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“F. C. Grable suggested that Fort Collins should have a celebration this fall, with a lamb barbecue as its chief feature. He referred to former barbecues of this kind, which proved so successful. Let us have a real, old-fashioned barbecue—call it lamb day or sugar day, he said. Other towns around us are doing such stunts, why can’t we? S. J. Reed moved that the president appoint a committee of five to consider Mr. Grable’s suggestion. The motion prevailed.” (The Weekly Courier, June 2, 1909)

“At the next meeting of the chamber of commerce, two weeks hence, the subject for discussion will be the fall festival, or lamb day, as it has been designated. H. A. Edmonds, chairman of the advertising committee of the chamber, reported at last night’s meeting, that the fair association did not deem it wise to have the celebration during fair week, for various reasons. The committee will give a detailed report at the next meeting, with an outline of the plan of celebration.” (The Weekly Courier, June 16, 1909)

““LAMB DAY” WILL BE NAME OF FORT COLLINS FESTIVAL [SPECIAL TO THE NEWS.] FORT COLLINS, Colo., June 28.-At a meeting of the chamber of commerce “Lamb day’’ was definitely decided on as the name for the fall festival to be given some time during October. In connection with a lamb barbeque, at which it is planned to serve 8,000 to 10.000 persons, there will be a sales carnival, the merchants agreeing to sell everything at a specified percentage below the regular prices on that day.” (The Rocky Mountain News (Daily), Volume 50, Number 180, June 29, 1909)

“SALES CARNIVAL IN CONNECTION WITH LAMB DAY Plan of Advertising Committee Heartily Approved By Chamber of Commerce at Noon Luncheon Today. COMMITTEE TO WORK OUT FINAL DETAILS
“(From Monday’s Daily)
“Lamb day has been definitely decided on as the name for the fall festival which is to be held here sometime about the 1st of October. This decision was reached at the chamber of commerce luncheon, at noon today in the Linden hotel, which was attended by about 70 representative citizens. H. A. Edmonds, chairman of the advertising committee, outlined his excellent plan for a sales carnival, in connection with the celebration, which is given in detail below. Frank Chaffee acted as toastmaster. Mr. Edmonds, who originated the plan for the sales carnival, gave the details as follows: Big barbecue dinner of lamb, free to all.
“All merchants to give a liberal discount on goods for the day and to keep their stores open.
“One street to be set apart for the barbecue, where tables can be placed the full length of the block, 400 feet on each side.
“All merchants to leave the stores at the dinner hour, with clerks and customers, to enjoy the barbecued dinner, the local people to assist in serving.
“Evening carnival entertainment on the down town streets.
“Tickets to be good for one fare for round trip, with a ten-day, instead of a one-day limit.
“He suggested a variety of meats— roast ox, lamb, pork, etc., with plum pudding for dessert.
“Bands should meet all trains.
“The date should be between October 15 and November 1st, as this will be the time when merchants stocks are complete and when the people have their crop money and are ready to purchase.
“Every visitor should be allowed to eat all he desires.
“A button to be worn on the coat lapel of everybody from now until the time of the carnival, advertising the event and the date.
“Small folders, also, to be printed at once, advertising the carnival.
“Call on the ladies of the city to help in preparing and serving the barbecue.
“J. G. Coy was called on and he expressed himself as decidedly in favor of the celebration. He suggested an earlier date, because of the liklihood of cold weather after the 15th.
“Jesse Harris, who was introduced as an old settler who helped build the Rocky Mountains, was the next speaker, he, too, favoring the suggestion of Mr . Edmonds.
“R. Y. Chedister spoke along the same lines, agreeing with everything said by Mr. Edmonds, suggesting, however, an earlier date. Sam H. Clammer also thought the date was a little late. J. V. Barker heartily favored the plan, especially commending the Idea of having it a down town celebration. He suggested a specific name for the day—not call it a sales carnival. W. H. Esworthy followed with a suggestion for an earlier date, that would not conflict with the beet harvest. J. E. Wilson said that the trade carnival should not be made a slaughter carnival; he favored giving it a distinctive name. Jesse R. Wood heartily favored the idea as advanced by Mr. Edmonds. T. L. Pate spoke along the same lines, offering his hearty, support.
“After a final vote settling on the name as lamb day, it was decided to leave the date and other details to the advertising committee for settlement.” (The Weekly Courier, June 30, 1909)

