Monthly Archives: May 2014

Honoring Our Troops: Spokane Armed Forces Torchlight Parade

1-IMG_4410Recently we were honored to be in Spokane, Washington during their Lilac Festival. As part of the festival, they hold an amazing parade which is held on Armed Forces Day. We were told it is one of the largest parades honoring our military men and women in the entire United States. I can believe it.

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It was a torchlight parade so it began at 7:45pm and had over 200 entries and went for over two hours. Beautifully decorated floats, lit up for the evening, many high school marching bands, and other fun entries started the parade.

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The Red Hot Mamas cracked us up, parading with walkers and using them as dance props.

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The various military entries were the real focus of the parade however. Dispersed throughout the parade, they received much-deserved standing ovations as they passed by. Blind service members rode in a truck as well as on interesting tandem bicycles. Some of the bicycles were the typical tandem but others were two bikes connected side-by-side.

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One impressive and fun group to watch was the Survival School Personnel from Fairchild AFB. They were in fatigues, marching along as expected. Then when they stopped at the corner, they would say something in cadence then suddenly all break off and run to the audience, shaking as many hands as they could. Then they would group back together and march to the next corner. Very cool to watch.

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The most poignant part for us though, was when a group of people walked down the street holding banners. It turns out each banner was for a fallen service member and it was called the Fallen Heroes Banner Project which is presented by the Washington State Gold Star Families (families of service men and women killed in action.) It really brought home the sacrifices that have been made for our freedoms.

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We were pleased and honored to be a part of this amazing tribute to our armed forces. Typically they are a small part of a larger parade so to have them be the complete focus and recognition of this entire parade was very powerful. The energy of the audience and their sincere appreciation for these heroes was truly heartwarming.

The 2015 Lilac Festival will be May 11-17, with the parade held on Saturday, May 16. If you want to be part of one of the largest events honoring our military, you will simply not want to miss it. Save the date.

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We at Northwest Revealed also want to express our gratitude and thanks to all those who are serving, have served or gave their lives for our freedoms. We are eternally grateful.

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Categories: Festivals, Keatons Out and About, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Where Dinosaurs Roam” – Granger, Washington

1-IMG_2924“Where Dinosaurs Roam” is the theme for the small central Washington town of Granger. Why? Because every town needs a theme and because a mastodon tusks and teeth were found there in 1958.

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So in 1994, the first dinosaur was built out of steel, wire mesh and cement. Now there are around 30 dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes scattered throughout the town.

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It’s fun to drive around trying to spot them all. Some seem to just be placed with no purpose, others are in parks or near the library.

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The first Saturday of June is “Dino-N-A-Day” held at the Hisey Dinosaur Park and visitors are encouraged to help restore the dinosaurs.  There is also a man-made pond with a volcano shaped water fountain in it, and the restrooms are shaped like a volcano.

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When you see the dinosaurs, you can tell that they are in need of constant upkeep but they are still a joy to see. Kids will love trying to find them all and climb around on them and get their pictures taken being “eaten” by them.

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My “big kid” getting eaten…

So next time you are driving south of Yakima, Washington on Interstate 82, take exit 58 and take a chance to look around for the dinosaurs. You could be traveling where the real dinosaurs did millions of years ago!

Categories: Festivals, Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Washington | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Lilacs, Sweet Lilacs: Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens, Woodland, Washington

1-IMG_3564Who doesn’t love the sweet smell of lilacs! I love it when they bloom every year, I’ll breathe them I as deeply as possible knowing the season to enjoy that fragrance is so short.

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Luckily living in western Washington, there is a place where we can go to enjoy a nice variety of colorful and fragrant lilacs. Just down I-5 off exit 21 in the small town of Woodland is the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens. While the grounds are open year round, the gift shop and historical house are only open during Lilac Days – a short span of the middle of April through Mother’s Day. That is also the only time lilac plants are for sale.

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It’s not a large place, don’t expect the Butchart Gardens. The area is four acres in size. Once through the gate, you realize that the grounds are not just composed of lilacs. Walking on around the gardens we saw several varieties and colors of lilacs and other plants. Almost every plant has a sign with the name of the plant, which was very useful to learn about the plants and to keep in mind for later.

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“Miss Canada”

Strolling through the grounds at times felt like a maze because we would see so many plants, “Oh, let’s go look at that one! Oh, look how do we get over to that one?” We took pictures of both plants and their signs so that we would know which ones we liked best. Then we went to the selling area. Ooohh, decisions, decisions. But then what helped make the decision was the size of the bigger plants. We couldn’t figure out how to get them home in our little CR-V without damaging them. Then we saw the smaller plants and besides fitting in the space in the car, they were of course, much less expensive so I could get several varieties. Popular ones sold out fast and they didn’t have everything in stock but told us about a nearby nursery that should have some items.

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There is also a gift store that has all things lilac – aprons, note cards, pens, lotions – you get the idea.

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Gift Shop

After a quick trip to the car with our goodies, we went back in to look at the house. Historical houses have such stories to tell. This one was built by Hulda’s parents in 1889 and Hulda and her husband moved in in 1903. She lived there until her death in 1960. The house and grounds eventually went into disrepair, at risk of being demolished until a local garden club stepped in, and the Hulda Klager Lilac Society was formed to take it over. The group has been maintaining the house and gardens ever since.

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Hulda Klager’s Home

You have one week left to visit and enjoy the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens this year – they’ll be closing next weekend after Mother’s Day. If you don’t get the chance to make it this year, be sure to put it on your calendar for next year. You don’t want to miss the opportunity to see so many vibrant colors and sweet fragrances of lilacs, knowing they are the legacy of a woman who made them her life’s work to share with all of us.

Getting there: Take Exit 21 off I-5 at Woodland, Washington and follow the signs. They’ll lead you right to it.

Categories: Festivals, Historical, Outdoors, Parks, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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