Duane Roach remembers his first Genesee Community Day celebration in 1960.“The meat was cooking in a great big hole in the ground,” Roach said.
Community members burnt wood in the hole all night long, and by 4 a.m. Saturday, they covered it with sand. By 3 p.m. that afternoon, they dug it out and had a barbecue feast, with potato salad and beans.
“Years and years ago in Genesee, it started with a horse show in the early 1900s and from there it just kind of evolved,” said Cathleen Blevins, Genesee Civic Association secretary.
Fifty-three years later, residents can still sniff out meat-charred flames at Genesee Community Day on Saturday and this year Roach’s family has been highlighted for its business’s historic ties to the city.
“Roach Construction is one of the oldest in our town,” Blevins said.
Duane’s father, Wayne, and his family moved to Genesee in 1915, according to historian Earl Bennett, who compiled a Community Day poster for this year’s festivities.
“Always handy with a wrench, as a young man, he built lots of innovative farm equipment and other machinery,” Bennett said. “Working for McCroskey Implement until 1944, (Wayne) honed his skills. That year, he went out on his own, specializing in farm equipment repair. In 1946, he purchased the east half of the Herman Building for his growing business named ‘The General Repair Shop.’”
Duane said he and his brother Jay bought the business from their parents in 1980 and rebranded General Repair as Roach Construction Co., which now specializes in drainage, tiling, terracing and heavy construction.
While Duane retired in 2004, the business is still owned by his 16-year-younger brother, Jay, as well as Duane’s son, Brad. Alan, another son, is an office manager.
Duane said the business still has the same family values today:
“Honesty and hard work,” he said. “Fairness to everybody.”
Other Community Day highlights include a quilt show, “kiddie” parade, main parade, 2- and 5-mile Cow Creek Run, eighth annual car show, trap shoot, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, horseshoe tournament and fireworks.
Registration for the parade is free, but other events may have fees. Belvins said registration can be done as late as Saturday morning.
A variety of vendors, food and music will run throughout the day near Main Street.
“It’s an all-day event starting at 6 a.m. in the morning and ending at 10:30 p.m. at night,” Blevins said. “Come for the fun and stay for the fireworks.”
Treffry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (208) 883-4640.
-If you go:
WHAT: 53rd Annual Genesee Community Day
WHEN: 6 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Downtown Genesee, main events centered on Main Street
COST: Free, unless you register to compete in certain events, tournaments or shows.