Sunday, July 14, 2024

Cashmere blossoms into summertime fun during Founders’ Days celebration

Cashmere’s Cottage Ave filled with cool cars, great music, and community love.
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The 5-9 age group runs to collect ping pong balls as a helicopter swoops overhead.
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The Wenatchee Apple Blossom Royalty brings a cheerful mood to the Grand Parade.
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Wendell George leads Cashmere locals in a rededication ceremony representing peace.
WILL NILLES/WARD MEDIA
Posted

CASHMERE- The streets of Cashmere buzzed full of life, laughter, and smiling faces as the city celebrated its annual Founders’ Days weekend with a massive list of fun events.

An infectious energy ran throughout the entire town as the day kicked off with Mission Creek Community Club’s widely successful car show organized by local, Nick Wood. Over a hundred impressive cars of various makes and models gathered along Cottage Avenue, their owners lining the sidewalks with camping chairs, eager to share their passion for cars with the community as live music and the smell of barbecue filled the air.

Locals Marlin and DeAnn Kruiswyk attended the car show with their two sons, showing off their custom 1940 Ford dump trucks.

“Yeah, it’s an awesome show, there’s just tons of fun stuff around, it’s just a lot of fun,” Marlin Kruiswyk commented before posing in front of his ‘40 Ford nicknamed “Black” which was originally used for work at the Leavenworth Fish Hatchery during the 1950s. 

The car show also featured a touch-a-truck section, with ambulances, fire engines, and maintenance vehicles displaying their interiors and special equipment. This was a fun way of educating kids in the local community about the impressive equipment that enables first responders to complete their crucial work. 

Mauricio Tellez, EMT at Ballard Ambulance, attended the touch-a-truck with one of his company’s life-saving vehicles.

“I like being out here with the kids; it’s really different from our usual calls. We get to show them different equipment and connect them to the oxygen, it’s fun,” Tellez said, explaining his excitement in being a part of the touch-a-truck program.

Just down the street from the car show, the Cashmere Public Library hosted its annual Salmon Release Parade and Family Fun Fair. Each year, the Cashmere Library, as a part of NCW Libraries, receives a crop of salmon fry from the Yakama Nation for kids and their families to release into the Wenatchee River. The central aim of the Salmon Release is to educate kids about Cashmere’s local wildlife by having them interact with it in memorable hands-on experiences. 

Cashmere Branch Librarian Lisa Lawless was especially thrilled about this year’s salmon release.

“We had an awesome turnout! We had 127 fish, and we did one per family, that means we did like a hundred families!,” Lawless shared with excitement, pleased with this year’s participation.

The Family Fun Fair also succeeded in providing an afternoon of fun activities for kids and their families, including a raffle for fun toys and a booth from the Cashmere Middle School Bike Repair Club, offering free bike maintenance, a bike giveaway, and lessons for beginners.

Back on the other side of town, the Cashmere Rotary Club held its first-ever pickleball tournament at the middle school, boasting an impressively high last-minute registration of 80 participants.

Mark Shorb, president of the Cashmere Rotary Club, expressed his jubilation over the success of the event.

“It’s been a great day of smiles, and laughs, and learning… it’s such a good way to connect the community and introduce people to Rotary and what we do,” Shorb commented as he watched the semi-finals of the men’s division with excitement. 

The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village celebrated the original founders of Cashmere and the NCW, inviting Wendell George, member of the Colville Confederated Tribes and local author, to rededicate the museum’s Tree of Peace, which was planted in 1989 as a reminder of peace and the crucial presence of Native American peoples in the Cashmere Valley.

George arrived with a positive message of peace for improving relations between Indigenous communities, celebrating a recent purchase of 11 acres of land by Colville members in the Peshastin area. 

“I hope you came for the same reasons I did, that is to start peace,” George opened his rededication speech focusing on the history of Indigenous displacement in the Cashmere area and the hope to improve awareness of Indigenous voices and cooperation with institutions such as the Chelan Douglas Department of Wildlife. 

Back at Riverside Park, the Family Fun Fair had packed up to make room for the Town Toyota Center Ping Pong Ball Drop. Children ages 0-13 huddled together in the middle of the park’s field, awaiting a helicopter to fly overhead and drop hundreds of ping pong balls. Prizes were provided to everyone who participated while a grand prize was reserved for each age group. As the helicopter arrived, releasing its massive stockpile of ping pong balls onto the crowd of kids below, the field exploded into a storm of smiles and laughter.

After a fun-filled day of community celebration, the Cashmere Chamber of Commerce finished the evening off with their Crunch Pak Grand Parade. The parade rolled straight through Downtown Cashmere’s central Cottage Avenue, showcasing a variety of local businesses, NCW royalty, and first responders. Crunch Pak brought back a crowd favorite to this year’s parade, handing out their signature snack packages of apple slices and cheese crackers and making sure no onlooker went hungry. The Cashmere Royalty finished off the parade as they waved to onlookers from their elegant float and brought a close to yet another day of Cashmere’s fantastic founders' celebrations.

Will Nilles: (509) 731-3211 or will@ward.media 

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