By Kara McMurray Gazette Reporter
Barbecued food, parades and fireworks are some of the fun planned around the county Monday for the annual Fourth of July celebrations. Traditional celebrations will take place in Johnson, Albion, Endicott and Pullman throughout the day. JOHNSON No one ever really knows how many entrants will come for the parade, but one thing is for sure: the Johnson parade will be packed full of fun. The small community swells to anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 people for the “spontaneous” parade each year. County celebrations on the Fourth of July begin in Johnson with a breakfast at the old schoolhouse, put on by volunteer firefighters from Whitman County Fire District 12 out of Pullman. The breakfast begins at 7 a.m. and costs $8. The parade lines up at the old school house and marches at 10 a.m. The tradition started in Johnson in 1967 when six Druffel siblings were bored while their parents tended to the farm. The siblings – Kathy (Wolf), Chris (Lynch), Carrie, Claire (Commeree), Mike and Drew – at the suggestion of their mother, Jeanne, marched down the street and had a parade with flutes and firecrackers. They had enough fun that they decided to complete the procession again the next year and every year thereafter. The event gradually grew as others joined the procession and neighbors would watch from lawn chairs on the side of the road. Though the parade begins at 10 a.m., it is recommended to arrive early in order to get a parking spot. All are welcome to watch or participate. Use of water guns or balloons is now banned. ALBION After the parade in Johnson, action continues in Albion, with many of the parade entrants from Johnson expected to go there for round two. The parade in Albion begins at noon. Albion town clerk/treasurer Starr Cathey said anyone is welcome to participate, and pre-registration is not required for the parade. “It kind of magically appears every year,” she said. Following the parade, the Albion 4H will host a barbecue in the park. The town is also looking for volunteers in order to have things such as a bounce house, cotton candy and balloons available at the barbecue. “We just have less volunteers than we have in the past,” Cathey said. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the Albion Town Hall at 509-332-5095. ENDICOTT Endicott’s Fourth of July celebration has been called by some the secret gem of Whitman County. “It’s a big deal,” said Cinda Tribble, Endicott Community Club president. “It’s the best fireworks show in the area.” The festivities will begin in the mid-afternoon with kids games and a barbecue starting at 3 p.m. The Endicott Food Center will supply the barbecue. Later, a pie shack will open at 5 p.m., and a kids’ bicycle parade will start around the same time. More sweets will come around at 7 p.m. with an ice cream social. Entertainment by a local barbershop quarter – Four Names in a Hat – will begin at 6:30 p.m. Tribble said youngsters will often bring frisbees and other recreational items to play on the school grounds while waiting for the fireworks. The fireworks show will begin after dark. “It feels like an old-fashioned, small town event,” said Tribble. “Lots of community clubs come together to put it on. It’s truly a community event.” Tribble said donations will also be taken during the festivities to help pay for the fireworks. PULLMAN Pullman will host its usual celebration at Sunnyside Park beginning at 5 p.m. Monday. Festivities at the park include inflatable activities for kids, entertainment by The Fabulous Kingpins, Dan Maher and the Community Band of the Palouse, cotton candy, popcorn and barbecued food throughout the night. The fireworks show will begin after dark. Pullman Transit will offer a complimentary park and ride service from several locations in Pullman, beginning at 4:15 p.m. and concluding at 11:30. The park and ride services will be at Safeway, Walmart, Living Faith Fellowship, Pullman Aquatic Center and the Pizza Hut lot. All routes will be suspended during the fireworks display for safety reasons. Fireworks became available for purchase to the public this week, and Pullman Police released safety tips in conjunction with this, as well as reminders of penalties. Fireworks are allowed to be discharged Sunday, July 3, from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Monday, July 4, from 9 a.m. to midnight. Fireworks discharged outside of this time could result in a $100 penalty. Individual fireworks are not allowed at Sunnyside Park during the celebration. School properties are also off limits to fireworks, and the police department will be enforcing this. The police will also be on the lookout for illegal fireworks. All fireworks available at stands in Pullman have been inspected and determined legal.
A Boeing-Stearman PT 17 and a Ryan ST3KR PT 22, closest to the camera, were flown up from Lewiston Saturday morning for the Colfax fly-in which was sponsored by the Lewiston Chapter of the Experimental Aircraft association. The PT designation stands for Primary Trainer. These two airplanes were among 35 which made a stop at Colfax. See page B3 for more fly-in coverage.
By Kara McMurray Gazette Reporter
St. Ignatius ghost hunts are once again returning. Announced as a one-time Haunted Hospital event last October, the ghost hunts made their first return in December with the “Nightmare Before the Holidays” theme and will return July 8 and 9. The tours will coincide with the Concrete River Festival. “People still want to see it,” said Valoree Gregory, Colfax’s unified executive director. “It will be one more thing people can do at Concrete River Festival.” The hunts July 8 and 9 will be three-hour hunts of all six floors of the former hospital building. The tours will include the history of the building and stories of what paranormal teams have seen and heard. EMF readers, audio recorders and a spirit box will be available to use on the hunt. Haunted Hospital was booked as a one-time event last year because proposals to convert the old hospital building to a housing complex have been in discussion for more than a year now. However, there has been no recent update about the proposed developments. “I haven’t heard anything,” said Gregory. “There’s no discussion going on.” Gregory said while the future of the building is up in the air, something does need to be done with it soon. “It is deteriorating worse than before,” she said. “It’s still safe, but I’m afraid if he (the owner) doesn’t do anything soon it will get worse.” Gregory said recent rains have left water damage inside, and there are some areas that will be roped off during the tours. She added that people have been helping to maintain the building. “Nancy Cochran went up and mowed the lawn recently, and people are still helping up there so we can keep using it,” she said. Gregory said there is still a possibility of more ghost hunts down the line at the building. “If he lets us keep using it, we’ll use it,” she said. “We may have it for Halloween, but I can’t plan out that far because I don’t know.” She added that people still call to inquire about tours. First Thursday ghost hunts of the upstairs of some downtown buildings are still slated for July 7 as well. Those hunts include the upstairs of the Fraternity Block, the Dr. Weitze office and the old boarding house. Participants are asked to bring flashlights and meet in front of the library for those tours at 8 p.m. Cost is $10. Tickets can be purchased in advance online or at the Explore Colfax booth at the library the day of the event. Gregory added that if there are still slots left for the St. Ignatius ghost hunts, there will be tickets on sale there as well. The July 8 and 9 hunts begin at 9 p.m. each night and end at midnight. Admission will be $45, and space is limited. Sign up is available at www.explorecolfax.com under the events tab. Money raised from the St. Ignatius hunts will go to the Colfax Downtown Association.