OROVILLE – Although the weather could have been a bit warmer, all made the most of this year’s 74th Annual May Festival whether it was enjoying the parade, fishing for the big bass, shooting hoops or learning about Native American Culture at the pow wow.
The theme for this year’s May Festival was ‘Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future. On Friday the Queen’s Coronation was held and Ashley Porter was crowned May Festival Queen and Megan McKinney and Lacy Johnson were crowned as her princesses.
Saturday was jammed packed with things to see and do. For some the day started off at Deep Bay where 13 two-person teams participated in the annual May Festival Bass Tournament. First place went to the team of Claude Roberts and Fred Bender whose combined fish weighed in at a whopping 22.46 pounds (full results in the Outdoors section).
For those who like their fun on dry land there was the annual May Festival 5K and Fun Run (see results in Sports), which celebrated its 30th year on Saturday. Don Colbert was honored for having participated in every one, as was Florence Kelly, who has only missed one in all those years.
If you’d rather be eating than fishing or running, the place to be was the American Legion where a crew of volunteers prepared a breakfast of pancakes, sausage and eggs. Meanwhile, three-person teams were battling it out on the courts for a chance to be three-on-three champions in a tournament sponsored by the Oroville Booster Club.
The Grand Parade featured not only this year’s royalty, but also four past-mayors and the current mayor serving as Grand Marshals “Honoring our Past and Celebrating our Future.” Representing Oroville’s past were Steve Bayley, John Shaw, Jimmy Dale Walker and Dave Reynolds. They shared a special float with current Mayor Chuck Spieth who is leading Oroville into a much different future.
Another way of “Honoring our Past” was the first-ever May Festival Pow Wow. The event took place in the Coulton Auditorium and featured Native American drumming and dancing. The bleachers nearly emptied when people were asked to joined in the Welcome Dance circle.
Rumors of rain might have scared off some from the car show, but there was a time machine-like quality to the event held at Max’s Service Center as fifties music rang out and people checked out a parking lot full of custom and classic cars. The royalty could be seen rocking out to the tunes before presenting the trophies. Max Hand’s own ’59 Impala took home the prize for People’s Choice, followed closely by Buddy Hire’s ’69 Road Runner and Joyce Boyer’s ’70 Boss Mustang.
The Chamber Barbeque was a complete success with people lined up to partake of the pit roasted barbecue beef sandwiches the group sells to raise money to pay for the festival’s insurance each year. The Oroville Fire Department is in charge of slow-roasting the meat and any roasts that aren’t made into sandwiches are quickly bought up and taken to go.
The duck races took place starting and Henry Kniss Park and the rubber duckies raced down the Okanogan to finish at the Cherry Street Bridge. Sara Scott’s duck came in first and earned her $100. Micky Tibbs took second ($75), Don Pickering, third ($50) and Holly Nelson, fourth ($25).
Unfortunately the Scramble on the Similkameen, planned for the Oroville Golf Club, was cancelled Sunday due to concerns that it would rain, according to Dolly Sneve.