Oroville Heritage Days and Airport Fly-in this weekend

OROVILLE – The Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society is bringing Heritage Days and the Oroville Airport Fly-in this weekend.

This year’s fly-in will be marked with a special honor as Tracy Scott, the nephew of the late Dorothy Scott, for whom the city’s airport is named, will present a replica of his aunt’s Congressional Gold Medal. The medal was awarded to all the World War II WASPs who were recognized recently for the integral part they played in the war effort.

The fly-in begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 24 with a breakfast at 8 a.m. at Dorothy Scott Memorial Airport. The city-owned International Airport is the only one of two named for a woman who was part of the World War II WASPs. The WASPs flew almost every type of military aircraft including the B-26 and B-29 bombers. They ferried new planes from factories to military bases, they test flew newly overhauled planes and they towed targets to give ground and air gunners training, shooting with live ammunition. The WASPS were not granted military status until the 1970s. This past year each WASP received the highest civilian honor given by the U.S. congress: the Congressional Gold Medal. Scott, whose love of flying began when she was a girl in Oroville, died during her term of service and the airport was named in her honor.

At 9 a.m. a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal will be in presented by Tracy Scott to Airport Service Manager Steve Johnston and the Borderlands Historical Society. The medal will reside in a memorial being created for the airport to further honor Dorothy Scott. Singing by the community choir will follow the presentation.

Afterwards the Best Fruit Desert contest will be judged, with the results being announced at noon.

There will be a shuttle to and from the airport.

Meanwhile several events will be taking place during the Downtown Heritage Days. Events begin with the Farmer’s Market at 9 a.m. with vendors in Madeline Wells Park. On the Old Depot veranda Betty Robert will be demonstrating her spinning wheels and there will be art, as well as Garden Club Yard Sale.

Ron Strickland, founder of the Pacific Northwest Trail and Jon Knechtel, Executive Director of the trail, as well as Ted Murray with the Okanogan County Planning Department, will present a program at 10 a.m. in the depot.

The 1200 mile Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, running from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, ranks among the most scenic trails in the world. This carefully chosen path is high for the views and long on adventure. It includes the Rocky Mountains, Selkirk Mountains, Pasayten Wilderness, North Cascades, Olympic Mountains and Wilderness Coast. The trail crosses three National Parks and seven National Forests. Oroville is one of three towns that are crossed during the hike.

While at the depot folks might want to taste the famous handmade ice cream and view the 2010 museum exhibits. The museum is highlighting the Apple Peeler or Parer with the Jack Pheasant collection of 35 peelers from the 1800s to more modern day ones.

Before 1864, there was no machine or mechanical aid that would allow a kitchen worker or farm wife to peel apples quickly. That changed with the labor-saving device invented by David Harvey Goodell. He called his first invention ‘the Lighting apple parer.” Not to be outdone, cherry-pitters were designed to help the housewife and by the late 1800′s commercial ones were developed.

At 10 a.m. the historic McDonald log cabin, built in 1894, will be open for visitors. Located on its original building site behind the current Prince’s Warehouse, this original cabin was not only the home of the McDonald family but served as the U.S. Custom station as well.

The Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society with its many volunteers and partner organizations is proud to open it for viewing to the community. The cabin will be open till 2 p.m.

“Bruce Tweedy’s gunslingers will be in town. Watch out! You could be arrested and need a ‘get out of jail’ card obtainable at the Depot Museum,” say event organizers.

To land in the lock-up any ‘friend’ can get you arrested for a small fee. The gunslingers will be rounding up bad guys during their local downtown shoot-outs as well.

Madeline Wells Park will come alive with food and music at 11 a.m. with the likes of Mark Kubiac, Ron amd Judy Hyde, Clay Warnstaff, Noah, Eli and Heather Burnell, Joseph Enzensperger and Steve Sher. Listen to some of the best of the north county musicians and eat delicious food provided by the Knob Hill Home Economics Club and the Oroville Senior Citizens, say Borderland Historical Society board members.

Music will conclude in this location at 2:30 p.m. for special musical event beginning at 3 p.m. in the air-conditioned comfort of the Free Methodist Church.

Beginning the program will be Bruce and Sandy Tweedy playing specially toned glasses with the sound made by rubbing moistened fingertips over the rims of the glasses. These glasses were Bruce Tweedy’s grandfather’s glasses in the early 1900′s when he played for kings, heads of state and other dignitaries. The Community Choir, created just for Heritage days, will be directed by Heather Zosel, who will be receiving her PhD in choral directing this next year.

Jim Weaver’s watercolor art show will be featured from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Senior Center. Best known for his intensely colorful and light-filled watercolors of local subjects and flora, worldwide renowned painter, he has been a professional artist for more than 30 years. The painter has exhibited in scores of solo and group shows over the years as well as in numerous regional, national and international juried competitions, earning awards in many of them.

The Antique Tractor Show begins with a line up of the tractors at 9 a.m. across from the Farmer’s Market and will be on display until the 12:30 p.m. when many of the tractors will participate in the ‘drive around the block’ so all can view and hear these remarkable machines. Then tractors will line up along Appleway to get ready for their races. But first, there will be a pedal car or tricycle races for kids, ages three to 10, at the same location. Then the competition is on for the tractors, including a slow and fast race and this year’s mystery race.

There will be a shuttle that leaves from the Oroville Senior Center parking lot in town back and forth from the to the airport from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The driver is also quite willing to deliver riders to the Farmer’s Market, Antique Tractor Show and other events as well.

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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