A popular small town celebration

Jumpers Flats performs on stage July 7. From left, are Keith Jorgensen, Josh Barnes, Justin Grillo, Dave Barnes, Jeff Smoke and Dean Longanecker. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)


Check out more photos of Waterville Days


By Suzanne Robinson
Empire Press Correspondent

Jerry Cline of Chelan shows his 1958 Fairlane 5000 Skyliner during Waterville Days. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)

For years the town of Waterville has hosted its annual Waterville Days in Pioneer Park in the center of the town. The park occupies 19 city lots which was donated by A.L. Rogers and was put together and maintained by volunteers. It was dedicated on Sept. 23, 1939, with Gov. Clarence D. Martin in attendance, according to historylink.org, the online history site.

This year’s event opened July 7 at 5 p.m. with Douglas County Fire District 1 volunteers catering a spaghetti feed and the singing of the national anthem by Jeff Smoke. Entertainment for the evening was provided by the “old and new” country western band Jumpers Flats on the main stage. Over 250 people came for the spaghetti feed and to listen to the music well into the evening.

Saturday morning was a busy one for Waterville. The Thin Air 5K started promptly at 9 a.m. with 43 participants registered. Seth Normington, pastor at the Federated Church in Waterville, came in first with the others not far behind.


Members of the Pacific Northwest Porsche Club from Seattle make a stopover during Waterville Days and park at the United Lutheran Church. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)

The horseshoe tournament, a longstanding Waterville Days tradition, also started at 9 a.m. and continued throughout the day in the park.

The Waterville Days parade began at 10 a.m. with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department leading carrying the U.S. flag and the POW flag followed by floats, cars, trucks and different groups from the community. The Waterville Library was represented with a banner that read “Build a Better World,” the slogan for this year’s reading program; and Waterville Players students, in costumes from past performances, carried their sign. Waterville’s own band Proclaiming Brass played music as they made their way down the streets on a flatbed trailer. People from near and far came to see the parade and cheered each group on as they went by.

Vendors filled the park with their handmade crafts, and food vendors offered a wide variety of delicious items such as Kettle Corn, tacos, hamburgers, pie and ice cream, frozen bananas and more.

“The American Honor Quilt,” created by Pat Reid of Waterville, is displayed at the quilt show. (Empire Press photo/Suzanne Robinson)

The Antique and Classic Car show is always a favorite at Waterville Days. The classic cars came from all over the state and beyond such as Stingrays and Mustangs along with an ambulance from the 1950s and Model T’s. Jerry Cline from Chelan showed his classic 1958 Fairlane 5000 Skyliner. He said “it really is a comfortable ride” as he talked about his drive to Waterville from Chelan.

A quilt show, across from the park at United Lutheran Church, displayed several quilts made by area quilters. One quilt hanging was called “The American Honor Quilt,” made by Pat Reid of Waterville. This was her first year of quilting. Many of the quilts were handcrafted by JoAn Baumgart of East Wenatchee.

There were many activities for children which included an inflatable house; fishing pond; and the Story Barn, provided by the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). CEF is based out of Wenatchee and serves six counties. Tim Dekle, at the Story Barn, explained that they see over 5,000 children each year through their program at fairs, community events and backyard clubs. Many other games were offered to children and there was the playground.

Douglas County Fire District 1 volunteers serve spaghetti on Friday night. (Empire Press photo/James Robinson)

Waterville’s Mayor Royal DeVaney escorted vehicles from the Pacific Northwest Porsche Club of Seattle to the parking lot of the United Lutheran Church as they made a stopover during the event for lunch while on their way to the club’s national gathering in Spokane. One of the car owners, Rick Becker with his son Eric, brought his red 1966 Porsche which he has owned for 40 years. “It is the first car I ever bought,” Becker said. Rich Clayton and his wife Jeanie Cardon also drove their silver Porsche over and said that they were having a great time in Waterville.

Many talented singing and instrumental groups filled the stage throughout the day. Connie Roberson and her daughter Rachel sang the national anthem after the parade to begin the events on stage. One of the groups was fifth, sixth and seventh-graders from Eastmont School District playing in the Bonga Marimba Band. Other performers included the Mystic Plowmen from Coulee City and the Rusty Barbed Wire Boys from the Wenatchee Valley.

Throughout the town, were several garage sales. Many of the sales were by families raising money for their students to go on an educational trip next year to Washington, D.C. Children also sold lemonade to the many visitors passing by.

Waterville Days was a great family event in the quaint little town of Waterville.