Chataqua is here! Our Chewelah Park is transformed from a green chunk of land in the city limits to a bustling festival. I also will venture to guess that for a few days, the Zipper is the tallest structure in the town. So please get out and have some fun.
If you’re wondering what you should do at the festival, I’ve come up with a handydandy checklist…
Watch a blown glass artist intently and wonder what could possibly go wrong
Okay, Chataqua is known for its wide selection of arts and crafts, right? You know the blown glass artists that make the little glass swans or pirate ships or dragons that constantly amaze a passerby because how the heck can you do that by melting glass? What I’ve wondered is what’s the OSHA requirements for those guys? They’re playing with blow torches and melted glass! Like how do they transport their glass items to the show? You hit one of the many potholes on Highway 395 and there goes your whole stock. How many finger burns do these people get? It’s like burning yourself with hot glue but 100x worse. While you may see a pedestrian arts and crafter, when I see the glass artists, I see the daredevils of the artsy vendor circuit.
Get the most fattening food you can find
It seems like festival food vendors try to outdo one another for the fattest food they can whip up. Having been a surveyor of various fairs the past decade or so, I can say that there is nothing more American than choosing between “Deep Fat Fried Bacon” and “Deep Fat Fried Deep Fat.” In 1,000 years where they’re talking about previous civilizations, I’m convinced they’ll call this either the “Facebook Era” or the “Deep Fat Fried Era.”
Say Hello to Sharon Ludwig
Counting up the number of times I’ve seen Sharon Ludwig at local community events and gatherings and by using very scientific methods I have come to the conclusion that there are either four Sharon Ludwigs cruising around Chewelah or she’s a time traveler. The Chairwoman of Chataqua is involved in so many things around town you can almost count on seeing her if you’re doing something Chewelah-related. No doubt you’ll see her at Chataqua so make sure you say thank you because she plays a big part in making everything happen (along with many other volunteers)
See how long you can stand in Chewelah Creek before wussing out
Has anyone broke out their inner child and jumped in Chewelah Creek lately? Despite summer throwing warm temperatures at us, I would estimate that the creek is roughly the temperature of Siberia in the dead of winter. I waded into the creek lately for the Vacation Bible School boat races and I’m pretty sure I lost feeling in my feet after 10 seconds. Don’t worry though, I only had two toes removed from frostbite. So if you want to show your manly strength in front of the 50,000 or so people that walk through the park during Chataqua, you and your friends should have a “who can stand in the freezing creek long enough before giving up and going to get a funnel cake” contest.
Park the farthest away from the park as humanly possible
A brand new parking space in the form of PACA’s backlot was taken off the possible list of Chataqua parking areas when PACA realized that 12 year olds can launch home runs over the outfield fence at a greater rate than the Seattle Mariners (well, I guess that isn’t that tough). So we’re back to the old mantra of slowly driving through town and seeing whose lawn we can park on. So let’s play a game! Send me your “farthest away parking spot” for Chataqua and I’ll post it on our Facebook page. Send it to brandon@ chewelahindependent.com Bonus points if you park in Valley or Addy.
See how many people can actually pronounce Chataqua and Chewelah
You think Gonzaga is bad when it comes to national broadcasting announcers butchering the name, can you imagine them trying to make sense of Chewelah and Chataqua? I remember specifically in college when a guy who thought he was the smartest student at Eastern Washington University penned an article basically saying “If you don’t travel around the world, you’re not a smart person and probably a terrible human.” I’m probably paraphrasing, but this is a guy that self-published a book of his own poetry and read it in the campus quad to like four people. Anyways I wrote a response article simply stating that a lot of people in my hometown of Chewelah are very educated, knowledgeable and nice folks in general – even though they probably haven’t been to Paris and Rome. He came up to me next week and said “So CHA WAA LOOH huh?”
Apparently world travel doesn’t give you the ability to say a town’s name right.