Founders Day Weekend is here

Karlie Henneman is  serving as the Tonasket Founders day Rodeo Queen this year. Brent Baker/staff photo
Karlie Henneman is serving as the Tonasket Founders day Rodeo Queen this year. Brent Baker/staff photo

TONASKET – Tonasket’s 78th annual Founders Day weekend will feature non-stop, end-to-end activity for those who wish to partake in the full plethora of festivities beginning Thursday, May 30, and highlighted by a full day Saturday that includes the annual parade, rodeo and more.

This year’s theme is, “Make a Splash!” to highlight the work being done to build the Tonasket Water Ranch in Chief Tonasket Park.

Patti Middleton was chosen by the Tonasket Chamber of Commerce’s selection committee to serve as this year’s Grand Marshal and plans to ride in a sheep cart with her husband Randy and five small grandchildren.

Karlie Henneman was chosen as Miss Tonasket Rodeo last October and has since been representing Tonasket in rodeos and other public appearances throughout the Northwest this spring.

It all gets underway Thursday evening at the Tonasket Rodeo Grounds on Rodeo Road, just south of Tonasket, with a 5 p.m. barbecue, followed by kids’ games at 6 p.m. The all-you-can-eat barbecue costs $7. Hank Williams-wannabe Bud McSpadden will provide musical entertainment.

Also beginning May 30 is the annual Library Sale, which runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Thursday and Friday.

The first session of the Tonasket Founders Day Rodeo is Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. at the Rodeo Grounds. Pre-sale tickets are $12 for adults, $8 for children ages six to 12 and free for anyone five or under and can be purchased at II Sisters, The Junction, Superior Auto Parts, or the Tonasket Eagles 3002 in Tonasket. At the gate, tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for children six to 12. Gates open at 5 p.m.

This year the rodeo features the Elite Professional Bullriders and World Class Bucking Horse Association.

Saturday’s activities swing into action early, beginning with the Cowboy Breakfast at the Rodeo Grounds from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Tonasket 5K Community Fun Run will be run and/or walked at the Tonasket High School track beginning at 8:00 a.m., with registration beginning at 7:40 a.m. Proceeds will go to the Tonasket Water Ranch. An entry form with a variety of registration options can be found on page B2.

For those participating in the parade, line-up begins at 9:30 a.m. with check-in located in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Bank, 16 West 5th Street. Judging of floats will take place at 10 a.m., with the parade itself starting at 11 a.m.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tonasket Middle Schoolers will be holding a fundraiser in an attempt to jump-start funding for the Tonasket city swimming pool, which was shut down two years ago. The fundraiser will include games and dunk tank “festivities.”

Following the parade, from noon to 2 p.m., will feature downtown activities.

The athletically-minded can swing back into action at 12:30 p.m. at Chief Tonasket Park, where the third annual softball tournament will be held. This year’s tournament leads off with a Home Run Derby with the tourney starting at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $10 per person for the Home Run Derby and $120 per softball team, with proceeds going to the Tonasket Junior Baseball and Softball Association. Concessions will be available.

Finally, the second session of the rodeo will begin at 7 p.m.

“Budley” takes on project

Bud McSpadden, retired rodeo clown and current all-around entertainer, is working on a branding display as part of the rodeo grounds beautification project.

“Since I am no longer clowning I need something to keep me out of trouble,” McSpadden said. “Theythey don’t trust me in the kitchen… With Jon Wilson’s help as ‘branding boss’ we will be branding the old grandstand seats that were removed during (Karlie Henneman and Breanna Howell’s) senior project.

“For $10 you can have your family’s brand along with a name displayed for eternity or until the termites eat the planks, which ever comes first?.”

McSpadden said both power for “newfangled” brands or fire to heat up the old-style metal ones will both be available.

All proceeds will go toward additional rodeo ground projects.