Category Archives: To Dos

Things to do in the Coulee area

Festival of America set for July 4-6

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Cell phones and digital cameras try to capture the fireworks, as the moon pops up in the background above Grand Coulee Dam during the 2011 fireworks off the top of the dam.

Celebration planned for 4th of July

Everyone likes a good, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration.

You can enjoy one this week, the “Festival of America” a three-day affair, right here in the Grand Coulee Dam area.

The celebration kicks off on Thursday, July 4, with music in the park below the Visitor Center.

There’s lots to do. A number of craft booths will offer goods and several food booths will fix a summer-time lunch or dinner for you.

The music will take you right up to the Laser Light Show time. And to cap it all off, about 10:30 p.m., there will be the giant fireworks display right off the top of Grand Coulee Dam on July 4.

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Award winning Elvis impersonator Steve Sogura headlines this year’s show, joined by the Cruizers with classic rock, Kathy Boyd & Phoenix Rising with bluegrass and more.

Music in the park continues Friday and Saturday, as do the craft and food booths, with tours of the dam and Laser Light Show adding to the celebration.

The chamber of commerce has added a number of family-friendly games, good for all ages, at this year’s celebration.

Plus, this year the community will see the debut of the sport of roller derby in this area. Teams from around the state will come for a demonstration skrimmage July 5 at North Dam Park in Grand Coulee.

The Festival of America is sponsored by the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Coulee Dam Casino, with music arranged for by the town of Coulee Dam.

All the particulars are in a special “Festival of America” celebration section below.

Bullarama and ranch rodeo to offer big time excitement; then laid back show of skill

A bullrider holds on during the 2012 Cleatis Lacey Bullarama in Grand Coulee.
A bullrider holds on during the 2012 Cleatis Lacy Bullarama in Grand Coulee.

Tucked against the great Grand Coulee wall, the Ridge Riders Saddle Club Rodeo grounds probably offers the most picturesque setting for any rodeo arena anywhere.

Couple that with a beer garden and you’ve got yourself a nice setting for a great time.

Ridge Rider activity heats up late this month with two special events at the Rodeo Grounds.

Friday night, June 28, the Ridge Riders present the 2nd Annual Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Riding.

And on Saturday night, June 29, the Ridge Riders present the lone Ranch Rodeo of the year.

The Lacy Bull Riding Memorial event is named after Grand Coulee’s late Cleatis Lacy, a rodeo cowboy and rodeo hand whose career spanned several decades.

The bull riding begins at the Rodeo Grounds at 7 p.m. with concession stands and the beer garden opening at 6 p.m.  Tickets are $10.

Entry fee for bull riding is $75, with an added purse of $1,500.  You can register through Sorrel Katich, 631-4655 or 634-4316.  Katich will supply the stock for the special event.

Saturday night’s ranch rodeo will be an entirely different kind of contest. If you’ve never been to one, know that they’re an interesting and laid-back alternative to mainstream rodeo, with contestants in teams that practice real, modern ranch skills, such as getting that animal to go into that trailer!

The Ranch Rodeo is being organized by Bubba Egbert and teams can register by contacting him at 633-6849 or 631-4200.

Entry fee for the Ranch Bronc Riding is $50, with $1,500 added.

The team part of the Ranch Rodeo has an entry fee of $200 per team.

Teams are made up of three men and one woman and they will compete in such events as team branding, trailer loading and pasture gathering.

Teams can be made up of ranch hands, four individuals who would just like to compete, or any other combination.

Tickets are $8 and action begins at 6 p.m.  The concession stands and beer garden open at 5 p.m.

 

 

Koulee Kids Fest offers tons of fun Saturday — with prizes

A child gets a first-rate tour of the inside of a fire truck duing the annual Koulee Kids Fest.
A child gets a first-rate tour of the inside of a fire truck duing the annual Koulee Kids Fest.

Kids, there’s a special day for you this Saturday, June 15.

It’s the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce’s Koulee Kids Fest.

