A young boy holds his father’s hand as they walk through a crowd of people, navigating their way to the front row. Because of all the excitement, he’s oblivious to the hot summer sun or the pushing and shoving from the children around him. He hears something hit the ground at his feet as other kids swarm around. It’s candy! He grabs the box of grape Nerds, his favorite, before anyone else can and puts it in his pocket, eagerly awaiting the next float in the parade—hoping for more candy.
This memory, like so many others formed in small community celebrations throughout America, rings true for many of us. They have been a staple of our nation’s small towns for ages and this year is no different in Deer Park, Washington.
They are once again hosting Deer Park Settler’s Day. Which, according to The Inlander, is the oldest continuous community celebration in the state, running over 100 years. Every year on the fourth weekend of July people come from near and far to participate in the festivities.
Settler’s Day, named in honor of the old settlers picnic from long ago, includes a parade, concert series, community picnic, class reunions, arts and crafts fair and a vintage car show, just to name a few.
Individuals and businesses work countless hours to show their support for the community by preparing vehicles for the parade and handing out candy, just to name a few. Employees at Avista handed out more than 275 pounds of candy last year, decorated their line trucks for the event and provided a safety demonstration in Mix Park after the parade. It’s truly a community event.