The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Dayton Days Gets Bigger & Better

Western history is theme for expanded Dayton Days celebration Saturday


DAYTON—This year’s Memorial Weekend Dayton Days celebration, put on by the Dayton Chamber of Commerce, will kick off on Saturday, May 26, at 10 a.m. with the Dayton Days Main Street Parade. The crowd lining Main Street will enjoy another great parade, including fair courts, historic floats, classic cars and many other entrants.

In the spirit of western history, additional activities are planned for Dayton Days this year, according to event chair Ginny Butler. “We wanted to get more families and kids downtown,” she explained.

Immediately following the parade, participants are invited to try their hand at western roping and horsemanship with Kraig Horlacher on the courthouse lawn.

Families also invited to the Carnival Block Party, at the Dayton Memorial Library, on Saturday from 11 a. m. until 3 p. m.

Lawn games, food booths, face and rock painting, stage entertainment and a clown are some of the activities that are planned for the block party. The block party kicks off the 2018 Summer Reading Program, said Library Assistant Charlie Oribio.

Fair court royalty from Dayton, Waitsburg, Walla Walla and Pendleton will meet and visit with the public in the courtyard of the Dayton Historic Depot. Tamara Fritze, Depot Museum Director, said the museum will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday.

A photo exhibit depicting Dayton’s glory days as a western town is in the waiting room and ticket office, along with an exhibit of antique maps in the upstairs gallery. There will also be a sidewalk sale and gift shop clearance on the boardwalk, she said.

Dayton’s three other local museums will feature fun activities, as well.

At the Boldman House Museum on Saturday from 11 a. m. until 3 p. m., people are invited to learn how to shell corn, grind wheat and coffee, make butter, wash laundry with a scrub board and wringer, peel apples, plant flower seeds, and perform household chores using hand powered machinery. Demonstrations will also be given in carpenter skills with antique tools and mowing the lawn with a reel mower,

The Boldman House Museum is located at 410 North First Street, and will also be open for house tours, said Museum Director Sylvia Beuhler.

Paula Moisio, President of the Blue Mountain Heritage Society, said stick horse races, a spelling bee, music on the player piano, dancing or listening to records on the old Victrola, and a scavenger hunt in the veterans’ display are planned for the Smith Hollow Country Schoolhouse Museum, which is located at 113 North Front Street.

She said, the Palus Museum at 426 East Main Street will feature sidewalk chalk, artifact digging, wash board washing, name the animal tracks, and a museum scavenger hunt.

Moisio said both museums are open from 11 a. m. until 5 p. m. on Saturday, and activities are ongoing throughout the day.

Other local downtown shops and eateries are offering specials, as well, said Chamber Director Melissa Bryan. For instance, everything except the flowers will be 20% off at Snapdragon Floral and Gifts on Saturday, according to owner Vicky Beckmeyer.

The Wenaha Gallery at 219 East Main Street is hosting an art show reception, from 10:30 a. m. until 1:30 p. m. on Saturday, for jewelry artist Mary Calanche, and watercolor artist Debbie Bruce. There will also be free artisan refreshments, said manager Savonnah Henderson.

Henderson said there will be a 10-40% off special on select Western art throughout the gallery.

Saturday is the Blue Mountain Station’s annual Summer Market Opening, and the market will be open from 11 a.m. until 4 p m. All retail shops, including Manila Bay, the Co-op market, Mary’s Candies, and XO Alambic will be open. XO Alambic plans a tasting of their newest whiskey creation, said Kathryn Witherington, the Port of Columbia’s Economic Development Coordinator.

She said Breathe Easy and Smith Hollow Farmstead will also be at the Blue Mountain Station, selling local produce and crafts.

Ice cream cones and ice cream floats at Mary’s Candies will be 50 cents off the regular price, when lunch is purchased at the co-op market.

Witherington said the 4-H Lucky Buns Rabbit Club and the Hog Wild Club will host a petting zoo, featuring rabbits, mini pigs, a calf, goats, rats and reptiles.

Kids can also look forward to the bounce house, a photo op with the Green Giant, and face painting activities, she said.


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