(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
CHATAQUA IS HERE: Chewelah’s celebration begins next Thursday…
Chataqua week always has Chewelah buzzing with excitement as the carnival rides slowly get set up, the vendors and food carts start popping up in the park and then eventually the people start coming into town.
While it’s in a town of just 2,600, an estimated 30K people frequent the award-winning community celebration that has been around since 1974. From rides, arts and crafts, food, little league games and more, it can be a bit overwhelming with its plethora of activity, but here is how you can enjoy the busiest weekend Chewelah has to offer.
EAT SOMETHING NEW EVERY DAY
For some people in town, like the Chewelah Independent’s editor who’s quickly looking like a chubby Chandler from the TV series “Friends,” Chataqua is a chance to experience food that you wouldn’t otherwise see in town.
There will be gyros, seafood, donuts, deep fried mushrooms, deep fried cheesecake, kettle corn, teriyaki, egg rolls, gourmet mac and cheese, turkey legs, Italian sausage, elephant ears and shaved ice, just to name a few options. So in the four days you can go down to the park, try something different, start a blog of your Chataqua food experiences and make sure you go to Akers or Valley Drug for the eventual “you’re old and you have heartburn” experience.
While this won’t be the hottest Chataqua on record, make sure you get a good bit of water while walking around. It should be sunny all weekend with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s. Also remember it’s summer now, so don’t dress like you’re going to the Iditarod in Alaska.
PICK UP A CHATAQUA T-SHIRT
You’re actually not a resident of Chewelah unless you get a Chataqua t-shirt. It is how we spot each other when we’re out of town.
Everyone else just stares at the t-shirt wondering how the heck to pronounce Chataqua.
NEED YOUR CAR PAINTED? TAKE IT TO THE CHILDREN’S ART PAVILION
Looking at the Children’s Art Pavilion lineup of activities this year, it seems like the Chewelah Arts Guild is having them paint everything. So from pet rocks, to faces to tie-dyeing t-shirts, everything is getting color. So if your car needs a new paint job, why not just take it on down to the Chewelah City Park and have the kids get at it?
Also it’s a great spot for your kid to have fun at the park while you shop for Christmas gifts.
GO SLOW THROUGH TOWN
The number of screeches from brakes we hear in town goes up considerably during Chataqua. Make sure you go slow and be prepared for pedestrians to cross the street. Otherwise, be prepared to see the Chewelah Independent editor point and laugh when you have to slam on your brakes over and over.
VISIT SCOTT FROM KCHW IN THE PARK
Northern Lights Public Radio will be in the city park all week as Scott Allen will be making live broadcasts for 102.7 FM. Stop by and tell Scott how good he looks in Batman tank tops while talking to people on the radio. Also bring him some bottled water as he perspires easily.
WORK OFF THAT BEER GARDEN BY RUNNING THE FUN RUN… OR NOT
The Chewelah Chataqua Challenge 5K/10K begins on Saturday at 7 a.m., so show up to work off the previous two nights at the beer garden!
Or if running is like the worst thing ever for you… Boy Scout Troop 989 of Valley is hosting the Boy Scout breakfast from 7-11 a.m. on Saturday at the Chewelah Civic Center, so if you don’t want to run, you can always have breakfast instead.
THURSDAY NIGHT IS FOR LOCALS
Dave DeVeau the Singing Fire Chief, along with Sara Cochran’s piano students and the Top Notch Talent Show will all be on Thursday evening. So if you want to get a strictly Chewelah entertainment lineup, head down to Center Stage on Thursday.
RIDE IN A HELICOPTER
Inland Helicopters will be giving people flying tours of Chewelah which will be guaranteed to be the first time you’ve seen the town over two stories. Cost is $50 a person and available from 10 a.m. to dusk. Takeoffs are at the field behind Gess Elementary.
ATTEND THE MIKE CARPENTER MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT AT THE BEST LITTLE LEAGUE FIELD IN NE WASHINGTON
Paul Coffey-Troy Bauman Memorial Field is quite possible the only little league field with a museum along the third base line.
The little league all-stars will be battling all weekend, and it’s a nice break from the mayhem that is going on in the park.
TAKE SOME SWINGS AT THE CHATAQUA GOLF TOURNAMENT
The Chewelah Golf and Country Club is hosting their annual 2-Man Best Ball Scramble golf tournament during Saturday and Sunday. For more info, call the pro shop at 509-935-6807.
GET READY TO DANCE
We’re not sure where to start. The CenterStage lineup is packed with local bands like Spectra on Friday from 3-4:15 p.m. Check out the crowd favorite, Stevens County’s Sara Brown on Friday from 8 -11 p.m.
Brown has become the local star of Chataqua in recent years with rhythm and blues combined with her unique performing style and you really have to applaud the small town redhead from Kettle Falls. Can we just make her the ambassador for Stevens County? There are probably some trade disputes with Canada she could figure out.
KELLY HUGHES… ENOUGH SAID
Kelly Hughes Band will be playing on Saturday, no doubt to a big crowd late at night. Make sure you bring your boots too because everybody will be dancing.
SPEAKING OF DANCING
The Stevens County Stompers, who I secretly hope all stay in an apartment complex and annoy their downstairs neighbors, will be dancing up a storm on Saturday beginning at 11:15 a.m. Magaician Kevin Wolfe will be on stage at 1:15 p.m. that day, and then on Sunday, An Dochas and The Haran Irish Dancers will make the city park seem so Irish from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. you’ll want to grow a few potatoes or something.
Head down to the city park for a variety of reasons to support Chataqua which has been voted by The Inlander as the best small-town community event in the Northwest!