Date moved up for NW Ice Fishing Festival

Patrick McManus show returns for second year

OROVILLE – After anglers got skunked for the third year in a row, the Oroville Chamber of Commerce decided to move the Northwest Ice Fishing Festival up to Saturday, Jan. 17 rather than the traditional President’s Day weekend in February, according to chamber president Clyde Andrews.

“We have moved the date to the Saturday of Martin Luther King’s Birthday Holiday because in the past three years fish have been caught in the lakes right up until the end of January,” said Andrews, who adds that the organization has also brought back Tim Behrens staring in “McManus in Love” at the Oroville High School Commons.

Registration for the fishing tournament is at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning in the Molson Grange Hall – $20 for adults and $10 for youth. In addition to cash prizes, there will be prizes awarded for adult, Smallest Fish; adult, Mystery Weight; Oldest Fisherman, Youngest Fisherman and first, second and third place in the Youth Division.

While the ice fishing festival is hosted by the chamber of commerce, the organization has several “Gold Sponsors” including Kinross, Hughes Department Store and OK Chevrolet. The chamber is looking for additional sponsors as well, contact Andrews at 888-699-5659.

In the past the event has attracted over 100 fishing registrants and over 250 come for the breakfast sponsored by the Molson Grange. In mid-day families enjoy the dog sled demonstrations and still others come for the arts and crafts displays, demonstrations and performances in the hall, according to Andrews.

“Because last year’s Pinewood Derby was so well received, we are doing it again, with $200 in cash prizes sponsored by OK Chevrolet. After breakfast, Sitzmark Ski Area comes in to provide lunch items. Most everyone hangs around until the last raffle ticket is drawn,” said Andrews.

The play, “McManus in Love” was written by the well-known humorist Patrick McManus. It will be performed by Behrens on Saturday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are $17 in advance or $20 at the door. Tickets are available at Prince’s Center, the Camaray Motel, Tonasket Interiors and online at