Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

By Garth Meyer
Gazette Reporter 

Old Mill Days starts Friday


July 11, 2019

By Garth Meyer

Gazette Reporter

It starts in August with a first meeting two weeks after the previous year’s celebration.

Then, in the fall, calls start coming in to Oakesdale school Superintendent Jake Dingman’s office asking when Old Mill Days will be the following summer – people wanting to plan around it, the event now in its seventh year of a revival of an old tradition.

It all returns this weekend for 2019 with events to span from Friday at five o’ clock through midnight Saturday.

A new addition this year is a band to play both nights, the Intentions taking Friday night outside the firehouse with locals, The Hankers, on Saturday night.

“We get a good crowd Friday and thought we’d provide some music for them,” said Gail Parsons, Old Mill Days co-chair.

Another new event this year is a performance by Joshua J. Supershow, a one-man circus, on Saturday at noon in front of the library.

Old Mill Days begins with an earlier opening to the beer garden Friday evening at the old fire station, moved to 5 p.m. from 7 p.m. last year. Pulled pork sandwiches will be for sale from the old Conoco station across the street, from 6 to 9 p.m., and bingo runs at the museum from 7 to 9 p.m.

On Saturday, it begins with the fireman’s pancake breakfast from 7 to 9:30 a.m. at the fire station followed by a five-mile fun run and adult and kids’ triathlon at 8 a.m. starting at the city park. Registration is 7 a.m.

The cake walk starts at 9 a.m. at the park followed by the kids/pet parade at 10:45 a.m., preceding the main parade at 11 a.m. This year’s grand marshal is Jeanne Ellis, age 100 ½, a 1936 graduate of Oakesdale High School, the oldest living graduate of the school and lifelong Oakesdale resident. She now lives at the Courtyard in Colfax.

The parade is also set to include Oakesdale’s 2018-19 state 1B volleyball champions, state 1B girls track champions and state 1B sixth-place boys basketball team.

A lunch break follows the parade, as the Conoco station starts selling hamburgers, hot dogs and its signature Old Mill Days beer brats from Gail Parsons’ recipe.

What’s in the recipe?

“Oh... I know I packed it somewhere when I moved,” said Parsons, who then recalled it from memory: Henry Weinhard’s beer, onion, caraway seed, mustard seed, garlic and ginger.

The beer and wine garden opens again Saturday at 11 a.m., to run to midnight.

At noon, the Oakesdale School art exhibit opens at the Masonic hall. The quilt show and second annual car show also starts at noon – the car show moved this year from the Old Mill to the lot next to the Wright Place service station at the south edge of town.

“We thought we’d get a bit more traffic there,” said Jake Dingman, co-chair.

At 1 p.m., the first eggs will be thrown in the egg toss followed by a corn hole tournament at 2 p.m. – changed from horseshoes last year.

All day at the park will be kids’ games and inflatables, a silent auction at the museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the pool is open from 1 to 8 p.m., and again from 9 p.m. to midnight for midnight swim.

The Hankers play at the fire station from 8 to 11 p.m.


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