Gyro Days 2012 in Historic Wallace Idaho

At High Noon, Saturday, June 16, 2012, 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 71st Annual Mullan to Wallace Lead Creek Derby.

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2010 Gyro Days Photos and Winners
2011 Lead Creek Derby winners
Gyro Days 2012 in historic Wallace Idaho
    Gyro Days 2012 poster
  • 11 x 17"
  • 8 x 11"  
    click to open pdf posters in separate windows

Come see the 71st running of the Lead Creek Derby from Mullan to Wallace, June 18, 2011 As always, a huge crowd is expected to watch 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.

The First Prize this year is slightly different from previous years due to the current volitile silver market. The person whose computer-picked time is the closest to the Gyro Ball's crossing under the Sixth Street bridge in Wallace will win $1000 worth of silver coins.
    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.
new item     2012 Lead Creek Derby winners and photos

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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2011, 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.

The Gyro Club of Wallace is excited to host this 71st celebration of summer and community. For more information about this 100 year old "fraternity of friendship" and charitible organization, see


With the development and popularity of the paved Trail of the Coeur d'Alenes, the Gyros are trying to promote a family atmosphere by encouraging people to follow the speeder on their bikes, rather than in their Jeeps and pick-ups. We are billing this as a Family Fun Ride. Registration will be $25 and it will include a book of 10 tickets, commemorative T-shirt, food and drink during the ride. People may pick up their registration packets at the Wallace Inn on either Friday or Saturday morning.

Rick Shaffer

Lead Creek Derby route

Lead Creek Derby start
If you would like more information about Gyro Days 2012, 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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October 08, 2017
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January 02, 2018
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August 16, 2018
This GYRO DAYS page was last modified on May 31, 2018


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last update on Wednesday, June 27, 2012