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Visitors fill Quincy

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | September 14, 2022 1:25 AM

QUINCY — Gigi Lowry was standing with a stack of plates on one side and an equally big stack of hamburger buns in front of her just after noon on Saturday. Lowry was in charge of preparing the plates for the crew on the chow line at the Quincy Rotary chapter’s barbecue lunch booth, a staple that goes back a quarter century or so at Farmer Consumer Awareness Day. It looked like a little bit of work, but Lowry said it was a perfectly good way to spend FCAD.

“It is a blast,” she said.

The Rotary barbecue was in high demand - the line snaked out the door at Quincy Middle School and stayed that way for at least 90 minutes. Quincy’s annual town celebration returned for the 41st time and drew a crowd for the parade, the quilt show, the dancing horses, the children’s soccer tournament, the tractor pull and the farmers market run by the Quincy High School Future Farmers of America chapter, among other events.

Kacey Kiehn, a member of the QHS FFA alumni organization said the proceeds from the produce sale went back to the FFA chapter.

“This is one of our two main fundraisers for the year,” Kiehn siad.

Jesus Camacho, a current FFA member who was helping customers, said everything for sale was produced around Quincy.

“We’re selling produce that the farmers around the local area have donated to our FFA chapter,” Camacho said

Shoppers could choose from onions, potatoes, watermelons, corn, beans and apples, and there was a lot of each. As one shopper added onions to her grocery bag, she wondered aloud if she could really use that many onions.

“Oh, I’ll just saute more,” she said.

Like the FFA’s farmers market, the Rotary barbecue benefited from Quincy-area farmers. Current Rotary president Melva Calloway, busy washing dishes, said the apples, corn and french fries served with the barbecued beef were produced around Quincy, and most of the lunch was donated by local businesses.

“We’ll serve more than 500 people,” Calloway said.

The Rotary chapter also uses the proceeds to benefit the community, from the Quincy Food Bank to an ongoing beautification project at the Quincy cemetery to yearly support of a program to provide clothing for children in the Quincy School District, among other projects.

The quilt show has been part of FCAD since it began, said Mandy Ottley, who was collecting votes for the people’s choice, the only award given. It’s a non-juried show.

“It’s for fun and it’s open to anybody who wants to enter a quilt,” Ottley said.

The 2002 quilt show drew 86 entries, from queen-size quilts to wall hangings to bags.

“People love to just wander through and see them,” Ottley said.

The parade kicked off the day’s events, with entries that filled Quincy’s main streets for nearly an hour. Farming being central to FCAD, the parade had a lot of farm machinery, both antique tractors and modern equipment whose tires alone were more than five feet in diameter. Bierlink Farms and its owners were chosen as the Farm Family of the Year, and a longtime FCAD volunteer, the late Grace Kok, was named the Honorary Farmer of the Year.

Quincy Valley Allied Arts previewed its spring 2023 musical, “The Little Mermaid,” with a float full of mermaid royalty, crabs and a crazy chef. The Expressions Dance company previewed its holiday season 2022 production of “The Nutcracker.”

Owners of the dancing horses rode in a group, with some of the horses showing their stuff on the parade route. Later they got together next to QMS to show what the horses could do.

Students from Quincy elementary schools are a traditional part of the parade, and for 2022 they were joined by alumni from the QHS classes of 1972 and 1977, each celebrating a reunion.

While there was a lot to do, Calloway said she didn’t mind working FCAD.

“It is work, but it’s fun,” she said.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com. See more of her work by downloading the Columbia Basin Herald app - available on iOS and Android devices.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

A dancing horse struts its stuff during Quincy’s Farmer Consumer Awareness Day parade Saturday.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Students carried the sign for Mountain View Elementary during Quincy’s FCAD parade.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Monument Elementary students wave to the crowd while carrying the school sign in the Farmer Consumer Awareness Day parade Saturday.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Pioneer Elementary students made a sign and carried it down the Farmer Consumer Awareness Day parade route.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Members of the Class of 1972 rode in the FCAD parade in Quincy Saturday.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Quincy Future Farmers of America member Jesus Camacho (right) assists Kelly Wallace (left) and Leah Wells, center, at the FFA produce sale Saturday at FCAD.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Quincy Rotary volunteer Jack Sligar slices fruit for the trays at the club’s barbecue lunch at FCAD.

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CHERYL SCHWEIZER/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Jeanie Hyer, left, and Debbie Oda, right, evaluate the entries in the Farmer Consumer Awareness Day quilt show.

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