“ILLUMINATED AUTO PARADE SUGGESTED FOR CELEBRATION Dr, George B. Crissman Starts the Ball Rolling With a Splendid Idea—Offers Offices for Use As Rest Room. FINANCE COMMITTEE HAS BEEN APPOINTED
“Active work toward arranging the details of the big Lamb day festival to be given during the early fall, have begun. At a joint meeting of the advertising committee, with the directors of the chamber of commerce Tuesday, a finance committee was named as follows: B. F. Clark, A. L. Rohling and J. V. Barker. Other committees are to be named in the near future, to take charge of various features of the celebration.
“Suggestions of all kinds are being made for the day and the Courier desires to announce that any subscriber having anything to offer in that regard will find the columns of the paper open to brief communications on the subject of how the celebration can be made a success. This privilege is not extended for the purpose of affording opportunity for criticising and picking flaws, but for constructive suggestions that can be worked out by the committees, if it is found desirable. The following from Dr. George B. Crissman is along the line Indicated:
“Are we going to have Lamb day? Well, I should say so. And, what a day it will be! Even melon day at Rocky Ford will look sick beside it. To make this day what it should be, we need the hearty support of every citizen, whether he has lived here all his life, or recently come among us. There will be a feast that day which will equal the one the prodigal son had on his return to his father’s house and best of all, there will be an abundance for all without money and without price, for this will be a free day to all who are within our gates. As the entertainment, there will be something doing every minute of the day, as well as the evening, for all tickets will be good for ten days which will allow our guests to linger with us and to purchase abundantly out of our well filled stores.
“A suggestion as to part of the evening entertainment: I believe all auto owners and garages could be induced to join in our big illuminated automobile parade; that would be a big drawing card. A prize or prizes could be offered for the best decorated and illuminated auto, and outside cities should be allowed to compete. This will draw larger crowds and add very materially to the interest. My office, being so centrally located, is at the disposal of the committee, to be used as rest rooms for mothers with their children, or for any other purpose they see fit. The office is supplied with running hot and cold water and in addition to this, I will have ice water on tap, with plenty of chairs and couches to add to the comfort of those desiring to use the rooms. In fact, I will do all in my power to help make this event one long to be remembered. I am willing to be used in whatever capacity the committee in charge sees fit. Go and do likewise.
“GEORGE BEST CRISSMAN, D. D. S.” (The Weekly Courier, June 30, 1909)

“No Conflict Between Two Organizations—Chamber of Commerce to Aid in Making Fair a Success.
“(From Thursday’s Dally)
“That there will be no conflict between the fair association and the chamber of commerce over the Lamb day celebration, which is to be held some time during the fall, became evident yesterday afternoon, when members of the committee in charge held a conference with some of the officers of the fair association. To set at rest any talk of conflict or interference of one event with the other, resolutions were adopted which pledge mutual support of the fair association for the Lamb day proposition and of the chamber of commerce for the fair. J. V. Barker offered the following resolution at the conference yesterday afternoon, which was seconded by R. M. Ferguson: Resolved, That it is the sense of this meeting that it is to the best interests of Fort Collins and Larimer county, that the agricultural fair, to be held the last week of August, should have the active support of all our citizens, and the members of this meeting pledge to same their hearty support. Following this action the directors of the fair association held a meeting last night, at which a resolution was presented by J. L. Gray and seconded by H. I. Garbutt, as follows: “Whereas there appears to be some misunderstanding between the people of Fort Collins as to the relations existing between the fair association and the executive committee of the proposed Lamb day to be held in October; therefore, be it “Resolved, That the fair association do not feel that the proposed
“Lamb day will in any way interfere with a successful fair during the last week of August this year; that the people of Fort Collins and vicinity are assisting them in a very liberal manner, and that the small amount required for premiums will, not interfere in any way with the donations necessary to the successful carrying out of the program of the committee on Lamb day. And we hereby pledge ourselves, after having completed our arrangements to make the fair a success, to assist the Lamb day committee in every way possible. In their efforts to make Lamb day an event long to be remembered. The committee on premium list for the fair will have the list prepared by the first of next week and it will be immediately distributed. The purses this year will be larger than ever before and the premium list will be more extended, one new feature added being that of dry farm products. Efforts are also being made to put in a domestic science exhibit, if a building can be completed in time. Miss Rausch of the college, will be placed in charge of this department. It is planned not only to have the usual first class racing program and live stock show, but to make the agricultural exhibition bigger and better than ever.” (The Weekly Courier, July 7, 1909)

