T-Lazy-7 Ranch celebrates 80 years with Saturday hoedown
It was a party eight decades in the making.
With numbers estimated at well over 1,000 people, Aspen’s historic T-Lazy-7 Ranch celebrated its 80th year Saturday with an old fashioned “hoedown” on its property located up Maroon Creek Road, only a short drive from the Maroon Bells.
“It is so amazing,” said venue coordinator Julie Wiig as the party was getting underway Saturday afternoon. “It has been quite the trip to get here and I’m just so excited that it worked out and we had beautiful weather and everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and kicking up their heels.”
Beginning at 2 p.m. and lasting well into the night Saturday, the hoedown sought to bring together generations of former and current T-Lazy-7 Ranch employees, along with members of the community, to celebrate the ranch’s 80 years of existence. Wiig said employees from as far back as the 1960s were in town this weekend.
“It’s a very special thing this year,” Wiig said of the hoedown. “We talked about doing a 75th a few years ago and decided the ranch itself wasn’t quite ready. We needed a little bit more time to plan, to make it an amazing spot and space.”
Saturday’s festivities included all the traditional hoedown necessities, such as food, drinks, lawn games, a mechanical bull and plenty of dancing. A handful of different local bands played throughout the afternoon, with Whitewater Ramble taking over the main stage in the evening.
“We wanted the new generation of employees and staff and tenants to be able to hear those stories on how it all started, what it used to be like,” Wiig said. “In addition to that, just the appreciation for the community itself.”
The ranch’s roots go back to the early days of Aspen. T-Lazy-7 Ranch was established in 1938 by Lou and Had Deane. Had’s grandfather, Josiah Deane, was the first of the Deane family to make his way to Aspen when he came over Independence Pass in 1880.
The Deane family has been an Aspen fixture since. Rick Deane, along with his children Besha and Jesse, are the current stewards of the ranch.
The invite list for Saturday’s celebration grew fast, with more than 900 RSVPs to go with another few hundred of the local public who came. And with as many as six decades worth of T-Lazy-7 Ranch employees to tell stories of days gone by, it was a fitting way to honor the ranch’s long legacy in the valley.
“This is one of the places, one of those ranches, where once you’ve been here, it’s always home,” Wiig said. “It doesn’t matter how many years go by. It doesn’t matter how many years you are away from the valley. If you have lived or worked on this property, it becomes this great place in your heart.”
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