May Festival marks the start of busy event season

Managing Editor Gary DeVonIt’s that time of year, the kids aren’t even out of school and already the summertime activities are starting to roll around.

May Festival, although in spring, is just next weekend and promises to bring back old memories and perhaps make some new ones. It is also a chance to catch up with old friends, some of whom don’t make it home to Oroville except during this annual event – now nearly 80-years-old.

Many of us can remember riding our bikes in the parade, or perhaps marching with the scout troop or skipping along as part of the May Pole Dancers. Others rode on floats or in convertibles as May Festival Royalty of all ages from kindergarten to Senior Citizen. Some have done all of the above at one time or another. The parade has something for everyone – it seems like May Festival is still the place to roll out the new firetruck or ambulance, even a patrol car or two in the past. There are horses, classic cars and floats from churches, fraternal organization and local business, even the occasional politician around election time.

Early birds fish in the bass tournament or run/walk in the fun run. Still others find the three-on-three basketball tournament the place to spend their day, trying to win top hoop honors. The young kids can enjoy some traditional kids games like three-legged and sack races put on by the Masons. And the Depot Museum has a new exhibit featuring the Zosel, Prince and ___ families.

And there’s food, wine tasting, music and much more. See our schedule of events on pages A6 and A7 of this week’s issue.

The town usually fills up with people from Oroville and the surrounding communities and there’s always a large contingent of our northern neighbors from the Canada side of the border. It’s just an all around good day.

And it’s just the start, the Run for the Border Motorcycle Ride is the following Saturday, then the first weekend in June we will will have the Tonasket Founder’s Day events including the parade and rodeo. The circus returns to Oroville, brought to you by the chamber of commerce, on June 11. Molson has their Mid Summer Festival in June as well.

In July we have the Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo and the Community Fireworks Display at Deep Bay Park. And Heritage Days in Oroville this year is July 19.

August starts out with the Tumbleweed International Film Festival, which will be in its third year and has become a popular event in Oroville and in Osoyoos. The Can Am Apple Cup Powerboat Races will race again in August and the month finishes out with Chesaw Hot Summer Nights.

So May Festival just marks the start of our busy event season in the northern part of the county. These events take lots of work on the behalf of volunteers to come off each summer. So this weekend and every event weekend, if you see someone you know helped to bring an event to town and all the people who come with it, take time to say thanks.

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 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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