The event, originally organized by the late Joy Ehlers as a full day of fun at Oroville’s Deep Bay Park, which hadn’t so much earlier undergone a transformation after it had been turned over to the city from the local Kiwanis Club. The Sons of the American Legion were recruited to take over the project and for the last many years it has basically been run by Dane Forrester with help from his wife Joyce (this year’s May Festival Grand Marshals) and friends like Bryan Sawyer, the licensed pyrotechnician.
While the music and food events that were originally a part of Joy’s dream have fallen by the wayside, the Oroville Chamber of Commerce, which has taken up the event, is working on offering entertainment and food in the future years. If you have any ideas you might contact Leah Palmer, the chamber’s vice-president.
However, the fireworks will retain top billing – and to bring those the chamber of commerce needs your donations – whatever you can afford, even if it’s just a dollar or two. It’s amazing home much money it takes to light up the sky – but the oohs and ahhs of the crowd are worth it. So, whether you come down to the park to watch or somewhere else where the view is good remember people are working hard to make the event happen and be sure and give what you can so the chamber can bring you the event again next year. Your donations help to make the down payment on next year’s show, which has to be paid early to ensure a spectacular Fourth of July display.
Many local businesses have generously donated over the years – even some that aren’t so local. Dan Lepley, from the chamber board has been approaching local businesses about giving this year. You can donate at Umpqua Bank, the Camaray Motel, or via Credit Card at www.orovillewashington.com, or by check to Oroville Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 2140, Oroville, WA 98844.
Be Loud, Be Proud
A new tradition may be starting at the park as the Oroville High School Cheerleaders are asking people to come support them by participating in the first annual Be Loud, Be Colorful 5K run on the Fourth of July. It’s $15 to enter and runners, who are asked to wear white T-shirts and sun glasses will be showered with bright colored powder in the shades of Old Glory. Participants will begin at Deep Bay Park, continue south on Westlake road, turn around by Les Schwab and loop back to the park. For more information call 509-560-1063 or 509-413-6157.
One last thing, while we have to wait until Saturday, July 4 for our celebration, our Canadian neighbors will be celebrating on Wednesday, July 1. Remember to wish your favorite Canuck a Happy Canada Day — it might be a little belated as you see them up at the Chesaw Rodeo or in Oroville for the fireworks. As we are printed in Penticton on Wednesdays we are asking our news contributors and advertisers to get their items in early because we will be going to press a day early so our neighbors to the north can have their day off. See page A2 for more details