Details and a map are available to help you plan your day, inside this week’s Star newspaper.

A host of prizes will be awarded to some lucky kids.

The grand prize, being awarded by the chamber, is an iPod Touch. Other prizes include a remote controlled Spy Tank, an inflatable boat set, three AquaZookas, four tickets to Ephrata Raceway Park, gift certificates, free ice cream cones, a digital video camera, t-shirts, a sweatshirt and a gift card. Details on the firms providing the prizes can be found inside today’s newspaper.

Here’s all you have to do!

Visit the sites outlined in today’s Star, have someone sign off on your visit, and deposit your entry.

Prizes will be awarded at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Faith Community Church in Electric City and kids can enjoy a feature-length movie while there.

Good hunting and good luck! See page 8 in The Star.

You can also read on, but the map may be easier to follow on paper, which also offers the entry form.

Koulee Kids Fest Activity list

Geode Break at Funzee’s (bring your own sock)

Pedal Boats at Coulee Playland

Mini Golf at Sunbanks Lake Resort

Geo cache at the Visitor Arrival Center

BB- North Dam Park – Lions Club

Coulee Cruizers Car Show North Dam Park,

kids vote for their favorite car

Sidewalk Chalk Art – in Electric City

(by the post office, city hall in front of Tropical Pig & ECT)

Fire truck at North Dam Park

Disk Golf demonstration at the new

Disc Golf course in North Dam Park

Delight Ice Cream truck, free ice cream

for all kids participating in the event.

Sponsored by Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union

 

Stars indicate place where activities are happening.
Stars indicate place where activities are happening.

 

It’s Colorama week … Join the festival!

This is a big deal, really. It's Colorama! Don't tell me you've never heard of it.
This is a big deal, really. It’s Colorama! Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of it.

 

The state’s best rodeo, a carnival, rides, market in the park, hometown parade, race (and/0r) walk across Grand Coulee Dam, a beer tent, plus hundreds of miles of undeveloped beaches on crystal clear lakes.

Let’s see what am I forgetting … oh, a TON of fun to be had this week and weekend in the big coulee at Colorama.

Local residents and visitors will be treated to the 56th Annual Colorama Festival celebration, beginning Thursday with the opening of the carnival and ending Saturday evening.

Events include the Ridge Rider Pro-West Rodeo Friday evening and Saturday, the Colorama Parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, the vendor fair at North Dam Park, Friday and Saturday; helicopter rides Friday and Saturday, the Paradise Amusement Carnival, Thursday at 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday; the sale of Colorama buttons and gear; and a beer garden under the tent at the tennis courts at North Dam Park.

A full schedule of Colorama events can be found in today’s special Colorama Festival section.

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Spilling water over the dam

For reasons unknown to me at the moment, the USBR is letting water flow over the top of Grand Coulee Dam right now. This is a fairly unusual event. That’s not just water, it’s money running over the top, in the form of revenue foregone by the BPA, which can’t sell electricity the dam doesn’t produce with that water power.
If you have a chance, pop down and see it.
The dam is almost a mile across, and the spill is about 300 feet.

Update
Seems that Lake Roosevelt has to drop right now to meet flood control goals. We wouldn’t want Portland to flood, after all. Here is info about current lake operations the USBR published yesterday:

The elevation of Lake Roosevelt was 1280.4 at 10 a.m. on April 9.

It is antipated the elevation will remain around elevation 1280.0 in order to reach the Biological Opinion operating objective of 1279.9 by April 10. Currently, Grand Coulee Dam is being operated to meet flood control elevations.

The flood control levels are the maximum elevation for Lake Roosevelt. Other factors such as power demand or supplying water downstream for fish can result in elevations under the flood control elevations.

The current flood control elevation is as follows:

April 30 – 1258.5 feet
This is only a prediction and can change due to weather events, power demand or other unforeseen power emergencies.
Lake level forecasts are updated by 3 p.m. each day. Please call 1-800-824-4916 for the updated forecast.

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