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Shoshone News Press – Local News, Wallace readies for 76th annual Lead Creek Derby

WALLACE — June 1942 things were a little different than now. FDR was President and America had just joined the War. However, one thing was the same; the Wallace Gyro Club was looking to raise funds to help others. Back then, they sent cigarettes to our troops overseas with the money raised from the first Lead Creek Derby. Now, in 2017, through proceeds from the 76th Lead Creek Derby, the Gyros are funding scholarships for local students headed to college, as well as furnishing support for other youth and community events. They do this by selling tickets during a four day celebration called Gyro Days which includes A Radio Day, a three day Carnival, and the World Famous Lead Creek Derby.

The festivities start Wednesday, June 14, when the Gyros take over programming on KWAL for a day in order to help sell tickets for the Lead Creek Derby. Mike Hull, Radio Day Co-Chairman, provides more information, “Radio Day continues to be a huge part of Gyro Days. We have a big barbecue at the station and people come by, eat, buy some tickets, and join the Gyros as they broadcast across the Valley. Gyros like Sano Haldi, Mike Dexter, Dr. Vester, Roger Chavez, Mike Lavigne, and many more will have different shows throughout the day.”

Thursday starts the Carnival on the streets of downtown Wallace. “We’ve got the same great carnival again this year that we had last year. It has proven to be a huge improvement over some that we had in the distant past. They’ll have rides and games and we encourage everyone to come to Wallace on Thursday or Friday night or all day and night on Saturday to enjoy the carnival,” commented Dustin Howell, Gyro President. The Carnival is located on 6th and Cedar Streets in Downtown Wallace.

Friday night provides added excitement as the Wallace Elks Drum & Bugle Corps will parade around town playing from their large repertoire of cheerful tunes.

Saturday starts the Lead Creek Derby as the ball drops at noon at the Last Chance Bridge in Mullan. The honor of dropping the ball in the creek this year is being given to one of our Canadian visitors who will be in town for the District VIII Gyro convention.

After the ball drops, people get on bikes, Jeeps, cars, trucks or skateboards and follow the ball to Wallace. The large ball floating down the creek is a unique sight to see for everyone. The crowd celebrates the entire way down the creek as the Gyros help make sure the ball doesn’t get hung up on trees or shrubs. Once in Wallace the large crowd, the carnival, the winners and all the associated festivities combine for a terrific time.

The Gyros are currently selling tickets that will each be assigned a computer generated time that it will take for the ball to reach Wallace. The buyer of the ticket with the assigned time that is closest to the actual time wins the first place prize. First prize is 50 one-ounce Silver Dollars that, this year for the first time, will be freshly minted with a unique Gyro insignia on the coins. There are 14 other cash prizes paid, so people are encouraged to purchase tickets at local merchants or restaurants in Wallace. The sale of these tickets is how the Gyros fund the scholarships and the various other youth activities every year, as well as provide financial support for the carnival.


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