Visitors using Instagram are always posting how amazed they are when they see Grand Coulee Dam.
“It amazes me how humans built this large, amazing structure more than 80 years ago!” wrote @lishlo this morning in a public post.
The Bureau of Reclamation has produced a top quality documentary on the building of Grand Coulee Dam to show you the amazing story behind the immense effort, the big thinking, innovation and, yes, even politics it took. If you want to visit it, you’ll appreciate it even more if you understand the whole story, so we’ll post the video here, which you can also watch on a big screen in comfortable seats at the Visitor Center when you get here.
Here’s a quick bit on the upcoming Harvest Festival you can send on to your friends and relatives.
The Third Annual Harvest Festival, Sept. 12-14, at North Dam Park, is a fun festival for the entire family and a good way to polish off what has been a great summer.
And it’s free!
Always wanted to take a helicopter ride? You can do it at this year’s Harvest Festival, at a nominal price. Soar through the sky and look down on the things you’ve seen all year long, except from a different vantage point. Rides are available from 11 a.m. to dusk on Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Get on a hay wagon and relive those early days when the horse drawn wagon was a common mode of transportation. You can Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at North Dam Park.
Can you bake a berry pie? There’s competition in the berry and apple pie-baking event. Judging will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday in the picnic area with winners announced at 2 p.m. Bring two pies, one for judging and the second for a pie raffle.
One of the featured events is the barbecue competition. This is serious stuff for barbecue enthusiasts and some of the best in the Pacific Northwest are head our way.
Luckily for them, we also have an excellent beer garden planned, featuring brews from one of our favorite Washington state microbreweries, Iron Horse Brewery. Among the brews featured: High Five Heffe, 509 Style, and, of course, Irish Death. (That last one is so smooth and not bitter, for a dark beer, that you’re tempted not to take it seriously, a mistake at least one ex-sailor I know won’t repeat.) For those of you not into such craft beers, and there are a lot of you, the beer garden will also be stocked with Bud Light.
That’s Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Judging and the awards ceremony begin at 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Samples will be available for purchase. The BBQ event is in conjunction with the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association. Ribbons and trophies will be given and there are some $3,500 worth of cash prizes. The chamber of commerce, organizer of the festival, has info and a signup sheet here.
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
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.
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.
Here’s all about the Harvest Festival starting Friday, September 13, 2013.
There’s something for everyone here.
Community-wide yard (park) sale
There’s still time to be a part of the Chamber of Commerce’s community yard sale Friday and Saturday at North Dam Park. You can set up there for a $10 fee good for both days.
It’s one of the features of the two-day fall Harvest Festival.
Bring your own tables and set up for what could become a busy time sharing your pre-owned articles.
Yard sales are one of the community pastimes and the festival should produce plenty of lookers and potentially buyers. You can call the Chamber, 633-3074, for additional details.
Hay rides on Saturday
Terry Batterman is providing the team of horses and Janet O’Neil the wagon for Saturday’s hay rides.
The team and wagon will be near the skateboard park area from 10-4 on Saturday. The hosts say that young and old can take part in a good old-fashioned hayride through the park area roads.
The wagon will be loaded with hay bales as seating for the ride.
Costumed pet show
Bob Valen, a member of the Chamber Board of Directors, will run the Costumed Pet Show at the skateboard area.
Be creative — and take a chance that your pet will be good natured about it all — and be part of the judged show.
Last year more than a dozen pet owners dressed up their pets and put on quite a show.
Valen said that pets and their owners will show off, and then judges will make awards.
There’s plenty of room to show off your pets, or be a spectator to enjoy the pets, hopefully at their best.
The show is from 11 a.m. Saturday to noon.
Bring kids to the petting zoo
Come in to North Dam Park Saturday and meet “Spike,” the bearded dragon lizard. That’s all we are going to say about Spike; you’ll just have to come see for yourself.
It’s all part of the Petting Zoo Saturday from 10-4 at North Dam Park.
Spike will be on hand for only an hour, from noon to 1 p.m., so make your plan now to be there.
The chamber says there will be alpacas, sheep, horses, donkeys and much more. Kids can get close and in most cases touch and pet the animals.
Chalk art in the park
This is a good time to show your art skills.
The chamber furnishes the chalk and you furnish the talent. Draw your creations where everyone can enjoy them.
The chalk art opportunity is for young and old alike. It runs from 1-4 Saturday at the skatepark arena.
Beer Garden for two days
A beer garden will be set up in the picnic area from 5-10 p.m. Friday and from 3 to 10 p.m. on Saturday. Adults only. Come and have a good time.
Rotary to offer a BBQ
The Grand Coulee Dam Rotary Club plans a barbecue at North Dam Park on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Rotarians will have hamburgers and German sausages and side dishes, and cold drinks for festival fans. Bring your appetites.
Sponsors for this year’s Harvest Festival in addition to the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce are the Coulee Dam Federal Credit Union, Loepps Furniture & Appliance and the Colville Tribal Casinos. For more information on this year’s Harvest Festival, contact the chamber at 509-633-3074.
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)