Ritzville Chamber's Harvest Fest kicks off with fair and rodeo

Harvest Fest begins today and runs until the last weekend in September


Last updated 8/28/2019 at 9:02pm

The Journal Archives

The Ritzville Youth Drill Team participates in the 2018 Ritzville Community Parade. The parade is one of many events during the Ritzville Harvest Fest.

The Ritzville community is a town built around agriculture, celebrating a rich history of crops harvested from the fields surrounding the city. Throughout the next month, activities and events are slated that honor the heritage of the harvest that made Ritzville the town it is today.

Harvest Fest is sponsored by the Ritzville Area Chamber of Commerce, but the festival is a variety of events hosted by multiple community organizations and businesses. The events kick off with the start of the Wheat Land Communities' Fair, which runs from Aug. 29-Sept. 1.

The four-day fair offers family fun for all ages, including daily entertainment performances, livestock shows, still-life exhibits, speciality foods, live music, bouncy houses, giant lawn games, bingo, and a kid's play area.

On Friday and Saturday night, the Ritzville Rodeo roars into action with two nights of heart-racing entertainment. The Ritzville Rodeo is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, and will be honoring all former Ritzville Rodeo royalty on Saturday night.

The rodeo performances start at 7 p.m. both days, and specialty merchandise and programs will be available for purchase. The rodeo also hosts a beer garden, which is open Thursday through Sunday, and Steven K and the Bounty Hunter Band will perform in the beer garden after each rodeo performance.

Saturday, Aug. 31, is a day filled with family-friendly activities. The WPRA Barrel Racing kicks off at 9 a.m. at the rodeo arena. At 10:45 a.m., the Children's Parade will begin in downtown Ritzville, followed by the annual Ritzville Community Parade. This year's Children's Parade theme is "To Infinity and Beyond" and any child is welcome to participate, but they must arrive at Sloan-Leavitt Insurance by 10:15 a.m. to be entered in the parade.

HARVEST FEST continued on Page A-2

This year's parade is expected to be one of the largest in recent years, with the addition of multiple entries from the Ritzville Rodeo Association. Make sure to bring a candy bag for the children, as sugary snacks will be tossed from a variety of floats!

Immediately following the parade, the Ritzville Gun Club hosts the annual Barbecue in the Park. The barbecue lunch is served at the Ritzville City Park and serves as a primary fundraiser for the organization.

Down at the fairgrounds, the annual Livestock Auction begins at 1:30 p.m. and stick horse races will start at 4 p.m. with Ritzville Rodeo Queen Rachel Nygren. The rodeo closes out the day's events.

After the final day of the Wheat Land Communities' Fair on Sept. 1, Harvest Fest takes a brief hiatus before festivities return on Sept. 14. This year, From Harvest to Health combines two popular events to focus on healthy lifestyle choices.

Starting with East Adams Rural Healthcare's annual Safety, Health and Wellness Fair from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event allows visitors to talk with emergency responders, physicians, and supplement providers regarding their health choices or concerns.

Direct labs are available onsite, and there will also be a blood drive coordinated through the Inland Northwest Blood Center. The event is hosted at the Wheat Land Communities' Fairgrounds.

Beginning at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14, the annual My Farm, Your Table event will showcase local vendors to discuss food products, including livestock, vegetables and fruits. The event is hosted by Washington State University Adams County Extension Office and the East Adams Library District.

Vendors will be available to discuss their products from 2-5 p.m. and there will also be hands-on, interactive activities available for all ages during this time. At 4:15 p.m., Stephanie Smith from WSU School of Food Science will have a presentation.

For those individuals wanting to explore different preparations of food and creative tasty bites, there will be a tasting menu available at 5 p.m. The cost for the meal is $5 per person, and all of the food prepared is from local vendors and will be prepared by Creston Chef Dawn Nelson.

The Harvest Fest activities draw to a close on Sept. 27-29 with the Washington State Junior High and High School Rodeo at the Ritzville Rodeo Arena. Young cowboys and cowgirls will compete in all rodeo events, with the addition of other contests for them to exhibit their skills.

On Sept. 27, rodeo action runs from 12-6 p.m., and on Sept. 28 the event runs from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The final rodeo activities run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 29. The rodeo is free to the public, and there is food available for purchase at the arena.

For more information about the Harvest Fest events, visit http://www.ritzvillechamber.com.


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