WEEKEND: Three-day Makah Days to share, fete tribe's tradition in Neah Bay
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Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News
The Makah Days Baby King for 2013-2014 was Dramayne Dalos, who took time out from beating his drum to inspect a sucker while riding in last year’s parade.

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

Food, fun to mark Makah Days fete
NEAH BAY — The 90th annual Makah Days celebration at Neah Bay begins today and continues through Sunday.

To get the festival, follow state Highway 112 west to its end. Neah Bay, surrounded by world-class beaches and forest, is at the northwestern tip of Washington state and the contiguous United States.

Here is the schedule:


■ Noon — Street fair opens, Bay View Avenue; softball tournament, playfields at Neah Bay High School, 3560 Deer St.

■ 3 p.m. — Youth canoe races, Makah Tribal Senior Center, 341 Bayview Ave.

■ 7 p.m. — Talent show and royalty coronation, Makah Community Gym, 1394 Bayview Ave.

■ 10 p.m. — Slahal games begin; fireworks show over the water.

■ 10:30 p.m. — Modern dance.


■ 9 a.m. — Street fair opens; softball tournament begins.

■ 10 a.m. — Grand Parade from the Makah Cultural and Research Center, 1880 Bayview Ave., to the grandstand at the senior center.

■ Noon — Salmon bake near the senior center, Makah Days traditional youth dancing, canoe races near the senior center.

■ 2 p.m. — Youth sports.

■ 3 p.m. — Slahal tournament begins.

■ 4 p.m. — Bahokus Peak Challenge (registration at 3:15 p.m. at the base Bahokus Peak Road).

■ 7 p.m. — Traditional Makah dancing, community gym.

■ 10:30 p.m. — Modern dance.


■ 9 a.m. — Street fair opens.

■ 10 a.m. — Canoe races near the senior center.

■ Noon — Traditional salmon bake, youth sports.

■ 2 p.m. — Softball tournament, slahal tournament finals.
Peninsula Daily News
NOTE: “Today” and “tonight” refer to Friday, Aug. 22.

NEAH BAY — Set amid breathtaking scenery, the three-day 90th annual Makah Days celebration that begins today offers a unique blend of traditional culture and small-town festivities.

Visitors will find traditional dancing, canoe races, salmon baked before an open fire between split cedar sticks and a street fair with both traditional and modern goods, along with a grand parade, a talent show and royalty coronation, and fireworks over the bay.

No admission is charged for Makah Days events.

During the festival, tribal members welcome the public as they celebrate their 4,000 years of culture as well as their United States citizenship.

They reunite with tribal members who have moved away and celebrate with neighboring tribes from Washington state and First Nation members from Vancouver Island.

The Makah are closely related to the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island.

The first U.S. flag raised in Neah Bay was flown Aug. 26, 1913, and the annual festival is always held on the weekend closest to Aug. 26 to mark that date.

Native Americans didn't get full citizenship — including the right to vote — until June 2, 1924.

Members of the tribe served with the U.S. military in World War II and in Vietnam, Korea, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Vendors at the street fair on Bayview Avenue, the main street in Neah Bay, will sell traditional and modern items including fry bread, Indian tacos and native arts and crafts beginning at noon today and at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Slahal games, gambling games played to the sound of the beating of drums and songs sung loudly to distract opponents, are planned each of the three days, as are canoe races at the waterfront near the Makah Tribal Senior Center, 341 Bayview Ave., and softball at Neah Bay High School.

Saturday parade

The hourlong procession of traditional and modern parade entries at Saturday's grand parade will travel down Bayview Avenue from the Makah Cultural and Research Center, on the east side of Neah Bay, to the Makah Tribal Senior Center beginning at 10 a.m.

All comers can test their endurance in the 3-mile Bahokus Peak Challenge at 4 p.m. Saturday.

The fun run/walk has a mostly uphill route — an elevation gain of about 1,400 feet.

Entry is $10 for youths 17 and younger and $20 for adults.

Registration begins at 3:15 p.m. at the base of Bahokus Peak Road.

A full court of Makah royalty will be crowned during the talent show at 7 p.m. today at the Makah Community Gym, 1394 Bayview Ave.

The Makah royalty court includes the Baby King and Queen, 5 and younger; the Junior Warrior and Makah Princess, 6 to 10 years old; the Warrior and Makah Junior Miss, 11 to 15; the queen, between 16 and 21; Makah Miss, 22 to 49; and the Senior King and Queen, 50 and older.

Salmon bakes will be held Saturday and Sunday near the senior center.

At noon Saturday, Makah youths will demonstrate traditional dances.

Attractions are many on the 44 square miles of the Makah Reservation, which is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Hiking, kayaking and watching birds and other wildlife are special treats.

The three best-known trails are to Cape Flattery — where one can stand on the most northwestern point of the contiguous United States and view sea stacks and the Pacific Ocean — Shi Shi Beach and the trail from Lake Ozette to the Pacific Ocean.

Natural beauty

Rocky shoreline, sand dunes and offshore islands offer habitat to many species of birds, and dense forests are home to elk, deer, bears, cougars, coyotes, bobcats and river otters.

Salmon, halibut, ling cod and a variety of rock fish draw sport fishermen.

The Makah Museum at the Makah Cultural and Research Center at 1880 Bayview Ave. exhibits 300- to 500-year-old artifacts recovered from the archaeological site at Ozette, a Makah village in which a mudslide covered and preserved several homes around the year 1750.

The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. except for New Year's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is $5 for adults; $4 for students, seniors and military in uniform; and free for children 5 and younger.

A $10 use permit is required for such activities as hiking, camping, fishing or visiting Cape Flattery, Shi Shi or other trails and beaches.

Permits can be obtained at Washburn General Store, 1450 Bayview Ave.


Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Managing Editor/News Leah Leach contributed to this report.

Last modified: August 21. 2014 3:43PM
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