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Hot da-! It's Pony Express Days

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'Tis an unreported fact ('til now) that participants in this year's Pony Express Days in McKinleyville must swear upon the worn old saddle of "the missing Pony Express rider" (a Mayo ancestor, we hear) the very same oath, with ever-so-slight variation, that the skinny little mail riders of yore had to swear: "While I am indulging in the Pony Express Days festivities, I agree not to use profane language, not to get drunk, not to gamble, not to treat animals cruelly and not to do anything else that is incompatible with the conduct of a gentleman (or lady or well-bred child)."

Sorry, kids, no f-bombs in the Bounce House, not even a "Whoa, da-" on the mechanical bull. 'Taint polite. Adults, same goes: You want to get cussy, then the McVille Chamber of Commerce's 43rd annual Pony Express Days, June 1 to 5, ain't fer you (OK, we made that up, but still ... be good, for old-time's sake.)

Here's the fun-down of the sorta-horsey festivities:

Wednesday June 1 -- Clam Chowder Cook-off in Pierson Park, 5:30 p.m. Taste the competing chows then buy a bowl of your favorite. Live music by the Pilot Rock Ramblers.

Thursday June 2 -- Fireman's Muster in Ray's Food Place parking lot, 5:30 p.m.

Friday June 3 -- Pony Express Days Dance at A&L Feed, 2308 Central Ave., 7 p.m. to midnight in the barn -- but don't let that stop you from dressing fancy, bolo ties, clean hats for the men. Live music by St. John & the Sinners. Barbecue by Ray's Food Place. No-host bar by Central Station. Admission $10, and it's a 21-plus event.

Saturday June 4 -- Parade down Central Avenue, 11 a.m., followed by the Pony Express Days Festival in Pierson Park (including a beer garden hosted by Six Rivers Brewery, with 20 kinds of beer from nine breweries; challenge your oath!).

Sunday June 5 -- The Gymkhana has been postponed until July 23-24 on account of the highly contagious, no-cure EHV-1 Virus, which is horse herpes, which is no laughing matter. Don't want our horses to catch it.

Damn! Oops.

Info: www.mckinleyvillechamber.com or 839-2449.

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