours making the celebration better is Steven Luck and his family.

Steve grew up around Burney Basin Days, and enjoyed making memories as a youngster, and has chosen to give back to the community through his efforts to make the event better each year.

He is the driving force behind Burney Reunites, bringing back former residents to celebrate Burney Basin Days and their memories of living in the area. He and fellow volunteers will once again have a Burney Reunites Welcome Center that is well worth visiting. This year it will be located in the Lyon’s Pharmacy building on main street, and will include a walk down memory lane with artifacts from Burney’s past - yep, our own town museum. He’s also bringing back the logging show on Saturday - an event he took part in during his younger days when the celebration celebrated our logging heritage.

Another group of volunteers has been flipping flapjacks and cracking eggs for all 60 years of the celebration - the Burney Lions Club. This venerable organization has served up Chuckwagon breakfasts two mornings each year, and you can’t find a better breakfast anywhere. If you think it’s easy to whip up breakfast for 600-plus people outdoors... think again.

Another family that has given back to the community is that of the late Rex Vaughn. Rex and his wife Ruby (and now son, Rex, Jr) have loaned the Lions Club their front yard on what we affectionately call Christmas Tree Lane as the site of the Chuckwagon breakfasts. They’ve seen their lawn trampled by hundreds of hungry people over these many decades, and welcomed us all to their front yard.

Our local vet’s through the VFW is another group that’s given tirelessly to the celebration with their annual deep pit BBQ - something no one wants to miss.

The Burney/Fall River Rotary club is a relative newcomer to the celebration, but their tireless effort thrills us all with the annual fireworks.

Yes, it takes a village... and in this case an entire town to put on a celebration that we’ve come to enjoy for a lifetime.

So enjoy your weekend, and thanks guys!

FR Co-Ed Softball
Starts This Week
FALL RIVER MILLS - The Intermountain Co-Ed softball league began play yesterday (Monday) and eight teams will play at 6:30 and 7:45 every Monday and Wednesday at the Lion’s Park here.

Proceeds from the league will go to Intermountain Youth Sports & the Fall River Lions Club.

Egg On the Face at the Mountain Jubilee
Tawnee Nelson (left) and Amanda Groendal battle it out in Egg Roulette Saturday. Nelson finished as the champion.

Ol’ Merc Wins Mountain Jubilee Big Ball Softball Tournament
McARTHUR - The Ol’ Merc picked up the championship of the 1st annual Mountain Jubilee Big Ball Tournament here over the weekend, with Teo’s Trucking finishing second.

MVP nod’s went to Jolene Platko and JP Cochran.All-Tourney was awarded to Jeff Pevehouse, Stacy Gallion, Ben Torres, Waylon Nelson, Adrianne Bretao, Jeremy Decker, Amber Decker, Cody Smith, Steve McCloud and Nona McCloud.
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Mountain Jubilee Mud Run was a Sloppy Good Time
The 2-K Mud Run at the Mountain Jubilee Saturday was a huge success as runners of all ages slopped through the obstacle course.
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Channel Cats Rally for Trio of Victories at Eureka Tournament
EUREKA - The Channel Cats American Legion baseball squad travelled to the coast for the Eureka Tournament this past week, winning three while losing two.

“All in all we played very well on the weekend as a team,” summarized coach Jeremy Vanover, “we hit the ball well and played great defense.”

On Thursday, the C-Cats thumped Enterprise, 9-2, with Nick Rhodes slamming a double and triple to drive in five runs. Kellen Gerig went the distance on the mound, “and threw great,” said Vanover.

In game two, Nick Rhodes hurled all seven innings and was 2-for-3 at the plate, but it wasn’t enough, as the Humboldt 76ers eked out a 4-3 win.

“We were a little out of position on defense,” related the coach, “but the boys played well again, turning three double plays with Rhett Rhodes doing a great job at first base.”

In their third battle, the C-Cats faced Corning in the morning after a day off, “and we didn’t lay that well, losing,” stated Vanover. Thomas Markham was tagged for the loss, with Konnor Gerig wrapping it up.
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‘Night of the Raider’ Dinner Set for August 22
BURNEY - The Burney Booster club is proud to announce the 2015 Night of the Raiders football fundraising dinner, Saturday, August 22nd at the Gene Pisenti Field on the Burney high school campus.

The dinner will raise funds for the Burney Raider football program at the school.

The menu will include BBQ chicken, ribs and tri-tip along with beans, salad and dessert. Gates open at 6pm, with dinner served at 7 o’clock.

Tickets are $25 and available from any Burney Raider football player or at the school office.

The event is the idea of BHS senior Ray Guerrero as his senior project.

Besides dinner, a raffle will be held throughout the evening with prizes that include 49er tickets, Raiders Jersey, sports memorabilia, tool set cord of wood and more.

This is a chance to meet and greet the 2015 Raider football team and coaches. 

If you’d like to make a donation, make it payable to Burney Boosters. For more information call 335- 4576 or 335-2821.
Some Ideas to Beat the Heat
Summer has definitely arrived in the Intermountain Area, with triple digit temperatures forecast for most of this week. The most important thing to remember is to drink plenty of water during this period.

Despite the torrid temperatures, there are plenty of ways to find a little relief between attending events of the 60th annual Burney Basin Days Celebration set to start Thursday and continue through Sunday.

Here are some ideas for you...

Find water! There are a variety of places to cool off by submerging yourself in good old H20. Yes, we’re in the middle of a draught, but Lake Britton is beautifully full of the cool stuff, and whether you decide to plunge in for a swim, launch the family yacht or just paddle a kayak - it’s all available.

Both Burney and Bieber have community pools, and taking a dip in the pool is a great way to cool off... then again, so is running through you sprinkler on the front lawn (cooling off and watering the lawn at the same time - who says you can’t multi-task?)

Camping in the great outdoors is another way to get out of oven-like house. Setting up a tent under majestic pine trees or sleeping under the stars is another great summer idea.

Visiting our own spectacular McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, where a hike to the bottom of the falls will see the temperature drop significantly. Of course the hike back up to the top isn’t always a cool trip.
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Looking Back at 60 Years of Celebrating
It all began as the Golden Spike Celebration back in 1955, to commemorate the arrival of the railroad to the bustling town of Burney. The McCloud River Railroad steam locomotive arrived by ripping through a 2-story paper banner and the age of the railroad had come to the Intermountain Area. Later the celebration was re-named to Burney Basin Days and has continued off and on for some 60 years.

Not only has the celebration changed over these many years, but so has the town of Burney (as seen through these photo’s from 1959-60). Gone are many popular businesses... as well as the railroad. But through all of this the Burney Basin Days Celebration on the Fourth of July has prevailed.

The early celebrations included plenty of the activities still enjoyed today - kiddie parade, big parade, chuckwagon breakfasts, queen contest, fireworks, VFW Bar-B-Que and more.

However, over the decades, other events that were popular ‘back in the day’ have vanished and new ones have arrived.
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