Adding fish to Banks Lake

POWER gets ready to release 150,000 rainbow trout.
POWER gets ready to release 150,000 rainbow trout.

One of the reasons Banks Lake is one of the best fishing spots in the state has to do with volunteers, and a little known group called POWER, the Promoters of Widlife and Environmental Resources.

The group raises young fish in net pens in Electric City each year, releasing them into the lake.

The video clip below is of them getting ready to release 150,000 rainbow trout today, Saturday, June 6, 2015, when they had a little help from five members of the Wenatchee Fishermen’s club.

Huge laser show projected on Grand Coulee Dam

laser show
A 300-foot-tall coyote face stares out from the face of Grand Coulee Dam during the laser show, shown nightly in the summer.

The laser light show that explains the history of the area and the dam shows nightly through the season. It’s the largest outdoor show in North America and is something to see, newly updated in 2014.

What time does the laser light show begin?

The laser show is held nightly at Grand Coulee Dam as follows for 2015:

May 23 to July 31 at 10:00 p.m.

Aug. 1 to Aug. 31 at 9:30 p.m.

Sept. 1 to Sept. 30 at 8:30 p.m.

The show is about 28 minutes in length. There is no admission fee. Call 509-633-9265 for more information.

How long is the laser show?

The laser light show lasts approximately 28 minutes, during which time colorful images created by the lasers move back and forth across the huge surface of the dam.

Where can I view the show?

The best locations are the seating area at the Visitor Center and from the park below the Visitor Center. These areas provide an outdoor sound system.

The town of Coulee Dam has a park —  terraced and  grassy for viewing the laser show — adjacent to the east end of the Columbia River bridge.

Other viewing spots: from Douglas Park in Coulee Dam; from Crown Point atop the granite cliffs above Lake Rufus Woods, access from SR174 towards Bridgeport.

The USBR broadcasts the audio portion of the laser light show nightly at 90.1 FM.

What is a laser?

Lasers are intense beams of light commonly used in medicine and science, but they’ve also found a niche as a high-tech, fast-moving form of entertainment. They are controlled by computers which, at Grand Coulee Dam, are in the Visitor Center.

Although a single dot of light, lasers can trace an image so rapidly it appears as a solid figure to the human eye.

The term laser is actually an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. It is so commonly used now that the tradition of using capital letters for an acronym has been dropped.

How are the lasers used at Grand Coulee Dam?

As one of the largest entertainment laser projection systems in the world,  and certainly the largest outdoor laser show in North America, the lasers at Grand Coulee Dam tell the story of the Columbia River and how its power was harnessed to provide multiple benefits to mankind, including electrical power, irrigation for farming and exciting recreational opportunities. As a result of the open process of scripting the show new in 2014, viewers will also understand the costs of building the dam — cost to wildlife,  and to native peoples whose way of life was dependent on that wildlife, in particular, the salmon that no longer could continue upstream to spawn.

How much did the lasers cost?

With the original equipment in use since 1989, the Bureau of Reclamation commissioned a new show and new equipment. The equipment began operation in May of 2013, but projecting the new show began in May, 2014. Lumalaser, of Oregon, bid the project at $1.6 million.

How big are the laser images?

Pictures are beamed at the awesome height of nearly 300 feet.

How far do the lasers project?

The laser lights are beamed between 2,000 and 4,000 feet to the surface of the dam.

Check out today’s big bull ride

A cowboy gets bucked off in last year's Cleatis Lacy memorial.
A cowboy gets bucked off in last year’s Cleatis Lacy memorial.

There’s some big bucks to be made today, Saturday, May 23. All you have to do is ride a few bulls.

It’s the Third Annual Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Ride at the Ridge Rider rodeo grounds in Delano. Action begins at 3 p.m.

This year, rodeo officials have added $3,000 to the prize money making the bull riding event attractive to some pretty good professional cowboys.

The event is named after Grand Coulee’s own Cleatis Lacy, a rodeo cowboy of the first degree. When he wasn’t competing, Lacy was one of the most popular volunteers, never turning down an opportunity to help out.

This year, rodeo fans will be able to pay tribute to Cleatis and another local cowboy, Bob Rowe, at the site of a memorial marker that has been erected across the arena from the main seating area.

The marker is a metal cutout showing Cleatis as a bulldogger. The companion marker is for Rowe, who had long been one of the cowboys that helped make the rodeo grounds what it is today. The markers are side by side, and a third marker honoring another local cowboy, Bob O’Neal, is being planned.

Glenn Shear designed the markers and then Joe Santistevan put his tool skills to work and created the cutouts.

Rodeo officials have added $1,000 to the purse for the wild horse race, one of the most popular events for the evening, and $100 has been added to the Junior Steer Riding event.

Wild horses, they just don't listen.
Wild horses, they just don’t listen.

Shane Marchand, Sev Carden and Deb Achord have all been active in developing the event.

And, by the way, if you’re into rodeo, this is your lucky day. Because when you get done watching the fun in Grand Coulee, you can head to the Coulee City Last Stand Rodeo about 30 miles at the other end of Banks Lake. Starts at 7 tonight.

It’s Colorama time in the Coulee!

 

Kids loving the Colorado Canival rides make the cover of The Star special section.
Kids loving the Colorado Canival rides make the cover of The Star special section. View the whole publication below.

As of Tuesday morning, there were 50 entries for the annual Colorama Parade, but 10 of those had just come in on Monday, said Peggy Nevsimal, director of the sponsoring Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce.

The parade is the Saturday sendoff to the whole lot of fun activities we call Colorama every May. The festival includes the Run the Dam early Saturday morning, the parade, the button drawing, arts and crafts and stuff in the park, the rodeo, the carnival, and the live entertainment in the beer garden at North Dam Park.

The final parade count will likely be closer to 60-65 entries.

That’s because the parade is one where you’re very likely to see someone you know who is in it to show pride in the community, or to advetise a great cause, or just for fun.

So when someone shows up the morning of the parade with a nice smile and application in hand, parade chair Tammy Norris is likely to say, “Oh, all right! You’re number 65, get in line.”

You can still be part of the big Colorama Parade, May 9.

You might spare some confusion if you stop by the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce office or go online to grandcouleedam.org for your parade entry form if you want be part of the parade and dazzle your family and friends along the parade route.

You’ll see entries in eight different categories: Community entry, Organization/club, Business, School band, Classic car, Hot Rod, Equestrian, and Junior.

The parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 9, near the staging area on Spokane Way in front of the former Center Elementary School. The route, about a mile long, takes just over an hour to complete.

The route follows Federal Avenue to Midway Avenue (SR155), takes Midway south to the Four Corners intersection with SR 174.

 

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