Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent two days in 1805 meeting native tribes along the Snake River.
That area is now Sacajawea State Park in Pasco, which the Tri-Cities has continued to honor with Heritage Days since 2003.
This year’s celebration takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 23 and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24.
Friday passes can be purchased for $10 a day and yearlong passes for $30 at discoverpass.wa.gov. Saturday’s celebration will be free as part of an all-day event for Washington State Parks.
The Lewis and Clark expedition also introduced the white man to the Yakama, Wanapum and Umatilla tribes for the first time.
Tribal representatives will perform traditional music and dances. Mountain man demonstrations will show how food was prepared. Visitors can also watch re-enactments of the life and skills of early American settlers and explorers.
About 20 organizations, including local museums, three tribes and historical re-enactors, will be represented at this year’s event. There will also be special presentations on safety from Pasco police, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Washington State Patrol and Washington State Poison Control Center.
They’ll have a whole park full of re-enactments going on.
Sharon Stewart, event coordinator for Friends of Sacajawea State Park
There will be roughly 100 re-enactors spread out through the park, which includes Glen Allison, a retired school teacher, portraying the role of Lewis.
“They’ll have a whole park full of re-enactments going on,” said Sharon Stewart of Friends of Sacajawea Park, the event coordinator. “It’s the history of that park and re-enactments from the Ice Age up to the 1920s.”
The Tri-City Visitors and Convention Bureau, which started Heritage Days, hosted the event between 2003 and 2005 before Mid-Columbia Traditional Arts took it over. The Friends of Sacajawea Park took over last year. Stewart and the group have helped with Heritage Days since they started their own group three years ago.
They usually see more than 6,000 people attend both days, Stewart said.
Friday’s festival starts with school children visits all day, as well as living history exhibits for the public.
Stewart said she loves watching the kids hop off the buses and look around. More than 1,600 school children attended on the first day last year.
“They see all the things that they’re going to see that day,” Stewart said.
Saturday’s living history events kick off at 10 a.m. and continue until 5 p.m.
More information on Sacajawea Park Heritage Days can be found online at friendsofsacajaweastatepark.org.
Sacajawea Park Heritage Days
School children will visit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Living history events are also open to the public all day.
Public living history events go from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.