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Remembrance, Spring Festival mark Memorial Day weekend

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | May 26, 2023 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Memorial Day in the Columbia Basin will be marked with both remembrances and Spring Festival activities in Moses Lake.

Memorial Day is first and foremost about honoring the fallen, and there will be solemn ceremonies around the Basin on Monday. The Ephrata American Legion post will sponsor ceremonies honoring veterans at three cemeteries Monday. Post members will gather at 10 a.m. at the Soap Lake cemetery, 11 a.m. at the Ephrata cemetery and at 12:30 p.m. at the Quincy Cemetery.

“Each ceremony is a little different, with flag raising and lowering, speakers, color guard, gun salute and the playing of taps,” wrote Jane Montaney of the post auxiliary chapter.

A ceremony is scheduled at the Forgotten Heroes memorial outside the gate at the Grant County International Airport at 11 a.m. The memorial commemorates the service members killed in a December 1952 plane crash at what was then Larson Air Force Base.

A memorial service is scheduled at 1 p.m. at Pioneer Memorial Gardens, 14403 Road 2 NE, Moses Lake. It’s a joint effort of the Moses Lake American Legion chapter, local ROTC participants and local Boy Scout troops with the cemetery management, said owner Susan Freeman.

“Volunteers from the community participate in the service,” Freeman said. ”It's likely that we will have somebody step forward and offer an additional prayer and maybe we’ll sing a couple of patriotic songs while we're standing there.”

On the more festive side, Spring Fest starts Thursday, but there’s still plenty to do Friday and Saturday. McCosh Park and environs are the focus of the weekend activity, starting with food and craft booths in the park and the Rainier Shows carnival across the street. Friday night’s headline event is a free concert at the Centennial Amphitheater in the park, featuring rap legends Tone Loc at 8 p.m. and Montell Jordan at 9 p.m.

Saturday is busy all day, starting with a fly-in breakfast at the Moses Lake Municipal Airport from 7 to 10 a.m. Breakfast is free, but donations will be accepted. The fly-in is the work of the local Experimental Aircraft Association chapter, and will feature cool planes, including one under construction by the EAA.

The Spring Festival Fun Run returns after a pandemic-induced hiatus, with runners taking off at 8 a.m. Runners leave from and return to McCosh Park and have their choice of five- or 10-kilometer courses.

The 3-on-3 basketball tournament starts two days of action Saturday morning at the park. The Moses Lake Farmers Market will be in operation Saturday featuring crafts, fresh produce and meat and bespoke goodies, among other things.

Cool cars – just ask their owners how cool they are – will fill the street a Frontier Middle School; cars should be lined up by 9:30 a.m. For 2023 the show is sponsored by the LakeSiders Car Club.

Music and skills demonstrations are scheduled for the entire day in the Centennial Amphitheater.

The Kiddie Parade starts at 6 p.m., with parents and kids asked to line up in Sinkiuse Square at 5:45 p.m. No registration is required. Costumes are encouraged. The parade route goes from Sinkiuse Square to Frontier.

The Grand Moonlight Parade begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, with a route that takes participants down West Third Avenue with a turn at South Balsam Street and back up West Fourth Avenue.

Festival organizers have started the tradition of a big concert on Sunday night, and for 2023 it will feature rapper Vanilla Ice. The concert starts at 8:30 p.m. in the amphitheater.

Of course, Memorial Day is also about remembering family and friends, and people who gave their lives in the service of their country. Local organizations are scheduling memorial events on Monday.

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com. Joel Martin contributed to this report.

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A couple decorates a grave at a local cemetery. Special services to remember military veterans are scheduled for Monday.

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A street rod in the 2022 Moses Lake Spring Festival car show. Spring Festival 2023 features music, basketball, a carnival and the car show, among other events, this weekend.

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Students from North Elementary march down the street during the 2022 Spring Festival kiddie parade. Spring Festival 2023 is this weekend.

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The Super Slide attracted riders at the 2022 Spring Festival in Moses Lake.