The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Dena Wood
The Times 

Celebration Days is May 19-21

Weekend will include Parade, ATV run, Brewfest, live music and dancing


WAITSBURG – Waitsburg Celebration Days, held the third weekend each May, is just around the corner.

The weekend, May 19-21, promises fun for everyone, with a parade, car show, brewfest, bonfire, ATV events, food, dancing, vendors, live music, and fun and games.


Celebration Days will kick off on Friday at 4:30 p.m. with the second annual Historic ATV Sunset Cruise, organized by Andy and Denise Winnett. The guided cruise takes Saturday’s poker ride route in reverse, with stops at historical points of interest along the way. The cruise will end back at the fairgrounds bonfire.

This year’s cruise focuses on the history of sites on Wilson Hollow and down Whiskey Creek.

The Sunset Cruise is limited to 50 vehicles. The cost is $10 per participant (not vehicle), and tickets may be purchased under “Karen’s Ride” at

At 5 p.m. the community is invited to a bonfire on the east end of the fairgrounds. The Commercial Club will host with a wine and beer garden, and The Q will have BBQ available for purchase.

Back downtown, classic cars will line up at Preston Park at 6 p.m., before beginning their annual Main Street Cruise at 6:30. Anyone interested in participating is invited to show up at the park and join in.

Dry camping is available on Friday and Saturday nights for $10 per night. Spots can be reserved at under “Karen’s Ride” or by contacting Joy Smith at (509) 539-8773.


Start the day off right with a hearty, all-you-can-eat breakfast, hosted by Waitsburg American Legion Post #35, at Town Hall from 7-10 a.m. Enjoy pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice, and coffee for a $5 donation.

The day’s festivities will kick off with a kiddie parade at 9:45 a.m. The official Main Street Parade will begin at 10 a.m. There is no need for kids to register; they just need to line up at the Main Street Bridge at 9:30.

Because the parade is held on Armed Forces Day, the theme selected for 2017 is “Celebrating Waitsburg.” Groups, families, or individuals who would like to be in the parade can download an entry form by visiting the city website at, and clicking the “Community Events” link. Parade details can be found under the “Waitsburg Celebration Days” heading.

There is no charge to participate in the parade and everyone is welcome. Judging will take place from 9 to 9:30 at the staging area at First and Main. Registrations are requested by May 15. Call Walt or Gwen Gobel at (509) 337-9177 or email for more information.

This year’s parade marshals are Howard and Dona Jean Smith. Their biographies will run in next week’s issue of The Times.

Classic Auto Show participants are encouraged to participate in the parade, but should register separately with Fred Gonzalez at (509) 301-9688.

The Classic Auto Show will take place at Preston Park from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., with concessions and live music featured throughout the morning and afternoon. New this year is an auto swap meet for car parts and auto-related items. There is no pre-registration required for the show/swap meet, and the entry fee is $10. Call Fred at (509) 301-9688 for more information.

Vendors will be selling their wares on the lawn of the Bruce House Museum from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. There is no charge to sell, but a 10% donation of proceeds is suggested. Contact Tom Land at (206) 795-4620 for more information.

The Bruce House museum will be open to the public following the parade, as demand dictates.

The Waitsburg Lions Club is sponsoring the Queen’s Luncheon, to welcome visiting court royalty, from 12-1:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds. The event is by invitation only. This year’s WCD Queen, Cheyanne Shoun, has been busy representing Waitsburg at the Walla Walla Showcase and the Asotin County Fair & Rodeo.

Kids will want to be present at Preston Park from 12-1:30 p.m., where Carol Clarke and crew will once again provide children’s games.

The annual Waitsburg Celebration Days Brew Festival, sponsored by the Town Hall Association, will take place at Waitsburg Town Hall from 12 – 5 p.m. Participating breweries include: Chief Springs Fire & Irons Brew Pub, Dragon’s Gate Brewery, Hermiston Brewery Co., Laht Neppur Brewing, Paradixe Creek Brewery and Riverport Brewing.

Brewfest tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door. Each ticket includes five samples (5-6 ounces each) and a commemorative glass. Tickets may be purchased for additional glasses and samples. The American Legion will serve brats from 1-4 p.m.

Karen’s Ride Poker Ride will depart the Waitsburg fairgrounds at 1 p.m., with check-in beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Riders will leave the fairgrounds and travel a 35-mile marked course through the scenic foothills of the Blue Mountains, drawing cards at seven checkpoints along the way. The ride ends back at the fairgrounds with an optional run through the mud pit for the final card. Awards will be presented at 5 p.m., with wins for the best five card hand, out of seven. Riders may purchase an unlimited number of hands for $10 each ($15 if purchased after May 15). Jackpots will be paid out of 60% of the event proceeds, split as follows: 1st place-30%, 2nd place-20%, 3rd place-10%, Straight Flush of Spades Jackpot-$50.

Upon their return to the fairgrounds, spectators can watch the riders get down-and-dirty playing in the mud pit from the Lions Club Beer Garden. The beer garden will be open from 1 p.m. through midnight, and the ‘Why Not Pizza’ mobile pizzeria will be at the fairgrounds from 1-3 p.m.

Tickets for the poker ride, sunset Cruise, and camping, may be purchased online by searching for “Karen’s Ride” or “Waitsburg Celebration Days” at, or by calling Wendy Richards at (509) 520-2124, or Lisa Naylor at (509) 386-6021

Saturday night wraps up with the popular PEO-sponsored Burgers, Bands & Brews fundraiser. Enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing with friends for only $10. PEO members will serve a hamburger dinner for all ages, from 5-8 p.m. Bands will play live music from 5 p.m. until midnight, with a 21-plus dance in the Don Thomas building beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Three bands are participating in this year’s event. Local bluegrass kids, Switchgrass Delta, will play during dinner from 5-8 p.m.

Dakota Brown Band will play in the Don Thomas building from 6:30-8:45 p.m. Talented lead singer, Dakota Brown, made it to Hollywood on American Idol, and was shortlisted for The Voice, though he didn’t end up making it on the air. The alternative/pop/soul band recently released their first EP titled “Find Your Way.”

Finally, local country/rock favorite The FrogHollow Band will take the stage at 9 p.m. for a night of dancing, with special guest Randy Pearson filling in on keyboards for the night.

Tickets may be purchased at Laht Neppur, by calling 520-2124, or by searching “Burger, Band and Brews” at Tickets are $10 through May 15 and $15 thereafter. Dinner-only tickets for minors are $7.


The weekend wraps up with a cowboy church service in Preston Park at 9 a.m., with Pastor Matthew Wyatt preaching. Coffee and snacks will be available starting at 8:30 a.m.

This year’s Duck Derby is co-sponsored by the Waitsburg softball and football teams, and FFA. Ducks will be released at the park at 10 a.m.

Commemorative 2017 Waitsburg Celebration Days T-Shirts are available online at the Karen’s Ride Eventbrite page, or may be ordered directly through Blue Crystal Screen Printing, for $15. The shirts are royal blue with red and white accents, keeping the patriotic theme, and mimicking the new street banners. T-shirts must be ordered by May 12.


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