Monday, May 20, 2024

Tickets available for 2024 Lead Creek Derby

Staff Writer | May 14, 2024 1:00 AM

WALLACE — The annual Gyro Days festival is just a few weeks away, and the Wallace Gyro Club is selling tickets for the Lead Creek Derby fundraiser. The derby is the main event of the four-day festival.

The Gyro Ball is dropped into the South Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River at the Last Chance Bridge in Mullan. After the ball drops, people use their bikes, Jeeps, cars, trucks or skateboards to follow the ball to the finish line at Wallace’s Sixth Street Bridge.

In the weeks leading up to the derby, businesses will be selling tickets, each assigned a hypothetical time it will take for the ball to reach Wallace. The buyer of the ticket that is closest to the actual time wins the first-place prize.

“The large ball floating down the creek is a unique sight to see for everyone,” Gyro Mike Dexter said. “The crowd celebrates the entire way down the creek as the Gyros help make sure the ball does not get hung up on trees or shrubs.”

This year is the event's 82nd anniversary.

“In June 1942, things were a little different than now,” Dexter said. “FDR was president, and America had just joined the war. However, one thing was the same: The Wallace Gyro Club was looking to raise funds to help others. Back then, they sent cigarettes to our troops overseas with the money raised from the first Lead Creek Derby.”

Eighty-two years later, the funds will provide scholarships for students in the Wallace and Mullan school districts, as well as support other youth and community events.

Gyro Days is much more than just the Lead Creek Derby, though.

The festival always kicks off Wednesday when club members Chase Sanborn and Greg Bosen will host a Facebook Live event outside the Wallace Elks.

On Thursday evening, Cedar Street will fill with the bright lights of carnival rides.

“We’ve got the same great carnival again this year that we have had the last several 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 President Scott Leitch said.

On Friday night, while the carnival continues, the Wallace Elks Drum and Bugle Corps will parade through the city.

Lead Creek Derby tickets are 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.

Gyro Days begin June 12. The derby starts at noon June 15 in Mullan.