Dozens of descendants of Okanogan city pioneers are flocking to town June 1-2 for Okanogan Days - the kickoff event for the city's centennial celebration.
Carolyn Clayton, a member of the Okanogan Centennial Planning Committee, said the group has been overwhelmed by the response from people whose ancestors settled in an near Okanogan prior to 1920. The group decided to include the western edge of the Colville Indian Reservation, Malott and south to Davis Canyon, and the Pleasant Valley, Spring Coulee and Ruby areas.
Some families are bringing five generations to the Saturday morning parade and other festivities. Others are sending a single family member - some of whom have never been to Okanogan before.
Centennial planners are tapping anyone and everyone with a convertible so the descendants can see and be seen, she added.
The oldest pre-registered man is 95 and the oldest woman is 94, she added.
Registration for descendants will be from 4-9 p.m. Friday, June 1, and 8-9 a.m. Saturday, June 2, at the Cariboo Inn. The establishment, built in 1925 after the Bureau Hotel burned the previous year, is hosting the registration event and accompanying reception.
Music and a street dance are planned from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday.
Saturday kicks off with the Okanogan Kiwanis Club's pancake breakfast at 6:30 a.m. on Queen Street next to The Bike Shop (formerly Schalow's).
Parade lineup is at 10 a.m. Saturday on Tyee Street by the Okanogan Grange Hall, with registration at 10:30, said Scott Furman, parade director. Besides the pioneer descendants, the parade will feature dozens of other entries with the kids' parade taking the lead.
Trophies, provided by the Okanogan Chamber of Commerce, will be offered for first, second and third places in the kids' and several general categories.
Entry tables will be set up in front of the Grange building so people can register on parade day, he said. Advance registration forms can be obtained by contacting Furman at 422-7191.
"Who Stole the Courthouse?" is planned on Second Avenue at 10:45 a.m. Details of the presentation are being kept under wraps, but it apparently involves a group of ne'er-do-well bandits from Conconully.
The parade follows, at 11 a.m.
Folks attending Okanogan Days will find activities to keep them busy from dawn to dark Saturday.
Activities include a street fair, Friends of the Library book sale, street music, quilt and art shows in the newly remodeled Blackwell Building, history walks downtown and through older neighborhoods, Eastern Star salad luncheon at the Okanogan Masonic Temple from noon to 1:30 p.m., free ice cream at the United Methodist Church from noon to 2 p.m., cutting of a centennial cake at 1 p.m. on Queen Street followed by a historical skit, displays of old cars and farm equipment, free carriage rides, historical slide presentations, free swimming in the afternoon at the Okanogan pool and high school graduation at 4 p.m.