Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Gyro Days begin this week

Local Editor | June 11, 2024 1:00 AM

WALLACE –– This year marks the 82nd Lead Creek Derby – the hallmark attraction of Gyro Days.  

The event kicks off Wednesday afternoon club members will be live in Downtown Wallace generating excitement for the official commencement of the festival on Thursday – during the live event, viewers will get a chance to preview some of the attractions of the days ahead, including food, beverages, a few jokes and games, and even be a few Lead Creek Derby tickets will be available. 

Once Thursday hits, Downtown Wallace goes into full-tilt party mode.

A massive carnival takes over the streets, vendors set up shop on the sidewalks, and the smell of delicious food fills the streets.

While Thursday and Friday are exclusively Wallace-centric, Saturday is where the event moves upstream for a few hours (you never really know how long) for the Lead Creek Derby. 

“We’ve got the same great carnival again this year that we have enjoyed the last few years. 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,” Gyro Club President Hunter Gust said. 

Currently, businesses are still selling tickets, each assigned a hypothetical computer-generated time that it will take for the ball to reach Wallace. The ticket buyer with the time closest to the actual finish time wins the first-place prize.

The time it takes for the ball to get from Mullan to the finish line of Wallace’s Sixth Street Bridge can be anywhere from just a couple of hours, up to five hours and 36 minutes (the longest time in event history was 2015, when the final time was 5:36.54).

The honor of dropping the ball in the creek this year has been awarded to Bud Koski, long-time educator and coach in Mullan. Bud taught school for 38 years and coached for 43 more. More recently he has taken on a leadership role with the Pottsville 7, and their efforts to rehabilitate Pottsville Park.

Time has a funny way of changing things. During the original Lead Creek Derby, the funds raised from ticket sales and other parts of the event were used to buy cigarettes for the troops fighting in World War II. Now, the money raised from Gyro Days is used to fund college scholarships, youth activities, and civic endeavors.

Lead Creek Derby tickets are still available at local businesses and restaurants in Wallace.

The first prize in the derby is 50 one-ounce silver rounds, after that, 13 other cash prizes will be awarded, so locals are encouraged to purchase as many tickets as possible.

Gyro Days begins on Wednesday, June 12 – and the 82nd annual Lead Creek Derby begins on Saturday, June 15, at 12 p.m. in Mullan.