GRAND COULEE The Colorama Festival returns this week for its 58th year with popular activities, from a carnival to a parade, helicopter rides, races and more.
The celebration kicks off at 5 p.m. Thursday with the Paradise Amusements carnival opening at North Dam Park, located off state Highway 155 between Grand Coulee and Electric City.
“This festival is a hometown favorite and draws people from the Grand Coulee Dam area and the surrounding towns as well,” the Chamber of Commerce said. “It is a popular event for former residents of the area to return to year after year.”
The carnival continues from 3-9 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday. On Friday and Saturday, nearby vendors selling crafts and food will be open from 10 a.m. to dusk.
“We have about 80 booths,” chamber Manager Peggy Nevsimal said. “That’s more than we typically have.”
There will be two Pro-West Rodeo performances this year — at 6 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Saturday — at the Ridge Riders Rodeo Grounds just outside of town on Alcan Road – in the DeLano area.
Nevsimal said mutton bustin’ will kick off both rodeos.
The McMillan Family Trick Riders and Skagit Rein Riders Drill Team will perform and there will be a whiskey run.
A cowboy breakfast will be served from 7-11 a.m. Saturday at the Senior Center, 203 Main St., followed immediately by the Colorama parade.
As of Monday, Nevsimal said she had received more than 45 parade entry forms, and the event typically draws between 60-65.
“We’ve got a float coming from Wilbur, equestrian royalty, girls on horses, we got a bunch of different tribal stuff coming, five different marching bands,” she said.
Helicopter rides will take off from the upper ball field from 1-8p.m. Friday and Saturday.
A prize button raffle will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday at the park gazebo
This year’s grand prize will be at 40-inch high definition TV and BluRay player.
Run the Grand Coulee Dam, formerly known as the Over the Dam Run, offers four ways to participate for all skill levels: “Walk the Dam, Build a Gym;” a 5K; a 10K; and a half-marathon.
All four events start on the east side of Grand Coulee Dam. Walkers and runners will pass through “Old Grand Coulee” and along Banks Lake, then finish at North Dam Park.
“Run The Dam will offer runners of the Pacific Northwest an enjoyable, challenging and one of the most scenic courses available in the country,” according to the website, www.runthe
Race rules, interactive course maps and more information are available on the website.
Participants should pick up their packets from 4-8 p.m. Friday at the park or at 5 a.m. Saturday. Late registration is welcome.
A pre-race meeting will be at 6:50 a.m.; the race start is at 7 a.m.