Grand County historical benefit potluck serves up taste contest |

Grand County historical benefit potluck serves up taste contest

Courtesy photo

Residents and visitors have a chance to show their support for Grand County’s museums during the 34th Annual Grand County Historical Association mid-winter potluck dinner tonight.

The event, which starts at 5:30 p.m. and takes place at the Kremmling Extension Hall, promises to be a wonderful evening of fun, food and friends, with a little competition thrown in the mix ” and it’s all for a good cause.

Guests are encouraged not only to bring an item for the potluck (drinks provided), but to enter it into the 2nd Annual Taste Testing Contest. Judge for the second year in a row is event coordinator Karen Wischnack, new executive and managing director for the Heritage Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs. Food categories are: meat/main, salad, dessert and best overall; and a variety of gift certificates from vendors around the region are available to the contest and bingo winners, as well as for door prizes.

Wischnack, who’s worked for the museum for more than a decade, owned her own deli in Breckenridge for a little more than eight years, “Plus, I’m an old Oakie (from Oklahoma) who is used to big church potlucks,” she explained. “Oakies like to eat.”

The contest and Bingo games “make things fun for the family,” she said. “Everybody likes to bake something special and possibly win a prize and bragging rights, so why not?”

The Grand County Historical Association, which supports museums in the Kremmling, Hot Sulphur Springs and Fraser Valley areas, is a non-profit organization formed in 1974. Proceeds raised at this and a couple other small fundraisers go toward general operations at the museums and ensure that future generations get to enjoy exhibits showcasing the county’s rich history.

Its purpose is to preserve the history, historical artifacts, and historical buildings in Grand County, helping maintain three museum sites. The Pioneer Village Museum Complex in Hot Sulphur Springs is a contemporary museum that includes original railroad cars and railroad exhibits, as well as a historic enclosure featuring five original structures that interpret the history of the area.

Cozens Ranch and Stage Stop Museum (1874) in Fraser is one of the earliest stage stops in the county. The site includes staging and freighting history and features a replica stagecoach, several local history exhibits and an authentic interpretation of stagecoach travel in the 19th-century. Heritage Park in Kremmling includes the Restored McElroy Livery (originally built in 1903) and the Log Cabin Museum.

According to the non-profit bylaws, the association must have two meetings a year open to members so the founders made it into a dinner function regularly held in February on the west end of the county and on the east side in the fall.

As the county and the association lose their pioneers, membership is needed now more than ever to help preserve the county’s past. Members receive GCHA’s “Spoke” newsletter, calendar of events, free museum admission, guest passes and discounts at the history shops. Business members receive a free ad in the newsletter. All meetings are open to anyone (including non-members) and GCHA opens the floor for new ideas.

There is no admission charge except a dish for the potluck, and bingo cards may be purchased at a quarter apiece by those interested in participating in the game portion of the evening. Wischnack said if you can’t come for dinner, she’ll see you at bingo.

“It’s been a real treat for me having fun with everyone,” she said. “I’m a big tease so I dish it out. If everyone has a good time, they will come again and maybe even tell someone else about it.”

For directions or more information, call (970) 725-3939.

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