Backyard Metropolis prepares to have a good time the town’s colourful historical past with annual Bootleggin’ Days


Backyard Metropolis could also be brief on miles, nevertheless it’s lengthy on historical past.

Backyard Metropolis was based within the late Thirties after voters in Greeley determined to make the town “dry” by prohibiting the sale, manufacturing and transportation of liquor. Greeley was so adamant about staying dry that the chief of police ordered the 2 liquor shops within the city to shut the next morning after the election.

With prohibition ended, some residents and enterprise house owners weren’t completely satisfied about Greeley voting to stay dry, so that they partnered collectively to determine a solution to create a “moist city” on Greeley’s southern edge.

The Shine Shop & Craft Spirits in Greeley has made a special limited edition of watermelon moonshine in honor of the 2022 Bootleggin' Days in Garden City. (Tamara Markard/Staff Reporter)
The Shine Store & Craft Spirits in Greeley has made a particular restricted version of watermelon moonshine in honor of the 2022 Bootleggin’ Days in Backyard Metropolis. (Tamara Markard/Employees Reporter)

The ten-acre space was then often called Ray’s Cottage Camp and was owned by Mrs. A.F. Ray and operated by herself and her husband.

On the time, rules said that with the intention to incorporate a city, a petition with a minimum of 30 signatures from residents and landowners needed to be filed with Weld County.

Serving to to fulfill the factors, the Rays offered cabins and much on her property to folks for as little as $100.

Regardless of assembly the factors, Backyard Metropolis’s incorporation was challenged and located to be invalid twice.

However as they are saying, third time’s a attraction and on Aug. 2, 1938, Backyard Metropolis turned integrated, providing folks of Greeley the chance to “go over the hill” to get pleasure from beer and spirits in a authorized method.

To honor the tenacity and dedication of the town’s founding residents and enterprise house owners, Backyard Metropolis might be internet hosting its annual Bootleggin’ Days on Friday via Saturday.

“It’s our solution to say thanks to each our personal group and the encompassing communities for one more yr of working collectively to make Backyard Metropolis an ideal place to dwell and do enterprise,” City Administrator Cheryl Campbell defined. “It’s a possibility to have a good time Backyard Metropolis’s colourful historical past and showcase a few of our enterprise companions.”

Garden City was incorporated as a "wet town" in 1938 after Greeley voters opted to keep the city dry after the end of prohibition. (Photo courtesy Garden City)
Backyard Metropolis was integrated as a “moist city” in 1938 after Greeley voters opted to maintain the town dry after the top of prohibition. (Picture courtesy Backyard Metropolis)

The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with a motorbike present, tattoo contest, dwell music and native distributors. Friday’s actions are geared towards adults age 21 and older.

On Saturday, the whole household is invited to return assist the town have a good time from 10 a.m. to eight p.m. with actions geared towards all ages.

“Annually brings a brand new twist to the celebration: 5 years in the past we added a Motorbike Present and final yr we added the Clarence Krieger Memorial Automotive Present, a tattoo contest, and a Moonshine vendor,” Campbell mentioned. “This yr now we have added the Vinnie Montez Comedy Present and the Youngsters’ Safari.”

The occasion will function a wide range of meals vans, breweries and retail distributors, as nicely.

The Shine Store & Craft Spirits in Greeley has whipped up a particular watermelon moonshine in honor of Backyard Metropolis’s bootlegging historical past. The restricted version bottles might be out there for buy on the occasion in addition to cocktails utilizing the particular spirit.

“Town requested us if we wouldn’t thoughts making them a watermelon moonshine and I mentioned it sounded enjoyable to me,” Shine Store proprietor and distiller David Pennington mentioned. “I hadn’t made a watermelon moonshine earlier than.”

Be part of Backyard Metropolis for its annual Bootleggin’ Days on Friday. (Greeley Tribune file photograph)

The particular watermelon mix is made with 100% watermelon puree, David mentioned. And the store pureed round 45 kilos of watermelon to make the specialty liquor.

“I mainly juiced the watermelon whereas he was doing this,” Donnielle Pennington, co-owner of the Shine Store mentioned, laughing.

The labels for the particular version bottles function the photograph of Backyard Metropolis’s founder A.F. Ray on the entrance and the town’s historical past on the again.

Garden City founder A.F. Ray. (Photo courtesy Garden City)
Backyard Metropolis founder A.F. Ray. (Picture courtesy Backyard Metropolis)

“He used to gap out watermelons and bootleg the liquor,” David mentioned. “He was an entrepreneur; that’s what we’d name him.”

The Shine Store may have round 100 bottles of the particular version watermelon moonshine on the market for $32 every at Bootleggin’ Days and as soon as the final bottle has offered “it’s gone.”

“Subsequent yr we’ll do it once more,” David added.

Parking for Bootleggin’ Days might be out there on eighth Avenue and twenty seventh Avenue south of Greeley Hat Works and on seventh Avenue and twenty seventh Avenue a Naranjo Civil Constructors.

Admission into the occasion is free. Whereas adults and youngsters are welcome to attend, organizers ask that canine be left at house because of the loud noises, crowd and scorching temperatures of the asphalt.

For extra data on the 2022 Bootleggin’ Days, go to


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