‘Big Top Extravaganza’ is theme of May Festival

2018 May Festival royalty is Princess Madison Whiteaker (left) and Queen Jennifer Cisneros (right) .

Adeena Hires/Special to The Chronicle
2018 May Festival royalty is Princess Madison Whiteaker (left) and Queen Jennifer Cisneros (right) .

OROVILLE — The 84th annual May Festival will feature a weekend-long lineup of events from royalty coronation to a parade, basketball tournament, bass tournament and the traditional May Pole Dance.

Activities run Friday, May 11, through Saturday, May 12, in and around town. This year’s theme is “Big Top Extravaganza.”

Events get under way at 7 p.m. Friday with coronation ceremonies for May Queen Jennifer Cisneros and Princess Madison Whiteaker. Royalty for various school classes also will be honored in the ceremony at Oroville High School, 1008 Ironwood St, followed by a mini parade through town.

“I believe that Oroville has a very warm way of making newcomers feel comfortable and accepted,” Cisneros said. “Even through tough times we’re able to support each other any way we can; That is what exactly what makes the place we call home so special.

“When I was younger and attended May Day I remember anxiously awaiting to watch the May Day queen and princesses ride downtown on their float,” she said. “I always remember wishing to be just like them; to inspire younger girls.”

This year’s grand marshal is Elva Helm. Senior center royalty is Ken and Judy Ripley.

Saturday’s activities start at 5 a.m. at Deep Bay Park on Lake Osoyoos with the annual bass tournament. Registration will be followed at 5:45 a.m. with a mandatory drivers meeting.

The tournament starts after the drivers meeting at 6 a.m. Weigh-in will be at 3 p.m. Trophies will be awarded for largest fish and first through third places.

An entry fee will be charged.

The Oroville Senior Citizens Center, off Golden St., will offer a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m.

The 40th annual fun run will start at 8 a.m., with signups starting at 7 a.m. at the corner of Main Street and Appleway Avenue. Runs of two miles and 5K will be offered, with trophies and ribbons to be awarded.

The Oroville Booster Club will offer a 3-on-3 basketball tournament starting at 8 a.m. on the high school tennis courts.

Parade lineup starts at 8 a.m., with judging at 8:30 a.m. at on the south end of Main Street. Entries can pre-register or sign up that morning.

The procession usually draws about 80 entries.

The parade will be at 10 a.m. on Main Street. Through traffic will be diverted onto Eastside Oroville Road south of town and then back into town via Sawtells and Chesaw roads and Cherry Street.

A variety of divisions will be offered, with trophies and ribbons given. Divisions include various school/youth categories, royalty, community, tractors, cars, commercial, horse, mounted royalty, law enforcement and churches.

Motorists on U.S. 97 in town can expect a detour onto local streets while the highway through town is closed for the parade.

The detour is expected to last from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m.

The May Pole dancing ceremony follows on the high school lawn.

A Chamber of Commerce barbecue will be available at 11:30 at the south end of the high school lawn. Proceeds go toward the group’s annual scholarship.

The Oroville Fire Department prepares a pit and watches over the meat all night as it slow cooks.

Oroville Masonic Lodge children’s activities and games will be at noon on Ben Prince Field behind the school and the Oroville High School faculty will have a meet-and-greet event beginning at noon at the school.

The Oroville Borderlands Historical Society, 1210 Ironwood St., will host tours from 1-3 p.m. This year’s exhibit is on early-day school-houses in northern Okanogan County. Ice cream will be available for purchase.

At 2 p.m. there will be an Okanogan International Chorus concert at the Free Methodist Church, 1516 Fir St.

Other children’s activities are planned. Several local wineries will host tastings, too.


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