Category Archives: To Dos

Things to do in the Coulee area

The Visitor Center offers interactive fun

jackhammer
This kid thought the vibrating jackhammer was great fun.

The Grand Coulee Dam Visitor Center is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The bottle-cap-shaped building below the dam offers new exhibits designed to entertain and educate with interactive features, such as the jackhammer above. A video game lets you fly right through the dam to explore its features. Hands-on generators let you light up a miniature grid, and you can see the workings of the hydropower units.

One activity needs three to five people (perfect for a family) who sit at a table and listen to the concerns (via prerecorded video) of the many and varied people with interests affected by how the Columbia River is operated. As each player votes on various decisions, the overall plan changes and you’ll find out what your preferences did to the other parties’ interests.

It’s a great Visitor Center with knowledgeable interpreters, plus frequent movies in an upstairs theater to explain history and functions of this multipurpose dam.

For more information, call (509) 633-9265.

Windmill art is a glimpse of area’s great asset: ingenuity

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.”

 

Bull riding and concert series will feature talent from near and far

 

A series of free concerts is scheduled for North Dam Park and events center this month, starting on Friday, Aug. 17.

And the Wednesday night before that, bull riding fans can get their fix of “beer, burgers and bulls” in a special event at the Ridge Riders Rodeo Grounds.

The rodeo grounds open at 6 p.m., Aug. 15, for what could become a frequent event next year. Bull riding begins at 7 p.m.
Then on Friday night, a local rock group called Mister Meaner will take to the “stage” at the bottom of the grass amphitheater.
The very next evening a cool trio from Spokane, The 45s, will rock your Saturday night with a rockabilly sound. Think “The Stray Cats” and you’ll come to close to hearing this fun band.

The next weekend starts with a Friday night concert by Thirsty Perfect, a Coeur D’Alene, Idaho Christian rock band, sponsored by Faith Commu

 

nity Church. The next night Mister Meaner hopes the word will have spread, and you’ll bring your friends back for a good time.

Labor Day weekend kicks of Aug. 31 with a big-name band in the Pacific Northwest — Jr. Cadillac. Folks who gathered for their concert in the park last year had a great time, and said they wanted more.
Saturday night, Sept. 1, will see another encore from a band that proved popular last year. “33” bills itself as the loudest band in Spokane. By the way, we should do something to welcome back Joe Oliver that night, a band member originally from the coulee.

The series is sponsored by the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce, which is advertising it across the state and paying for it with the help of tourism tax dollars from Electric City, Grand Coulee and Coulee Dam.

 

Festival of America music lineup aims to please

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
July 3
5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Cruizers
8:15 p.m. Steve Sogura’s Elvis tribute

July 4
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

A tour group leaves the big bus to peer over the edge of the dam as the Columbia roars over the top.

New “ranch” rodeo set for June 30

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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.