The weather cooperated, the crowds were huge and friendly, there were friends everywhere, and the best gathering of bands and musicians anywhere. The volunteers and organizers did an awesome job and the vendors brought everything imaginable. It was another amazing experience!
For a while Monday evening Oroville was no longer lost in space (see previous article). Thanks to the Oroville department of sky rockets department and the Taber family the sky was lit up bright for nearly 90 minutes. I don’t recall ever seeing so many exploding shells per minute as what we enjoyed this 4th. Being very family oriented the Tabers had a special area set up for kids to take part with safe but exciting fireworks, and there were dozens there to take advantage. The celebration was preceded by a presentation of the colors performed by the kids and the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner. Thanks to Dave and Judi and the entire family, and the city of Oroville for a fun evening.
Here’s a 7 minute vid which can’t capture the experience so be there next time!
And here is the presentation of the colors.
It’s come and gone and the memories linger – so much fun! Here’s a photo that defines the moment – wife Nancy Peterson and Colette Biele enjoying the music and atmosphere at the Pastime Bar and Grill:
Saturday morning began early for myself and Joseph Enzensperger racing against the weather to complete the outdoor stage to be used by the Road Dawgs band coming up from Riverside. Was not to be. With showtime slated for 11:00 am and a steady downpour, Tim Naillon from the Pastime Bar and Grill said to set up indoors and so we did. A power outage that morning put food prep behind a bit, but by noon the band, Lota Duarte, son Mike Duarte, Brock Hires, and “Hillbilly” Mike Blakley were pounding sound into the streets of Oroville. Didn’t take long for the dampened throngs to find warm hospitality, hot food, and good music. And Lordy was the music good.
This is a band that inspires movement and smiles. That means happy dancers and that’s what we got. Anyone’s guess if it was the rain pouring down or the music pouring out the open doors and windows, but the place was soon packed. No spirits were damped!
Speaking of happy, Tim was in the kitchen trying his best to stay ahead of food orders and was seen to be head banging and dancing at the grill and the wait staff were dancing back and forth picking up and delivering orders. The Road Dawgs were having so much fun they blew past the end of show time and kept going and going. Lota said “I don’t know about alla y’all, but we’re having a blast!” Nothing feeds energy into a band like an appreciative and enthusiastic audience and Oroville has the best.
Mike Duarte was all over the bass lines and delivered hard rocking vocals, and Brock Hires, who plays every instrument known to mankind filled in the middle with vocals, keyboard and guitar leads, and Mike Blakley dished up tight rhythms on the drums. It was a solid performance by everyone but there’s something compelling about Lota’s saucy vocals and acoustic guitar that makes the whole show work. The band is appearing regularly around our beautiful Okanogan so watch the calendar here to stay up on where they appear next, and don’t miss them!
It didn’t end there – the Rally at the Border team brought in musicians from all over the PNW and the music continued well into Friday evening with the Jones Street Boys at Veranda Beach, Tuck Foster and the Mossrites at the Pastime followed by an all-star jam, and then started over again the next day at the wineries, and Alpine Brewery with the Deep Water Blues Band, and Polly O’Keary, then Voodoo Church and Lisa Mann back at the Pastime. Esther Bricques hosted our friends the Slippery Slope Band, and Taber’s Copper Mountain barn hosted Clay Warnstaff and Mike Chappel aka the Harley Hunks. And on Sunday Esther Bricques hosted the Mood Swings trio – an engaging and fun trio of women who sing tight harmonies and music that spans several generations – a little something for everyone. If you missed the music at the wineries then you also missed the barrel tasting and there are some awesome offerings coming out of our Okanogan Wineries this year.
Big thanks to Leah Palmer for the awesome photos. More to see in the usual places at Facebook and also to Joseph Enzensperger for volunteering his stage and valuable time to help set it up.
What a fun time to be Okanogan!