“”The advertising committee for the Lamb day festival has been appointed. It is composed of Jesse R. Wood, C. E. Daniels and H. A. Bromley. Secretary Potter and Chairman Edmonds of the general committee, are at work arranging a list of other committees, which will be ready for announcement in a day or two.” (The Weekly Courier, July 14, 1909)

… I got tired of including 1909 at this point and left off here. Moving on to 1910.

Prize Winners. (The Weekly Courier, December 8, 1909)


“Thursday, September 22d, has been chosen for the Lamb day celebration at the request of the directors of the fair association. The fair will be held from September 20th to the 23d. It is expected that the celebration this year will be on a much larger scale than last.” (The Weekly Courier, March 17, 1910)

“BETTER AND BIGGER LAMB DAY AFFAIR Committee Is Reappointed By Directors of the Chamber of Com-merce–Will Add $3,000 to the Fund.

From Thursday’s Daily The men who last year put Lamb day through to such a glorious finish, were yesterday afternoon reajppointed at a meeting of the directors of the chamber of commerce. There is in the treasury of the committee $935, to which they hope to add $3,000 to cover the expenses of a festival on a much larger scale than was attempted last year. One of the reasons for desiring a larger amount of money than was used last year, is the necessity for a large number of prizes. There will probably be prizes for the finest load of hay, the finest draft horses, one for the finest equipment from wagon down to harness on the horses, one for the finest lady’s driving horse, gentleman’s driving horse, and automobiles, competition for this latter prize not being restricted to local entrymen. Fully one thousand dollars will be spent on prizes. Another new thing will be an agricultural exhibit. This win be held in some street, where the traffic is not too great, the street being shut oft for the purpose. The following committee chairmen were appointed: Advertising, Jesse R. Wood; refreshments, F. L. Lower; construction and barbecue, Samuel Berman; finance, J. F. Vandewark; entertainment, S. H. Clammer, sports and street amusements, W. P. Hurley; parade, Capt. Humphrey; railroad, T. E. Giller; music, H. G. Petty; lamb feeders, Ben Preston; agricultural exhibit and lamb buying, Senator W. A. Drake; decorations, F. W. Carroll, H. A. Edmonds was reelected general chairman, and C. S. Potter, general secretary of the committee.” (The Weekly Courier, March 31, 1910)


There was such a bad downpour during this event that it was talked about for years afterwards. For example, “It will break like a Lamb day rainstorm.” (The Weekly Courier, September 29, 1916) This was said in relationship to how students would react with incredible noise and enthusiasm at a football game.)

…and again…

“The thousands of people who were in Fort Collins on Lamb day, Sept. 22, 1910, refer to that day as the time when a deluge took place here. They will have to cancel the record and give July 9, 1918, the top position. The Lamb day storm has a record of 1.4 inches of water while the storm last night was twice as heavy, the college figures being 2.82. ” (The Weekly Courier, July 12, 1918)

… ok, there’s lots more in there. But I’m jumping over to 1911 now.

