In West Richland and Richland, Washington, there were events taking place over four days in June. You can’t take it all in on just one day, it’s a must to experience all you can.
By JD Gore and Jody Davison
One can go to Anywhere, USA and find events to celebrate one thing or another in their community, whether it’s a group, an individual or even a whole season. A community’s pride can be witnessed as to what they are all about at such events. West Richland and Richland are no exception; except that maybe they raised the bar. For four days you can enjoy the festivities and take part as these two cities meld into one. There are three title events that took place this year June 20th-23rd. Something for everyone.
The 19th Annual Hogs & Dogs Regional Family Festival in West Richland kicks it off on a Thursday afternoon where Tip Pit BBQ fires up its monster grill and preps for a hot dog feast. This takes place near the old WWII Navy Bombing Range; some great history in the area, for you buffs. Hogs & Dogs is a great family affair with a kids zone play area, vendor tents and live music. And to seal the deal, a classic car show and several hundred motorcycles are lined up on a nice grassy field for all enthusiasts to admire and visit with the owners.
Hog & Dogs is orchestrated by the local Chamber and is dedicated to promoting a healthy relationship between businesses and community. With an estimated 4,000 people attending, this event has grown by leaps and bounds. May Hays and the staff of the West Richland Area Chamber of Commerce work long and hard to bring Hog & Dogs up to a higher standard each year. West Richland Chamber partnered with the Richland Chamber to bring events at the other two venues into the mix and created a ton of fun for locals and tourists alike.
Cool Desert Nights and Party in the Park take place just down the road in Richland. Thursday is registration and then a Show and Shine at the local DQ finishing up the afternoon; evening entertainment is with The Rooster Tails Band and a Pin Up Pageant. Friday morning is the Les Schwab Poker Ride ending with more Show and Shine and Salute to Scoots for fallen riders. We capped our evening with Party in the Park, live music at the HAPO Community Stage with Fastlane, an Eagles tribute band. They put on a great show and the HAPO stage vendor food was a perfect way to end the evening.
Saturday along George Washington Way, you can start your day at Jefferson Park with a pancake breakfast and then walk across the street and watch classic cars, hot rods, motorcycles and even newer rides that turn heads, as this event is open to all models. A section of GW Way is closed to get the full effect of not only the sight of these beauties but the rumbling sound of horsepower. This is the 26th year of CDN and their experience shows in the lineup of vehicles, and the outstanding entertainment at Party in the Park: The Nostal-Gents, ColorBlind, Blue Tattoo, Eclectic Approach and our fave, Fastlane. All for a great cause, as part of the proceeds go to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.
There is a huge area for kids in the fun zone and for the even more active attenders, you can do the Uptown Merchants Poker Walk. There was even a flyover of old military planes and a very comical slow drag. The list just keeps going as to what activities are brought to the community by their local Chamber.
Sunday’s activity was an autocross event at Tri-city Raceway. To say the least, we were a little worn out afterwards. But we had gotten more intimate with the Tri-city area. Met new people and here of all places, ran into Mike Kneebone of the Iron Butt Association. Mike is someone I had communicated with off and on over a few years, and couldn’t believe he was in the area all the way from Illinois. The world is getting smaller with technology, but great events like this help shrink it some by bringing people together. The two Chambers put it all out there, from celebrating the local taste of beer and wine to bringing the array of food, music and plain old fashioned good times to this part of Anywhere, USA.
Thanks to West Richland Area Chamber and Best Western Plus Columbia River Hotel & Conference Center in Richland for hosting Quick Throttle Correspondents at Hogs & Dogs Regional Family Festival/Cool Desert Nights June 20-23!