Arts & Entertainment

Sunnyside readies for annual Sunshine Days

SUNNYSIDE -- The second biggest city in Yakima County is gearing up for its second biggest community festival of the year.

Sunnyside’s Sunshine Days will be Sept. 18-20 in Central Park.

A parade, carnival, live music, vendors and the annual Soapbox Derby are on tap.

The crowds it attracts downtown may be smaller than those of the city’s largest event, Cinco de Mayo. But Sunshine Days is the city’s oldest and most evolved festival, dating back to the 1920s or earlier. It’s been called Fete Days and Ford Days (when it was sponsored by a Ford dealership.) It’s also been held in June and on the Fourth of July.

A carnival through Sept. 20 afternoon will anchor the entertainment in Central Park.

However, the parade is the main highlight.

It will wind its way through downtown starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. Teri Alvarez-Ziegler, a longtime Sunnyside High School teacher and the head chaperone for the Miss Sunnyside Court, will be this year’s grand marshal.

The Miss Sunnyside Pageant will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Sunnyside High School auditorium. Eleven girls are vying for the title.

Live musical performers will take the Central Park stage both Friday and Saturday, while the 11th annual Soapbox Derby will begin at noon Saturday on the Grant Street hill, just south of the park.

For something a little more stationary, there’s a quilt show that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 19 and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 20 at the Johnson Concentrate building, north of the park across Edison Street.