I’ve often said that the most enduring legacy from the boomtown days for this community remains a sense of ingenuity. Certainly that’s what marked the contributions of thousands of people who helped design and build the biggest hydroelectric dam in North America.
Emil Gehrke’s windmills, made of what most of us might have called junk, now stand as folk art at North Dam Park, a testament to inventiveness and creativity, and perhaps moving (literally) symbols of the modern ethic of “Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.”
Four musical acts spanning a range of tastes will provide the musical foreground for the Festival of America at Grand Coulee Dam July 3 and 4.
From the Cruizers, a popular Spokane band that popular songs, to a country duet, to a 60s folk singer to an Elvis impersonator, the entertainment is tailored to appeal.
– The headliner just before the July 4 Laser Light Show and fireworks, Steve Sogura does a dynamite tribute to Elvis that seems to leave a lot of the audience either up on their feet or swooning.
He’ll start about 8:15 on both July 3 and July 4.
The Cruisers, a popular cover band from Spokane, will entertain from 5 to about 8 p.m. July 3.
– Scott and Kayla, each with talent-show winning gifts in their own rights, team up for some great country music from 5 to 6:30 p.m. July 4.
– A former New Christy Minstrel, William Florian delivers a powerful trip to the 60s with music that will make you feel good. Even if you don’t know who the New Christy Minstrels were, you’ll know their legacy from the rebirth of folk that has influenced much of popular music since.
Entertainment in the park below the Visitor Center is paid for by the town of Coulee Dam’s hotel/motel taxes for the promotion of tourism.
The stage schedule
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Cruizers
8:15 p.m. Steve Sogura’s Elvis tribute
5 p.m. Scott and Kayla’s country music
6:30 p.m. William Florian’s 60s music
8:15 p.m. Steve Sogura’s Elvis tribute
Hoots and hollers from the area’s first-ever “ranch rodeo” will echo off the coulee walls when its sponsored by the local Ridge Riders Club on June 30.
Even if you’ve never been to a rodeo, this might be one you want to check out. First, the setting is unique — tucked up against the coulee wall that nearly glows in the sun. Second, it’s a “ranch rodeo,” which means it features contests in real tasks demanded of modern-day cowboys, things ranchers have to do all the time.
The rodeo show begins Saturday, June 30, at 6 p.m. at the Ridge Riders rodeo grounds in Delano.
Ranch teams of four contestants, including one woman, will compete in four different events:
– Team Branding,
– Team Mugging,
– Trailer Loading and
– Ranch bronc Riding.
A concession stand and Beer Garden open at 4 p.m.
The Ranch Rodeo is the first of its kind in the area, and a second one will be held in the same arena on Sept. 22.
Cost for the Ranch Rodeo is $6. Those 10 and under can view the action without charge.
Visitors to three Columbia River dams, including Grand Coulee, can join in on a high-tech educational treasure hunt that could earn them a special patch simply by taking part in the “D3 Geocache Challenge” beginning May 27 and continuing through Labor Day.
The visitor centers at Bureau of Reclamation’s Grand Coulee Dam; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Chief Joseph Dam; and the Chelan County Public Utility District’s Rocky Reach Dam will be the starting point to discover the hidden treasures of hydropower production and other essential facts about the role large dams play in the Pacific Northwest.
Geocaching uses GPS (global positioning system) devices GPS-capable smartphones to find a “cache” or treasure box containing educational information and a prize. It’s great fun and can lead you on many adventures, including this one, which offers even more to see when you find the cache at Grand Coulee Dam, and amazing tour all by itself.
For those completing all three geocaches at Grand Coulee, a special prize awaits at the visitor center. Those wanting to win the D3 Geocache Challenge patch must visit all three dams and complete all the caches.
Each visitor center will hide three or four caches on their grounds, for educational purposes.
“This is a great opportunity for visitors to have some fun exploring these areas while also winning a special patch showing that they met the challenge,” said Lynne Brougher, Grand Coulee Dam public affairs officer.
The fun starts when participants receive a “D3 Challenge Passport” along with GPS coordinates at each visitor center and follow the coordinates to locate at least three or four geocache sites at each dam. Each site will consist of a box containing an educational activity sheet. Remember to bring a pen or pencil to complete the activity sheet.
Participants will record answers to questions they learned while touring the dams and return the completed sheets to the visitor center to have their “passport” stamped and earn a prize. Questions can include facts about hydropower production, irrigation, flood control or recreation.
Tour guides will be on hand to explain the D3 Challenge and assist participants in getting started on their adventure, Brougher said.
For more information call the Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center at (509) 633-9265.
Our latest printed issue of the Visitors’ Guide is at the printers’, but in this day and age, why wait?
Take a look right now by clicking on the image below to open it up in your browser (Flash required, sorry; so here’s a link for iPhone or iPad access. It’s limited.)