More than 180 quilts honoring the 100th anniversary year of the National Park Service are drawing visitors from as far away as Brithish Columbia and California.
An hour after opening early Friday afternoon, folks from Summerland, B.C. told us they made the trip just to see the quilts. At that point 95 people had already visited the exhibit of what several there described as amazing and stunning quilted works, which depict aspects of national parks, many using techniques that provide a three-dimensional effect that just won’t translate in photos. Check out our guide to this weekend’s events for more on the quilts, including times and a map to the exhibit
This weekend is for kids, cowboys and classic car lovers.
Saturday is the 12th annual Koulee Kids Fest, offering a whole range of activities. The chamber of commerce-organized event features, among other things, two performances by the Wenatchee Youth Circus.
Those performances will be at 2 and 6 p.m ., at the Lake Roosevelt football stadium.
The youth circus is sponsored by the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union as part of its 75th year celebration. Admission is free and is open to the public.
Also this weekend, on Friday night, the Ridge Riders are sponsoring the Fifth Annual Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Ride at the Rodeo Grounds. That event begins at 7 p.m ., and features a $2,500 added purse for bull riders.
The evening also features a wild horse race and mini-bronc riding contest.
The Ridge Riders will have their Pendleton Whiskey and Coors Beer garden, and offer food and treats at its concession booth.
Price for the bull ride is $12; kids 10 and under get in free.
Kids can get started on their special day Saturday by picking up their passports and map at one of the following locations: Coulee Hardware, Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center, or the concession stand at the Lake Roosevelt High School football field.
Things to do include chalk art, getting a look inside a fire engine or the MedStar helicopter, ride a pedal boat at Coulee Playland, do a little face painting, enter a coloring contest and play a round of mini golf at Sunbanks Lake Resort.
Although not officially part of Kids Fest, the Coulee Cruizers are set to offer their annual show and shine of collector cars at Banks Lake Park on Saturday, too.
When your energy begins to wane, you can get a pick-me-up by getting one of Julie Tillman’s turkey sandwiches at the Lake Roosevelt football field, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m ., while supplies last.
Kids, cowboys, and car lovers, have fun this weekend.
May 28 is now officially Woody Guthrie Day in the state of Washington, and a large celebration of the musician and his works will take place at the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center on that date.
The event will include performances from 12 different artists, as well as discussions from experts, including author Greg Vandy, who wrote the book “26 Songs in 30 Days” about Guthrie’s legendary place in Americana culture and Grand Coulee Dam history.
The event will also include screenings of films, including the stolen film “The Columbia,” a film by Elmer Buehler, who happened to be the man chosen to drive Guthrie around the Pacific Northwest as he penned songs for The Bonneville Power Administration. Buehler was ordered by the BPA in the 1950s to burn all copies of the film, but he squirreled away a copy and didn’t tell a soul about it until the 70s,
Woody Guthrie, having experienced firsthand the hardships of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl, wrote many songs in the folk-music tradition that captured the experiences. His Dust Bowl ballads from 1940 painted a bleak picture of hard times and farms ruined by dust, people losing their livelihoods.
In 1941, Guthrie was overcome with joy and optimism about the BPA projects and he penned the Columbia River songs, writing 26 in 30 days.
Vandy asserts that these songs were a bright answer and catharsis after the darkness of the Dust Bowl ballads. The dam projects represented optimism for working class Americans who were going through hard times — a light at the end of the Depression tunnel and an oasis of water which must have looked beautiful to Guthrie, who had been ravaged by dust himself.
Vandy explains that Americans in the Depression, despite a lack of material wealth, took pride and solace in the mass of cultural wealth found in our music, our literature, our films, and in every corner of the country, in every home and business on every street, dirty or paved. Woody, according to Vandy, “embodied the classic depression era folk singer” and that’s why the state is honoring him with his own holiday.
Said Governor Jay Inslee in his proclamation of the holiday, “Guthrie is the pre-eminent American folk icon and his Columbia River Songs are a part of our rich cultural history; it’s time for a meaningful recognition of his poetic accomplishments on the 75th anniversary of his Pacific Northwest songs. … I urge all people in our state to join me in the celebration of Woody Guthrie’s work.”
People attending are encouraged to bring their own picnics and blankets to the event.
· 2:00 to 3:30 p.m .: Michael Madjic of University of Oregon: Roll On, Columbia screening and discussion with Greg Vandy
· 3:45 to 4:45 p.m .: Deana McCloud of Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa: “Woody Guthrie, Man of the People” discussion with Greg Vandy
· 5:00 to 6:00 p.m .: Libby Burke of BPA Library: Stephen B. Kahn and the BPA Motion Picture Division: “Get me a Folksinger!” with a screening of “The Columbia: America’s Greatest Power Stream”
· 6:30 to 7:30 p.m .: Bill Murlin and Joe Seamons: “The Lost Guthrie BPA Recordings”
· 7:45 to 9:00 p.m .: Greg Vandy: “26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie’s Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest” book reading and discussion
1:30 p.m .: Bill Murlin
2:10 p.m .: Annie Ford
2:50 p.m .: Mike Giacolino
3:30 p.m .: Planes on Paper
4:10 p.m .: Country Dave Harmonson
4:50 p.m .: Smokey Brights
5:30 p.m .: John Pontrellow
6:10 p.m .: Michael Wohl
6:50 p.m .: Aaron Semer
7:30 p.m .: The Foghorns
8:10 p.m .: Jacob Miller & the Bridge City Crooners