Las Animas Memorial Weekend was buzzing with activity, with a couple of hundred or more visitors returning to attend class reunions, renew friendships, honor friends and family members by decorating their graves with flowers and flags.

Las Animas Memorial Weekend was buzzing with activity, with a couple of hundred or more visitors returning to attend class reunions, renew friendships, honor friends and family members by decorating their graves with flowers and flags.

Beginning Thursday, May 26, Boggsville offered hayrides and in conjunction with the P.E.O Chapter B, hosted the first cemetery tour, "Voices from the Passed." Despite the cold, rainy evening, more than 100 attended. Meanwhile at Bent's Fort Inn, a reception was in progress for early arrivals.

In town for reunions were 50 graduates from the Class of '66 celebrating 50 years, Class of '56, with 40 members celebrating 60 years, Class of '76 with 40 members. The Classes of '51, '54 and 55 also hosted reunion events.


Friday was filled with activities including decorating family graves, tours of local sites and gatherings.

In the evening, many classes presented separate events. The Class of '54 had dinner at the VFW, the Classes of '55 and '56 celebrated together, as they have for many years, with a dinner at the Presbyterian Parish Hall, and the Class of '67 had dinner at the Heritage Museum Grand Hall. The Class of '66 went all out to celebrate 50 years since graduation. Their event was at the golf course clubhouse, where members each received a large button with their senior photo and a memory book highlighting their lives since high school. Old 45 music records sprayed gold and embellished with musical notes hung from the ceiling, and songs from the '60s and trivia games kept the crowd entertained. Graduates came from Virginia to California and states in between.

On Saturday morning, the Class of '56 hosted an All-Class Coffee at the Heritage Museum Grand Hall. Down the street at the Methodist Church, the Class of '66 had a memorial service in honor of its 24 late graduates. Family members of the deceased were given white roses and balloons. The balloons were released into the sky at the conclusion of the service.

Reunion guests were given a guided tour in the afternoon of the restored County Courthouse which included a visit to the wrought iron fenced walk at the spire of the historic building with the magnificent views of Las Animas and the surrounding areas.

A graveside service was held for Robert Tigner, ('54) followed by a memorial service for James "Buff" Billings ('55) at the Presbyterian Church. A joint reception followed the services.

The annual All-Class Reunion Dinner began at 4:30 at the high school, honoring the Class of '66, hosted by the Class of '67. Steve Bourne generously provided beef, turkey, ham, potatoes and beans, for the traditional potluck buffet. Connie Harris and the Catholic Church Women donated dinner rolls. The event, coordinated by a group from the Class of '67 and headed by Larry and Linda Bourne, was attended by 400 graduates, spouses and friends. Howard Martin, ('37) was named the oldest graduate present, followed by Fontella Gardner, Forrestine O'Dell and Marjorie Richards, all from the Class of '39.

With many family members and friends in town, Donna Gardner Dodson and Kenneth Dodson hosted a celebration Sunday afternoon for their 50th wedding anniversary.

It was a busy fun-filled weekend of revisiting childhood memories, places and friends.