‘Red Carpet’ event celebrating 81 years
OROVILLE – “Red Carpet Magic” is the theme for this year’s Oroville May Festival which marks the 81st Anniversary of the Oroville’s premier annual event.
The festivities start with the coronation which takes place on Friday at 7 p.m. at Oroville High School, followed by a mini lighted parade down Main Street and then the Royal Ball at the Pastime Bar & Grill. This year’s royalty are Queen Ellamae Burnell and Princesses Mikayla Scott and Faith Martin. They invite everyone to come and enjoy the weekend which has a wide range of activities so most will find something they can enjoy.
While the Royal Ball is new for this year, most of the May Festival traditions remain the same as they have for generations. Perhaps the most widely enjoyed by Orovillites and their visitors is the Grand Parade, which starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday and makes its way down Main Street, turning west at Central. Plan to get your seats early because the sidewalks get crowded with onlookers. Following the parade Queen Ellamae and Princesses Faith and Mikayla hold court with other school and visiting royalty on the lawn in front of the high school. The traditional May Pole Dance, with roots in the festivals early day beginnings also takes place then.
Of course, the day actually begins with the May Festival Bass Tournament at Deep Bay Park at 5 a.m. There’s also a pancake feed at the American Legion that starts at 6 a.m. and goes to 9 a.m. Registration for the Fun Run is from 7 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. and draws many who run, but several who enjoy a good walk. The 3 on 3 basketball tournament begins at the high school tennis courts at 8 a.m. and attracts competitors from up and down the valley, as well as many alumni who return just for the tourney.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society welcomes people to come see their latest exhibit which features displays that tell the story about when the first white settlers came to this area and the changes that happened among the native peoples. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., “Park What Your Proud Of” an impromptu car/truck/motorcycle/tractor show at the Post Office parking lot. There’s no charge to participate.
Starting at 11:30 a.m. the Oroville Chamber of Commerce will be holding their annual barbecue which helps to fund scholarships for local OHS graduating seniors. The Aurora Masons will be putting on the Kids Games at Ben Prince Field behind the high school starting at noon.
A Meet and Greet with present and past staff and students of the school district is also planned between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. at the high school.
There are also local wine tastings May Festival Weekend and much more. For a full schedule of events see page B1.