Highlands Day brings Wild West back to Issaquah

June 25, 2013

By Erin Hoffman

Dust off those cowboy boots and polish that saddle, because on June 29, the Issaquah Highlands Council is bringing the Wild West back to town.

From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Village Green Park and Blakely Hall will be the home of Highlands Day, the Issaquah Highlands’ annual street fair. As many as 4,000 cowboys and cowgirls from the greater Issaquah community are expected to come out for the Americana-themed event.

The fair will begin with a children’s parade, where kids can dress up and decorate their bikes, followed by a presentation of the flag by a local Cub Scout troop.

Admission is free, but families will have to buy tickets for some attractions, such as a mechanical bull ride or a ride on the log roll. There will also be plenty of free activities, including a “field day,” complete with sack races, tug-of-war and pie-eating contests, which Christy Garrard, director of special event planning at the Highlands Council, said she hopes will give the event a “country-fair feel.”

“It was something I thought all families could relate to,” Garrard said about theme.

The Roof Top Dogs, a local bluegrass band, will perform, and artEAST will host a farm animal-themed art exhibit inside Blakely Hall, where local artist Dorothy Bonneau will paint live.

Garrard, who has been in charge of planning Highlands Day for the past seven years, has been working since March to put together the street fair. More than 40 local sponsors, including Safeway, Swedish/Issaquah and Regency Centers have helped raise the $20,000 needed to fund Highlands Day.

“The business community is extremely generous and they’re the reason we can hold these events,” Garrard said.

The event would also not be possible without the dedication of many volunteers, many of whom come back year after year to help.

“I think there’s a higher percentage of people who want to volunteer here than in any other community,” said Larry Norton, president of the Highlands Council board of trustees and a longtime volunteer. “They get invested in the activity and they’re proud of what they do.”

In past years, the event has been both well-attended and well-received.

“The reaction is overwhelmingly positive,” Norton said. “It’s a demonstration of the community coming together.”

 

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