Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘Old Ephrata’ spirit

Managing Editor | June 13, 2024 3:00 AM

EPHRATA — The annual Sage-N-Sun festival for 2024 featured a lot of music, a lot of food and a lot of people enjoying an outing on the Grant County Courthouse lawn Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

“I was just very excited that we had such good music,” Ephrata Chamber of Commerce Board President Jenni Bates said after the event. 

Music was the big draw for a lot of visitors with the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce pulling in Older & Wiser, Lake City Blues, Doors Music tribute band Kosta la Vista, Hometown Hooligans, The Funk and The Olson Bros Band. Throughout the event, the crowd was regularly filled with people enjoying some tunes either seated in a camp chair or lying on a picnic blanket. Dancing broke out spontaneously now and again as well. 

The annual event, a long-standing tradition in Ephrata, draws visitors from all over the Pacific Northwest to enjoy the live music, shopping at vendor booths, a cold beverage or three, delicious food and activities for the whole family. 

The event started Thursday with the annual Kiddie Parade, back after a short hiatus. Students from Ephrata schools, children who just wanted to throw candy to the crowd and others walked the parade route. Friday, the annual parade, coordinated by the chamber’s Susy Anderson, took off with the Tenino Motorcycle Group starting out and His Helping Hands, a local nonprofit, serving as this year’s Grand Marshal. 

Those shopping were able to look at dishware, windows, clothing, crafts and a wide variety of other items. His Helping Hands and the Grant County Sheriff’s Office had booths to provide information on the programs they offer the community as well. 

GCSO Support Specialist Kathy Hilliard said she enjoyed the event and was glad that the weather had been good.

Throughout the weekend, weather was in the mid-to-upper 80s and people and pets enjoyed the chance to get out, enjoy the sun, or find a bit of shade under courthouse trees.

Ephrata Chamber Executive Director Rita Witte said she really enjoyed seeing everyone enjoy the music and several of the bands had expressed an interest in coming back in the future. 

Bates, who operated a burger stand at the event said she really enjoyed seeing the people of Ephrata and visitors enjoying themselves at the event the chamber works hard to put together each year. 

“I have to say, sitting back in my little corner and watching the kids be kids, and the weather was great, and the parents were relaxing, I thought — I go back to my Hallmark moment — but I’m like, this is old Ephrata right here. For two days, this is old Ephrata,” she said. 

R. Hans Miller can be reached via email at editor@columbiabasinherald.com.

Upcoming Ephrata fun

Business after hours

Up next for the Ephrata Chamber of Commerce is the organization’s business after-hours tonight - June 13 - from 5-7 p.m. Entry is $5 per person and the event is 21 and up. 

Car Show and Shine

Area residents can also look forward to the Anything With Wheels Car Show on July 20 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Entry information may be found at https://www.ephratachamber.org/anything-with-wheels/. 

2024 Grand Parade Winners

Those listed below won in their respective categories in this year’s Sage-N-Sun Grand Parade.

Commercial: Miners Services

Directors: Neon Skateway

Pre-1972 Auto:  Linda Davis

Post-1972 Auto:  None

Farm & Tractor: Stephen Carroll

Community: White Trail Grange Youth

Float: Bureau of Reclamation

Band:  EHS Marching Band

Equestrian:  ML Rodeo Queen


    A crowd listens to live music on the front lawn of the Grant County Courthouse while vendor booths line C Street between the courthouse and the Bureau of Reclamation Building. Long-time Ephrata residents and visitors from across the region came to enjoy good music, good food and good company.
    The students of St. Rose of Lima Catholic School participated in the 2024 Sage-N-Sun Kiddie Parade Thursday afternoon. The school has been in operation since 1959 and has served the Ephrata community since then.
    The students of Columbia Ridge Elementary and their teachers, parents and other staff had fun in the Kiddie Parade.
    Friends gather in the beer garden for some shade, an adult beverage and a few laughs during this year’s Sage-N-Sun festival.
    Tao, the Ephrata High School mascot, kept a close eye on the youngsters in the Kiddie Parade this year and posed for photos with children - and even a few adults - after the parade wrapped up.
    Festival attendees take a break on the southwest side of the Grant County Courthouse lawn where food booths and chairs were set up. A wide variety of food including burgers, jerky, turkey legs and others were available during this year’s event.
    Older & Wiser perform during their Friday afternoon set during Sage-N-Sun.
    The bean bag toss was a hit with young and old alike, whether during a tournament or just for fun throughout this year’s Sage-N-Sun. Even hot pavement didn’t keep folks from tossing back and forth for fun and laughs.