Quileute Days to be held in LaPush this weekend

LAPUSH — Get your dancing shoes, blankets and appetite ready for Quileute Days this weekend.

Among the many festivities are two street dances, a parade, fireworks display and fish bake.

The events get underway at 5 p.m. today in LaPush with the Quileute Days royalty pageant at the A-Ka-Lat Center, 1 Bay-Yak Way.

The judges of the pageant will crown a king and queen between the ages of 14 and 18, a first prince and princess between the ages of 10 and 14, and a prince and princess between the ages of 6 and 10.

Also at 5 p.m. today is the first round of adult and youth softball tournaments at the ball fields by the U.S. Coast Guard station and Quileute Tribal School.

A street dance will follow the pageant and softball tournaments at 9 p.m., hosted by the Quileute Housing Authority and Quileute Tribal School.

Both today’s and Saturday’s dances will be in front of the Quileute tribal office on Main Street, with music played by a disc jockey from the Seattle radio station KUBE.

Saturday’s events

Despite today’s fun-filled events, the official opening ceremony for Quileute Days will be at 11:45 a.m. Saturday in front of the Quileute tribal office.

A parade will follow the opening ceremony, going from the Quileute Natural Resources building to Lonesome Creek Store.

The grand marshal of this year’s parade is Quileute Elder Marian Schumack, 77, of Forks.

Every year the Quileute Days Committee selects an elder for the honor who demonstrates continued service to the tribe.

Schumack, who is one of the five oldest members of the tribe, was chosen because of her dedication to teaching others the craft of basketweaving, Quileute Days Chairman Bert Black said.

Schumack learned basket weaving from her grandmother, Susie Morganroth, and tribal member Lillian Pullen.

Schumack has also served on the tribe’s enrollment committee for the past 12 to 14 years.

Following the parade will be a fish bake, children’s carnival, all-day bingo games, horseshoe tournaments, canoe races and a tribal employee dunk tank.

Arts in Action fair

Also on Saturday will be an Arts in Action fair at the Community Center on Main Street.

The arts fair is new to Quileute Days this year, and will feature work by local artists and live demonstrations by Native American artists, Quileute Housing Authority Director Audrey Grafstrom said in a news release.

However, the big bang of Saturday is the fireworks display beginning at dusk.

“It’s the best in the West,” Quileute Tribal Chairman Russell Woodruff said.

To make this year’s show last even later into the evening, tribal members Gary Ratlif and Nellie Williams donated $500, Black said.

Sunday’s events

Wrapping up the weekend’s events on Sunday will be the final rounds of softball and horseshoe tournaments, canoe races and all-day bingo.

The festivities will end at 5 p.m. with the presentation of softball tournament awards.

Almost all events are free, aside from the all-day bingo and tribal employee dunk tank.

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