One of the Wood River Valley's best-known families, the Atkinsons, earned a special honor from the city of Ketchum on Monday. Coordinators of the city's annual Wagon Days celebration announced that members of the family will serve as the 2009 Wagon Days grand marshals.
Wagon Days is held each Labor Day weekend to celebrate Ketchum's history as a mining hub and frontier town.
"As Wagon Days celebrates its 51st anniversary, the Atkinson family will celebrate 53 years of tradition in the Wood River Valley," a city news release states.
Four generations of Atkinsons have lived and worked in the Wood River Valley. Chuck Atkinson founded Atkinsons' Market in Ketchum in 1956. His sons, Stan and Don, helped the grocery store flourish for years after. Today, the family business has three stores in the Wood River Valley, operated by Chip and Whit Atkinson, sons of Don Atkinson.
"Their commitment to the community is evident in the support that they offer to local charities," the news release states. "Perhaps one of their most notable contributions is Ketchum's Atkinson Park."
As grand marshals, they will be honored by the city and will ride in the annual Wagon Days Parade, one of the largest non-motorized parades in the nation.