Group asks for use of park for blues festival

New music festival would be in conjunction with Run for the Border motorcycle ride, May 17

The Rally at the Border poster up on the festival's Facebook site, www.facebook.com/RallyAtTheBorderBluesFestOrovilleWashington.

The Rally at the Border poster up on the festival’s Facebook site. Poster by Seth Glover/Inde Art Studio

OROVILLE – A new group is planning on holding a blues festival in conjunction with the annual Run for the Border charity motorcycle ride and asked the city council for exclusive use of Deep Bay Park over Armed Forces Day weekend.

The request came from Vicki Hinze at the council’s Tuesday, Feb. 18 meeting. Hinze, owner of the Pastime Bar & Grill, is a member of Destination Oroville, a group working with the Chamber of Commerce and city to promote tourism in the area. She said the Rally at the Border Blues Festival would be a way to take advantage of the up to 300 riders who make the journey from Wenatchee to Oroville each May to raise money for various charities. This year the Run is on Saturday, May 17. Hinze has pulled together members of the Chamber and Destination Oroville, as well as local motorcycle and music enthusiasts to help plan for the festival.

“These guys (Run for the Border riders) are actually heading to Oroville and we’re very excited about it. But they were here for about two and a half hours then I turned around and they were gone,” said Hinze about last year’s rally. “We want them to come to Oroville for an event… for a destination.”

She said that she and her husband used to live in Elko, Nevada where she helped with an event that brought in 7000 motorcyclists.

“That’s not our goal here. They have casinos, etc., what they don’t have is the absolute best places to ride that we have on both sides of the border,” said Hinze, who with the other committee members are mapping out several of the most popular routes in the areas surrounding Oroville.

She said that people that are interested in blues music are often the same people who are interested in motorcycles. Hinze asked permission for the park to be closed that Saturday except to those attending the blues festival. She said all park entrants must be 21 years of age or older because alcohol will be available at the festival. She also asked that the park be opened to camping and that only motorcycles be allowed to park at Deep Bay during that Saturday.

“Having bikes where you are is really a part of the whole deal,” she said.

Oroville Police Chief Warnstaff, himself a rider and a member of the committee, said the festival committee would provide security at the park during the event to make sure all who attend were of age and the event was something attendees could enjoy, whether they were riders or not.

“We want to run the event in a safe, clean, healthy and presentable way both for Oroville and ourselves,” Hinze said.

Other committee members discussed efforts to get a shuttle to and from town to the park for those who don’t ride in, as well as a parking lot nearby for those who arrive in cars.

“The plan is for the rally riders to arrive, get settled and have time to eat in our restaurants. Then at two or three o’clock we will have the festival until about 10 p.m. Sunday morning we plan a poker run with seven or eight locations in places in Oroville and Chesaw and a couple in Tonasket. During the two days time we will encourage people to do some of the ten routes between here and the other Okanagan,” she said.

Hinze asked the council for their “go ahead” so the committee could continue to pursue the event, which she said would be advertised in Washington, Oregon and Idaho, as well as north of the border.

“Plus we need to start securing the entertainment. The raffle and poker run money will be donated to a charity for children. This is a non-profit event… we just want to sustain ourselves and donate to charity,” said Hinze.

“It sounds to me like there has been a lot of work that has gone into this. It’s nice to see so many volunteers get involved,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth.

Councilman Ed Naillon added, “I’m excited. Hopefully this will become a mini tradition. It looks like you’ve got a fine group of folks.”

The council then voted to approve giving the “go ahead” for the festival and use of the park.

For more information see the the event’s Facebook page at: Rally at the Border Blues Fest.

Veterans Memorial Park

Clerk Kathy Jones reported on proposed changes to the reservation system for the city’s Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park.

“The company we have been contracting with has offered a web-based system that looks like it would be easier for our staff to use. The company said they would wave the $500 fee if we change to this program. It would still cost the same $1500 and $4 per reservation as before, with a minimum of $3000 a year, which we greatly exceed anyway. I think if we switch we will be able to use this system for a lot longer,” said Jones.

She added that the new program comes with a training video and would use the same data base and that the system is used in Canadian parks and by the state of Michigan.

“Washington State has moved over to a web-based system as well because it is more user friendly,” she said.

Rod Noel, head of the parks department said that the program also included new features not available in the old program, which was run from the park itself. The new program will allow reservations to be taken in the winter time from city hall and times when the park is not fully staffed.

“It sounds like the way to go,” said Mayor Spieth.

In a related issue, the council discussed a letter from two Brownies. The girls asked the city to try and find a way to clean the beach sand at the park.

“I think it is very astute of the girls to bring the issue to us,” said Councilman Walt Hart.

There are various machines that are used to groom beaches, cleaning glass and other trash hidden in the sand, according to Noel.

“We’ll look into it. Veranda Beach has a machine. I’m not sure how it works, maybe we can ask if they would rent it to us,” Noel said.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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