The Dig Dirt Day at the Beaver Valley May Days provided an opportunity for kids to see big equipment up close or

The Dig Dirt Day at the Beaver Valley May Days provided an opportunity for kids to see big equipment up close or

Crowds flock to Beaver Valley May

Despite weather forecasts, big crowds turned out to the annual festival.

Watching the Beaver Valley May Days Parade in downtown Fruitvale Saturday, one might think that the turnout for the 2014 celebration might have been lighter than usual. Possibly only 100 or so valley citizens lined Main Street for the procession.

It would have been understandable if the turnout was perhaps a bit light, weather forecasts were iffy and the partly cloudy skies in the morning weren’t all that encouraging.

It wasn’t until arriving at Haines Park that the total numbers of festival goers became apparent, as long lines streamed into the park, indicating that the majority of people watching the parade had actually spread out along the entire route, along Columbia Gardens Road closer to the parks where most of the activities were taking place.

The morning’s slight overcast broke and the sun took part in May Days for the remainder of the afternoon.

Lunch was a high priority after the parade and long cues assembled in front of the Rotary barbecue waiting for sausages and beef-on-a-bun.  As the afternoon wore on and the sun began taking its toll, lines expanded in the Beaverian Gardens where many gathered for a bit of cold refreshment.

There was plenty of opportunity for sports enthusiasts with the Beaver Valley Baseball tournament, the May Days Slow Pitch tournament and three courts of street hockey were in full swing..

Although the ever-popular Kiddie Car ride at the park suffered a mechanical breakdown, the younger set still had plenty to keep them busy with Dig Dirt Day featuring an industrial size sand pile for the kids and Village Equipment to explore at the arena parking lot and the Columbia Basin trust Kid’s Carnival in the arena itself.

The performing arts were also well represented on stage in the park with the local Harmaniaks kicking off the afternoon, as well as numerous dance troops, martial arts demonstrations and musicians of many stripes.