Out of My Mind 30

Successful May Festival marks start of tourist season

Despite threats of rain, the weather held and we had anothergreat May Festival thanks to the many volunteers who give of their time to makeOroville’s premier event a great kick off to the coming tourist season.

Once again, the goal of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, aswell as the chambers throughout the region, is to give visitors something theycan do every weekend. Now that May Festival is finished we can look forward toevents really starting to crank up in June, July and August. But before weleave May, there will be Spring Barrel Tastings on Saturday, May 21 at EstherBricques Winery, south of town on Swanson Mill Road and at Copper MountainWinery just north of town on the west side of the highway. That same day, LakeCrest and Okanogan Estate and Vineyards will be having a Harvest Delights eventat their shared retail store in Oroville.

June starts with the Tonasket Founder’s Day Rodeo the firstweekend in the month and the Culpepper and Merriweather Circus, sponsored bythe Oroville Chamber of Commerce, at City Park is on June 15 and Saturday, June18 is family fun at the Molson Mid-Summer Festival.

July is really busy with the Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo andthe Oroville Community Fireworks getting things going. On July 24 and 25 it’sOroville Heritage Days. That’s followed by another Oroville Chamber sponsoredevent, the Toast of Oroville Wine Festival, also at City Park, on Saturday,July 30.

August begins with the second annual Tumble Weed FilmFestival, which is three evenings this year – Aug. 4, 5 and 6 and at threevenues – Veranda Beach Resort, Esther Bricques Winery and Alpine Brewery. Withluck the second weekend of August we’ll have the Can Am Apple Cup Hydro Raceson Lake Osoyoos, although the details for this popular event are still beingworked out. And of course, the second weekend of August is always the WorldFamous Omak Stampede and Suicide Race. That’s followed up with the TonasketGarlic Festival on Aug. 20 and 22.

Getting back to the May Festival, those volunteers who puton the festival need a big pat on the back for all the work they do to make itso successful each year.

One group, the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, has been doingthe barbecue for at least 25 years and the money raised goes to buy theinsurance for the festival and other events around Oroville. This was our lastyear for the barbecue as Joan Cool, who has headed up the barbecue committeefor more than two decades, has decided it’s time to pass on the reins tosomeone else. So, if you see Joan give her a special word of thanks for themany years she headed up the event. Also, thank the Oroville volunteer firefighterswho cook the meat for the sandwiches and all the chamber and non-chambermembers alike who prepare the meat for the fire pit and serve the lunch onSaturday. The annual tradition will be passed to the May Festival Committee,which has agreed to take over next year. However, all the great sandwiches wesold last Saturday will help to pay the insurance in 2012.

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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