Tag Archives: Hospitality/Recreation

Lasers, bulls, wild horses and the best Memorial Day service in the state

There’s so much happening in the Grand Coulee Dam Area this Memorial Day weekend, it’s hard to know where to start.

Isle of Flags

The Isle of Flags honors veterans on Memorial Day.
The Isle of Flags honors veterans on Memorial Day.

But rightfully, that has to be an annual service called the Isle of Flags. It’s a tribute to local veterans who’ve passed on, but anybody from anywhere would find this simple, 40-minute ceremony overlooking Lake Roosevelt to be inspiring. More than 500 U.S. flags will fly in tribute at Spring Canyon Cemetery, along with those about to be dedicated.

The Isle of Flags ceremony starts at 11 a.m. Monday.

Cleatis Lacy Memorial Bull Riding and Wild Horse Race

Saturday, May 24 at 4 p.m. at the site of the best rodeo in the state, cheers will echo off the the coulee wall as cowboys take on the toughest 8 seconds in all of sports, riding bulls who know how to throw them like rag dolls. This event will also feature a wild horse race in which teams of three try to harness, saddle and ride through barrels horse so spirited they refuse to be “broke” in the old cowboy sense of the word. Admission is $10, or $8 for students. Kids under 10 get in free. And if you don’t have your kids with you, feel free to watch from the Ridge Riders’ whiskey and beer garden.

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

Largest laser show in North America debuts Saturday at 10 p.m.

On Saturday night at 10 p.m., the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will debut its new laser light show on the face of Grand Coulee Dam. At more than a mile wide and as high as the Washington Monument, it’s the largest laser light show in North America. And it’s free.

This new show features all-new content on the history of the Columbia River, its people, the dam and its effects on the region and nation. The production and equipment to show it cost $1.6 million and replaces the original show that ran for 25 years.

I’ve seen some preview clips on the Internet, but I’m not going to post them here. Those do the show a disservice, because you cannot get the same effect reducing a mile-wide spectacle to a tiny screen. Just come and see it. The best place to watch it is at the Visitor Center at the dam or in the park just below the VC. But below is photo of people watching the show that ran for 25 years.

Visitors watch the Laser Light Show on the face of Grand Coulee Dam.
Visitors watch the old Laser Light Show on the face of Grand Coulee Dam.

 

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 Day is Saturday

An array of fun stuff, mostly free, is coming up this Saturday, June 16 throughout the Grand Coulee Dam Area.

The annual Father’s Day weekend event is geared to kids 12 and under, but includes lots of things adults will enjoy, too. And kids who take part can win a variety of prizes at a drawing later, including a Kindle Fire.

Here’s the skinny, in a chamber of commerce provided poster:

New Visitors’ Guide coming out; see the print edition online now

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.)