(The Weekly Courier, September 15, 1910)


“Lamb day—just at present, when everyone is wishing for a good rainstorm, the remembrance of that memorable storm. is the occasion of many allusions to last Lamb day. It seems that it has just passed, but nevertheless in the course of the next two weeks Lamb day will be talked in earnest by the business men of the city. At the wind-up of the affairs last fall, Jesse R. Wood was named chairman of the committee for this year and he has not been idle. He has been working on the plan privately and expects soon to be actively engaged in shaping things for the big day–if Ft. Collins is to have one. The last is the question which will be taken up first of all and if the merchants decide to pledge their moral and financial support, Mr. Wood will proceed at once to get the proposition properly lined up.” (The Weekly Courier, June 16, 1911)


Was Lamb Day on June 14, 1912?


AT FORT COLLINS BARBECUE ON ANNUAL LAMB DAY. Roping and Air Flights will Be Features of Colorado Roundup and Stampede Celebration. Western Newspaper Union News Service. Fort Collins, Colo., Sept. 3. —Two hundred of the finest lambs in northern Colorado will be fed to Fort Collins visitors at the annual Lamb Day. According to the committee the famous Lamb Day of three years ago will pale into insignificance compared to this year’s celebration. Reservations have been made at the hotels by persons from all over Colorado and parts of Nebraska and Wyoming and private houses are arranging to help accommodate the visitors. A big oven will be built on one of the down-town streets, in which the lambs will be roasted and some of the best-known barbecue men in the country will prepare for the throngs who will hold a mammoth picnic on the streets of the city for four days. H. A. Edmunds is chairman of the committee in charge of the Lamb Day celebration and says there will bo enough roast lamb served the Fort Collins visitors Thursday to last them a year. Broncho busting, fancy riding, wild horse racing, steer roping, automobile races and an aeroplane, which does , the turkey trot and tango in mid-air, ! will be among the big features of the Round-up and Colorado Stampede, of September 5, 4, 5 and 6. Handsome i prizes have been offered for the several events and some of the best riders in Colorado and southern Wyoming promise to be among the entrants. Each night the local residents and visitors will be entertained with a carnival on the down-town streets. The ‘ City Council has grunted the free use of the streets to an amusement company and they promise a big entertainment. ” (The Walsenburg World, Volume XXV, Number 36, September 4, 1913)


It looks like Lamb Day was held in conjunction with the semicentennial celebration.

“Lamb Day To Be Big Feature. This day, July 2, will be called Lamb Day and at this time the committee has arranged to again hold a lamb barbecue which made the original Lamb Day so famous when it was held a few years ago. Five hundred fat, juicy, luscious, tender lambs, which have slowly roasted for twenty-four hours over a charcoal fire in big open-air brick ovens the while expert chefs passed up and down basting the meat and introducing the seasoning, will be served free to the visitors.” (The Weekly Courier, July 2, 1914)


“Lamb day is expected to bring in an unusually large crowd on Thursday, August 26.” (The Weekly Courier, August 13, 1915)

“At Fort Collins the city commissioners donated to the racing association the use of Prospect park during the last week in August, when the race meet will be held, and Lamb Day will be celebrated Aug. 26.” (The Fairplay Flume, August 20, 1915)



Why not have a lamb day celebration here late in September? Lamb day is distinctly a Fort Collins institution. Some mighty big times have been had in this city in the past years and there is no reason why a record-breaking crowd should not be brot here this year. The city will have its new paving completed the latter part of September and it has been suggested that there be a celebration as the paving is formally accepted by the city and as the new street lights are turned on. The decorate lighting system for the business district will be a credit to the northern part of the state and will attract much attention. The new street paving will be a decided asset to the city and marks an advance from the country town to the thriving little city.” (The Weekly Courier, September 1, 1916) – There’s more to this article.

There were a few other mentions in the paper that it may happen, but nothing confirming that it did. 

The last relevant mention I could find was in 1918 when a group a men that enjoying racing and BBQing said they’d be interested in taking on Lamb Day if it were to happen again.