In the year 1939, under the enthusiastic leadership of Dr. F.H. Miller, Grand Valley set aside a day to honor the widows and widowers of Grand Valley, and with this idea in mind, on September 23, 1939 the community viewed the parade of floats, cowboys, cowgirls, and the widows and widowers who passed in review. Following the parade a game of baseball was staged between the honored guests, a rodeo in the afternoon, and in the evening a free show was given at the school house, followed by a free supper which had been solicited from the entire community. A wedding, complete with bridesmaids, ushers, flowers, etc…, had been the talk of the community for days and it almost took, if a certain woman hadn’t raised an objection at the psychological moment.
After this memorable event, it seemed to be the desire of most of the citizens to have a similar program the following fall, which was done, with another wedding as part of the evening program, but this time it was a Tom Thumb wedding, staged and directed by Mrs. Beatrice Underwood’s first and second grade pupils. Other numbers of the program, never to be forgotten, were the tight-rope walker, a Grand Valley Citizen whose early life was devoted to such stunts, and the lady who hadn’t forgotten how to use her spinning wheel in all the years it had reposed in her storage closet.
From this time on, Grand Valley has set aside one day for celebrating in some form. It wasn’t until September 1945 that the name was changed from “Widows and Widowers Roundup” to “Grand Valley Days.”
As we glance back through the years, we see the following changes: The first rodeo cost an adult 25 cents for admission, 10 cents for children, then in 1944, it was 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. In 1946 – 75 cents for adults, 25 cents for children. In ‘49 it was one dollar and this year it is $1.10.
The parade has always been a great event, with almost every community furnishing a float, always a large number of cowboys and cowgirls, children on decorated bicycles, clowns and pets, and everything it takes to make a good parade.
The street sports are becoming more popular every year. The rodeos are always good with a large number of local boys participating. The show, also with local talent is a drawing card from surrounding towns as well as our own community.
The dance always draws a big crowd to bring the close to our Grand Valley Day Celebration.