OROVILLE -If you would have asked him when the plan to create a new Centennial Park wasfirst suggested, Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth admits he would have bet againstit.
Mayor Spiethtold a crowd last Friday at the dedication and again at the ribbon cutting onSaturday that he was amazed at how the volunteers came together to build thenew park.
Joan Cool,co-chairwoman of the Centennial Park Committee gave credit for the inspirationfor the park to Dick Garner, who saw what could be done with an empty lot whenvisiting Bonners Ferry. She also credited Stan and Tamara Porter for providingthe location.
“This isyour park, please help us take care of it,” said Cool at the Friday dedication.
Severaldignitaries were on hand at the ribbon cutting, including Okanogan CountyCommissioners Mary Lou Peterson and Andrew Lampe, Oroville Mayor Spieth andOsoyoos Mayor John Slater.
“Today isthe one-hundredth Centennial Celebration. They say home is where the heart isand Oroville is my home,” said Commissioner Peterson.
Along withCool, those dedicating the park recognized her co-chairwoman Hillary Blacklerand Oroville Streetscape head Barbara Drummond, as well as all the members ofthe Streetscape Committee. Councilman Walt Hart was applauded for his effortson behalf of the entire Centennial Celebration, as was Ellie Braman and KaySibley and the other members of the Centennial Committee.
Bob andGeneva Irwin, Grand Marshals for the Centennial Parade, were given acertificate in recognition of the event. Bob Irwin is the great grandson ofHirum “Okanogan” Smith, one of Oroville’s earliest pioneers and an early daylegislator.
MaryMarchand, a spiritual leader and historian with the Colville Tribe, gave theblessing for the new park and Jack Hughes was the keynote speaker at the ribboncutting.
In hiskeynote address Hughes recalled growing up in Oroville, working in the appleorchards during the summer and swimming in the lake and skiing at Sitzmark inthe winter. He also recalled catching a movie at the Pow Wow Drive-in and tripsto the A&amp;W for five and ten sent root beers.
“I don’tthink there is a better way to grow up than in a small town like Oroville,” hesaid. “As an adult I see the promise of a more stable economy in Oroville withthe many families moving to our area to work with U.S. Customs and BorderPatrol, the ever expanding Oroville Reman and Reload and the long-time stablebusiness, some have been in business over 75 years.”
“I see newbusinesses and exciting times coming to Oroville with tourism, agriculture andafter 100 years, serious mining coming back to the Oroville area. I believegrowing tourism, light industry and agriculture will make Oroville and everbetter place to live and raise a family,” said Hughes.
Formore Oroville Centennial Celebration photos see our