Gyro Days 2017 in Historic Wallace Idaho

Winners Predictions

Gyro Days 2017 in historic Wallace Idaho

At High Noon, Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Wallace Gyro Fraternal Organization will again drop a large, brightly colored leather ball into the South Fork of the Coeur d'Alene River to begin the 76th Annual Mullan to Wallace Lead Creek Derby.

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Come see the 76th running of the Lead Creek Derby from Mullan to Wallace, June 17, 2017

As always, a huge crowd watched the event that starts when the ball drops off a bridge just east of Mullan at 12:00 PM. The Wallace Gyro Club sells chances on the time it takes for the ball to make it's seven mile journey to the Sixth Street bridge in Wallace. The money raised through ticket sales and bike ride registration goes to the Gyro Scholarship Fund which awards scholarships to local high school students for college or vocational school.

Win $1000 worth of 0.999 fine silver rounds
The First Prize this year is FIFTY SILVER DOLLARS. The person whose computer-picked time is the closest to the Gyro Ball's crossing under the Sixth Street bridge in Wallace will win these coins worth ~$1000. As in the past, thirteen other prizes for varying amounts of cash will also be awarded.

  • 2nd - 6th wins $100
  • 7th - 11th wins $50
  • 12th - 14th wins $25
Tickets are $1 each. A book of ten is $10... but then you only have to write your name once.
A computer program randomly matches each ticket number with a unique and precise finishing time. A rough estimate of the race time might be seen to correlate with the maximum snow depth at the summit of Lookout Pass Ski Area during the previous ski season. However, the random amount of time spent rescuing the ball from obstacles always makes it a horse race. The fastest and slowest times are noted.
Derby 75 June 2016 4:17:42.00 2015/16 season 113"
Derby 74 June 2015 5:36:54.00 2014/15 season 78"
Derby 73 June 2014 4:21:58.50 2013/14 season 149"
Derby 72 June 2013 3:41:28.00 2012/13 season 139"
Derby 71 June 2012 2:56:48.10 2011/12 season 176"
Derby 70 June 2011 3:03:00.00 2010/11 season 192"
Derby 69 June 2010 4:54:13.00 2009/10 season 90"
Derby 68 June 2009 4:27:18.00 2008/09 season 144"
Derby 67 June 2008 3:09:24.00 2007/08 season 197"
Derby 66 June 2007 4:52:08.00 2006/07 season 163"
Derby 65 June 2006 3:44:44.00 2005/06 season 168"
Derby 64 June 2005 4:44:03.00 2004/05 season 85"
Derby 63 June 2004 3:49:54.00 2003/04 season 119"
Derby 62 June 2003 3:46:29.00 2002/03 season 130"
Derby 61 June 2002 1:59:44.00 2001/02 season 225"

As usual, Gyro Days begins on the Thursday before the Saturday Derby with the arrival of a Carnival in downtown Wallace! Last year's concessionaire returns with more rides for all ages and an expanded midway arcade. The Carnival starts at 4 PM on Thursday and at 11 AM on Friday and Saturday.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, is Gyro Radio Day on 620am KWAL from 11 AM to 6 PM. The Gyros will be great fun to listen to, or better still, drop by the station in Osburn, say hello, buy some Derby tickets and enjoy a free BBQ.

 
 

Lead Creek Derby route

Lead Creek Derby start
2010 Gyro Days Photos and Winners
 
2011 Lead Creek Derby winners
 
2012 Gyro Days Photos and Winners
 
2013 Gyro Days Winners
 
If you would like more information about Gyro Days 2017, or would like to purchase Lead Creek Derby tickets, please use this form to make your request.
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Cultural Issues
Greg Marsh
June 2004

Until recently, part of Saturday's fun, as the crowd followed the ball downstream, was the traditional, but NOT SANCTIONED, Hill Climb Daredevil Contest on the steep Morning District tailings, and the Mud Bog Races. This latter event was one of the strangest "sports" I have ever seen! Picture high powered rigs racing across a mud pit trying not to stall while making as big a mess as possible. Alcohol usually contributed to extracurricular events such as spectator mud wrestling. This spectacle was not for the faint-hearted... or forever, as it turned out.

Five years ago (1999), two stupid people in a jeep did the Hill Climb drunk and without seat belts. When they hurt themselves, they had the gall to sue the mining company on whose land they were playing. Since then, the mining company has quite rightly said "No Trespassing." This has had a calming effect on the festival, which may have grown a little too crazy after six decades of celebration. Also by 1999, it seemed as if people were coming to Wallace on Gyro Days to settle scores they didn't dare settle in their hometowns. Too many visitors were having prearranged fistfights in our streets; there was too much "Wild West" action even for Wallace. So we kept the festival, but worked to change its mood.

In bygone decades, Gyro Day meant a procession of families in carriages from Mullan to Wallace, stopping at a score of places as they chased the ball downstream for three to five hours. It was a kid oriented traveling picnic! In the last year (2003), the Rails-to-Trails project known as The Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes has been completed. The paved bike path runs from Mullan to Wallace, and then continues for another 66 miles through the Silver Valley and chain lakes region, along and then over Lake Coeur d'Alene to end in Plummer. I am hopeful that this development will greatly accelerate the trend in recent years for people to follow the Gyro ball on bikes rather than in cars. The Derby is becoming kid-friendly once again.

Lead Creek Derby 1994
This part never changes.
Daredevil Hill Climb 1994
This tradition had no seatbelt.
Mud Bog Race 1994
This tradition got too messy.
Party in the Street 1994
This tradition remains in effect... just stay cool and enjoy the summer!

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This GYRO DAYS page was last modified on July 14, 2017

 

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Wallace is at the center of a universe filled with mountain recreation and Old West history that you will want to visit more than once. Please tell me what you would like to see on this and other pages at my Historic Wallace Idaho webworks.
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