Bootleggin’ Days in Backyard Metropolis celebrates city’s colourful historical past with dwell music, watermelon moonshine and automobile present


As summer time rapidly involves an finish and communities throughout Weld County put together to host their annual fall harvest celebrations, the city of Backyard Metropolis kicked off its personal annual pageant on Friday night with Bootleggin’ Days.

GARDEN CITY, CO - AUGUST 27:Event attendees check out cars on display as part of the car show during the annual Bootleggin' Days event near City Hall in Garden City Aug. 27, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GARDEN CITY, CO – AUGUST 27:Occasion attendees try automobiles on show as a part of the automobile present throughout the annual Bootleggin’ Days occasion close to Metropolis Corridor in Backyard Metropolis Aug. 27, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Employees Photographer)

The annual occasion celebrates the colourful historical past of Backyard Metropolis and its founder, A.F. Ray.

Backyard Metropolis was based within the late Nineteen Thirties after voters in Greeley determined to make town “dry” by prohibiting the sale, manufacturing and transportation of liquor.

With prohibition ended, some residents and enterprise homeowners weren’t comfortable about Greeley voting to stay dry, so that they partnered along with landowners A.F. Ray and his spouse to determine a option to create a “moist city” on Greeley’s southern edge.

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

After assembly the necessities for incorporation, Backyard Metropolis formally turned its personal city on Aug. 2, 1938. The city provided folks in Greeley and the encircling areas a spot to have a drink and kick up their heels with out the danger of violating any legal guidelines.

In honor of Ray and his intelligent use of bored-out watermelons to smuggle liquor, The Shine Store and Craft Spirits distillery in Greeley whipped up a particular limited-edition watermelon moonshine for the occasion.

The distillery showcased its concoction to town throughout the occasion’s kickoff on Friday night.

“We had a very good turnout,” co-owner Donnielle Pennington mentioned. “Persons are liking the watermelon moonshine, and we offered fairly a little bit of it final night time.”

Whereas Friday’s festivities have been geared towards adults 21 and older, Saturday was all in regards to the household with a automobile present, group barbecue, dwell music, distributors, a comedy present and a youngsters zone.

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)

“This occasion brings everybody collectively, form of like Nationwide Night time Out,” Mayor Filbert Archuleta mentioned. “It’s a tribute to A.F. Ray and the bootlegging days.”

Through the years, Backyard Metropolis has continued to welcome companies and industries that neighboring cities are likely to frown upon, equivalent to marijuana dispensaries LivWell, Smokey’s 420 and Excessive Plainz Strains.

GARDEN CITY, CO - AUGUST 27:Event attendees check out vendor booths during the annual Bootleggin' Days event near City Hall in Garden City Aug. 27, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Staff Photographer)
GARDEN CITY, CO – AUGUST 27:Occasion attendees try vendor cubicles throughout the annual Bootleggin’ Days occasion close to Metropolis Corridor in Backyard Metropolis Aug. 27, 2022. (Alex McIntyre/Employees Photographer)

“After we allowed the marijuana, everyone appeared down on us once more,” Archuleta mentioned. “However you recognize, we’re a singular little city, and we do the stuff no person else likes to strive.”

The town has about 263 residents and a pair dozen companies, Archuleta mentioned.

“I prefer to consult with town like a household. All of us look out for one another,” he mentioned. “Through the years, we’ve gotten quite a lot of grants for the residents and the companies.”



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