Fry 'em up at Heritage party

— Rocky Mountain oysters began their culinary history as a cowboy tradition that took place after the castration of calves and resurface today as a tourist novelty. They will appear this weekend as something in between.

The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association is hosting a Heritage Party and old-fashioned Oyster Fry on the Routt County Courthouse lawn from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Fourth of July Oyster Fry is a Steamboat tradition that started decades ago with private backyard parties at the Towler and Hogue homes.

The idea was adopted as a commercial venture, initially held yearly at the Steamboat Springs Community Center and later moved to the Fifth Street Cafe in the Good News Building, spilling out onto Fifth Street.

In the winter of 1994, the Good News Building exploded and that Fourth of July, for the first time in more than a decade, the Oyster Fry did not happen.

In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Cowboy Roundup Days, the chamber is bringing back the tradition.

For those who aren't interested in eating fried bull testicles, other barbecue-style food will be available.

"People are not required to eat (Rocky Mountain Oysters)," said Riley Polumbus, public communication director of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.

"We just thought this would be a fun thing to do to celebrate our heritage."

When they finish filling their stomachs, attendees will be entertained by a program of bands and cowboy poets.

The music starts at 4 p.m. with the Yampa Valley Boys, Humble Pickers and 3-Wire. Between bands, cowboy poets John Fisher, Tatsy Wilhelm and Bill and Cynthia May will read their work.

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