Posts Tagged With: Parade

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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.

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

A Festival of Blueberries – Mossyrock, WA


Antioxidant-rich Blueberries

They’re small, round, blue, sweet, and full of antioxidants. What are they? Blueberries. And where there is food, there is tribute and celebration. Hence, the Mossyrock Blueberry Festival in Mossyrock, Washington, held each year on the second weekend in August. This year the fair ran August 2-4.

The town of Mossyrock is located about 20 miles east of I-5 on Hwy. 12 and boasts just over 750 residents. The land around Mossyrock is extremely fertile. Thousands of years of flooding from the local rivers replenished the land with nutrients Multiple explosions from Mt. St. Helens also provided essential minerals to aid in the growth of plants. Blueberries grow very well in the area and provide agricultural jobs for local residents so they are worthy of celebration.

The Mossyrock Blueberry Festival starts on Friday at noon with vendors and continues into the evening with entertainment, along with a “Taco and Talent Night.”


Blueberry Pancake Breakfast

We attended on Saturday, which began with a hearty and delicious Blueberry Pancake Breakfast provided by the youth group from the Assembly of God Church. The cost was simply a donation and every penny was worth it. The kids who served the breakfast were very nice and friendly, they even came through the line (yes, there was quite a line) and offered drinks while we were waiting. The breakfast also included sausage, coffee and orange juice.

It was also a lot of fun to sit at the large round tables with strangers and start talking to them and finding out why they were there. One couple was from the Seattle area and was camping a few miles away and heard about the breakfast. A couple of older gentlemen had a car entered in the car show and are very involved in their local grange so we talked quite awhile about that topic.

IMG_2667Then we headed off to the car show. It was quite small in comparison to some, but we still saw many styles and colors that we “ooohed” and “ahhed” over. One gentleman had actually come all the way up from Arizona to show his beautiful old pickup truck and custom made tear-drop trailer. I tried telling David we should just sell our RV and get that whole setup but he didn’t really go for it.


Josh is hoping to find gold!

Dragging Josh away from the cars was painful but we managed to head over to the vendor booth area. There they had flea-market type of booths, commercial booths, farmer’s booths, and informational booths. One of our favorites was the booth where you could learn to pan for gold and Josh had to try it out.


Sophia and Josh are going for the candy!

We finished looking at everything there just before noon, in time to head out to the street for the parade. So there we are, about 45 minutes from home, in a little bitty town, and we see four people that we knew! We stood by a friend, Penny, and her daughter, Sophia, and Josh convinced Sophia to get out by the road and get her share of the candy that was being tossed.


Kids LOVED the cat walking the dog.

Little parades seem to be the most generous when it comes to giving out candy. It was a great little parade that lasted about ½ hour. I don’t think there is anything more fun than a small-town parade where so many people know each other and the parade participants are shouting out recognition to the spectators and they’re shouting back.

The day continued with a Blueberry Pie Eating contest, treasure hunts with metal detectors, and a dog show and races. The evening concluded with more entertainment.

Sunday events included another pancake breakfast, this time provided by the Mossyrock Fire District. There was more entertainment and the vendor booths, and then everything wrapped up at noon.


Blueberry separating machine.

So, since the whole point of this festival was blueberries – did we buy some? You bet! They were available at some of the booths but we decided to hit a local farm to buy. We were glad we did because we bought them right in their barn and while there we were able to watch their little separator in action. It was not big or fancy or high tech, but I just get a kick out of watching machinery like that in action.

We immediately put those little oxidant-containing nuggets to use and included them in a fruit salad for dinner, had them on vanilla ice cream for dessert, then had blueberry pancakes for breakfast. I’d say we did a pretty good job of doing our part in celebrating nature’s bounty!

So next year, put it on your calendar for August 1-3, 2014 and enjoy this simple small-town celebration – and blueberries!

Categories: Festivals, Food, Wine, Cider, Outdoors, People, Washington | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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