Each spring Wilbur welcomes hundreds of visitors, who come to share the fun and excitement of the annual Wild Goose Bill Days celebration, held the third weekend in May. The festival honors Wilbur’s colorful founding father, Samuel Wilbur Condon – known as Wild Goose Bill. The week’s activities vary from year to year, but they’re always sure to please.
The town festival events last for several days, starting on Thursday evening. The Wilbur School presents a junior and senior high school music concert in the town park while the local royalty serve root beer floats and pose for photos with their float.
On Friday the coaster car contestants begin practicing for the race and
Saturday is always the biggest day, with activities for people of all ages and interests starting first thing in the morning and lasting far into the night. Activities include the 5K Goose Chase Fun Run, a parade down Main Street, a children’s fishing derby in Goose Creek, a barbecue in the park, a Show-N-Shine car show, coaster car races, mini moto races and live music at night in the Golden Garter Saloon.
This year we look forward to Daniel Noelle Williams, from Deer Park, with Nap, working a flock of sheep. Noelle and Nap will be doing two demos during Goose Days on Saturday, May 17,2014.
The Big Bend Historical Society Museum at the west-end of town offers a Saturday afternoon presentation along with self-guided tours all day. Adults can enjoy a live band and dancing Friday and Saturday evenings during Goose Days at the Golden Garter Saloon, located inside the Wilbur Community Center.
Shoppers can always find a variety of bargains at the downtown sidewalk sales, and booths sell everything from arts and crafts to Indian tacos and cotton candy.
Good food is plentiful at local restaurants, the locally sponsored barbecue in the park and commercial food booths. The Wilbur Senior Center is a popular stopping place for visitors eager to try a slice of homemade pie on the Saturday of Wild Goose Bill Days.
Wilbur’s annual slate of activities continues on the first Saturday in October with AG Appreciation Day, which celebrates the agricultural heritage of the area and celebrates the farmer. This event includes an AG machinery parade, a straw maze, tug-of-war, horseshoes, mini moto races, a cake walk, good food and numerous fun activities for children and families.
Another popular Wilbur activity is the Christmas Festival of Lights, held the night after Thanksgiving. Santa arrives in a horse-drawn wagon immediately after the spectacular display of lights is turned on in the Wilbur City Park, and the downtown merchants hold a Moonlight Madness Sale. The event also includes an arts and crafts bazaar in the Community Center and free hayrides around town.
Almira residents invite the outside world to join them for a day in the country – at the Almira Country Fair the last Saturday in September.
The event features a parade down Main Street, followed by a full day of old-fashioned family fun.
Throughout the day, there are games, craft and food booths, and other activities to keep the family entertained.
Major attractions at the Country Fair include the annual Firemen’s Auction and the craft show. Considered one of the biggest and best around, the craft show features creations by talented artists and crafters from throughout the region.
A special highlight of the Country Fair is the sumptuous meal provided by the women of the Almira Community Church.
For many years, Creston’s annual Community Day celebration has served as a magnet for former residents who come back each spring to spend the day with family and friends. But it isn’t necessary to have roots sunk deep in Creston soil to enjoy Community Day – this friendly little town makes everyone welcome! Community Day always takes place the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.
The celebration begins early with a tasty breakfast at the school cafeteria. One of the major highlights is the famous 9:00 a.m. “Butte or Bust Run.” The race is considered one of the most challenging runs in the area for those who choose the 6.2 mile race, which takes them all the way to the top of the Creston Butte and back. For those who find the butte more of a challenge than they are willing to tackle, there is always the shorter 3.5 mile race, which features a partially flat course with gently rolling hills.
The 11:00 a.m. parade draws visitors from throughout the area, lining the town’s main street to enjoy the floats, marching bands, antique cars and children in costume.
Following the parade, everyone stays for a catered dinner in the park at noon, and for an afternoon of footraces and games.
One of the charms of Community Day is its feeling of an old-fashioned family gathering. There is plenty of time for visiting and renewing old friendships as Community Day serves as a time of reunion for many people.
In addition to Wilbur, Creston and Almira, communities throughout the area hold their own celebrations and invite visitors to join them for the fun. Information about Lincoln County town festivals and their activities can be found online at www.visitlincolncountywashington.com/Events.html. The website includes an updated events calendar and downloadable versions of entry forms for local festivals.
Odessa: The Deutschesfest, which celebrates the town’s German heritage. Held the third weekend in September, it includes a parade, a beer garden with live music, a fun run, vendors and, best of all, numerous booths featuring authentic German food.
Odessa’s Desert 100 Endurance (motorcycle) Race is held early in April. This event is sponsored by the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club. Spring Fling includes a huge quilt show the last full weekend in April along with a state-sanctioned horseshoe tournament. Early in December, Odessa’s Christmas Fest features the arrival of Santa, vendors and sales by local merchants. Call 509-982-0049 for more information on these events.
Davenport: Pioneer Days, the third weekend in July, includes a parade, barbecue in the park, crafts and food vendors, live entertainment, a living history program at the museum and numerous other activities. These include a fun run, belly-flop contest, a sidewalk chalk art contest, alumni activities and the Road Knight’s car show. Call the Chamber of Commerce at 509-725-6711 for more information.
The Lincoln County Fair in Davenport, the fourth weekend in August, provides entertainment, rodeos, exhibits, animals, dances, chicken barbecue, food and vendors. For more information, call the Fair Office at 509-725-5161, summer only.
Grand Coulee Dam Area: This area probably has more community events scheduled than any other town around. A major event, the Colorama Festival and Pro-West Rodeo, is held on Mother’s Day weekend in May. Colorama includes a cowboy breakfast, parade, a health walk, rodeo, huge carnival, arts and crafts, food vendors and a special showing of the laser light show at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.
There is a Blues Festival at Sun Banks Resort the third weekend in May. Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of the season for the nightly laser light show on the face of Grand Coulee Dam, as well as the Washington State Bass Tournament. The Coulee Cruizers Car Show is held Father’s Day weekend in mid-June, along with boat races at Sun Banks Resort and the Coulee Kids Festival.
One of the biggest events of the year for the Grand Coulee Dam Area is the 4th of July Festival of America, which includes arts and crafts and international food booths, entertainment, an art display and fireworks off the top of the dam. Spring Canyon campground is a great place to stay and watch the show.
On the first weekend in September, there will be another Blues Festival at Sun Banks Resort. The Grand Columbian Triathlon, an Iron Man distance and Half Iron distance competition, will take place the second Saturday in September.
There is a schedule for the Coulee Dam area events on their Chamber of Commerce website at www.grandcouleedam.org or call 509-633-3074.
Coulee City: On Memorial Day weekend Coulee City holds its Last Stand Rodeo; and on the weekend before fishing season opens, a children’s fishing derby is held. There is a walleye fishing tournament the third weekend in May. For more information on these events, call 509-632-5043 or visit the community’s web site at www.couleecity.com.
Nespelem: The Colville Confederated Tribes hold their annual Pow-Wow and Encampment July 1-8. The event includes a pow wow, parade, feast, stick game tournament, rodeo, dancing and drumming. Call 509-634-2200 for more information. Nespelem is 17 miles north of Grand Coulee Dam on Hwy 155.