Chataqua will have a new flavor when it comes to entertainment this year at the 43-year old event. Local and out-of-area acts will take CenterStage for the marquee community event in the city park. Everyday of the festival will be jam-packed with performers from all genres and tastes.
“This year we have quite a few new groups coming to perform at Chataqua,” Entertainment Coordinator Nicole Alby said. “For many years, people have been asking for some new talent. This year we are bringing it.”
Chewelah Day kicks off as usual with Sara Cochran’s piano students performing at 4 p.m. followed by the Mountain Melodies Chorus at 5 p.m. with the Northern Ballet and Performing Arts students. After Honored Citizen Kay Comer-Lupton is introduced on CenterStage, Janet McLaughlin’s talent show featuring local youth will start at 6:30 p.m.
But closing on Thursday night will be a new act: Chris Rieser & the Nerve performs from 9-11 p.m. Alby said, “They are a fun rock group that will surely have you up dancing in no time.” They’ve been performing together for over 14 years.
Friday night also has a new headliner – MOJO the Party Band starts at 8 p.m. Friday, July 8.
“They’re a very upbeat group that performs a variety of music from oldies to current hits,” Alby said. “Music that everyone will enjoy.”
Also new to Chataqua Friday will be The Robbie Walden Band – A Texas, red-dirt and outlaw influenced band groomed out of the Pacific Northwest.
Friday will also feature local performers with Savannah Blain (an upcoming singer and songwriter) and Spectra (coffeehouse jazz and blues).
Then local clogging group, The Stevens County Stompers, will start Saturday off at 10 a.m.
Saturday also brings back returning Chataqua favorites: Kevin Wolfe with his magic and hypnosis act intended for all ages, Coeurimba, described as Marimba: energetic music with a soul, and local rock variety band FIRECREEK.
Saturday also introduces another new act: The Islanders Steel Drum Band.
Then the Kelly Hughes Band, featuring high energy country music, will close out Saturday as they’ve done for many years.
“He draws a great crowd,” Alby said.
On Sunday, Rachael and Emma Larsen will perform their dance and violin act at Chataqua for the first time; the duo placed second at Chewelah’s Got Talent earlier in the year. They’ll be followed by An Dochas and the Haran Irish Dancers. The Sara Brown Band will then return for its second year as Sunday’s headliner on Sunday afternoon.
The planning process for the Chataqua entertainment begins in November as Alby and volunteers try to send out Save The Dates and start looking for new performers.
“I like to go listen to new groups,” she said. “It really gives you the chance to see and hear the group live versus listening to a demo. I also love to see how the audience responded.”
By the end of January, they try to have all contracts out and confirmed. By April, Alby will reconfirm with the performers and get all the remaining details lined out.
Those interested in performing next year can go to Chataqua’s website, www.chewelahchataqua.com, and send their group’s information and a demo.
Chataqua something for everyone
But Chataqua is not just about CenterStage. Check out the craft vendors, food court, photo booth, fun run, beer garden, carnival (tickets on sale now at The Independent), Children’s Arts Pavilion activities, and the Saturday parade.
See it all in the Chataqua brochure mailed last week, also also available for free at many area locations. For the most up to date Little League Tournament Schedule, see page 6 of this week’s Independent
By Brandon Hansen/The Independent Staff