May Festival, although in spring, is just around the corner, Saturday, May 14 and comes with the promise of bringing back old memories and is sure to 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.While “May Day” as many still refer to it started out as a school event led by Bob Drummond more than 80 years ago. It now is community wide and embraced by not only those in Oroville, but by our neighbors to the north in Osoyoos and to the south in Tonasket. May Festival celebrates spring, but marks the start of a busy event season for those living in the north county.
The Grand Parade, while the focus of the festival, is just one of its varied features. Many of us 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 the Oroville-Tonasket Irrigation District, as well as a tip of the hat to our century-old Zosel Sawmill. And there’s food, wine tasting, music and much more. See next week’s edition for a full schedule of events, articles about our royalty and grand marshals.
May Festival is just the start, the Run for the Border Motorcycle Ride is the following Saturday with the Rally at the Border Blues Fest that weekend. The first weekend in June we will have the Tonasket Founder’s Day events including the parade and rodeo, the weekend of June 11 and 12 we have the Lake Osoyoos Cup Jet Ski Races. July there’s the Chesaw Fourth of July Rodeo and the Community Fireworks Display at Deep Bay Park. Then August starts out with the 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.
Editor’s Note: Two issues back we lost the end of a story on Initiative 1419 regarding medical marijuana policies. To read the full story online, with links to some of reporter Katie Teachout’s coverage of other marijuana issues in the county, see www.gazette-tribune.com/?p=72242.