Arts & Entertainment

Heritage Days on tap at Sacajawea State Park

The Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery troupe makes a stop at Sacajawea State Park on Sept. 23-25 for three days of family fun.

The Heritage Days celebration features a bit of history, old-time music and demonstrations of how early Pacific Northwest settlers lived off the land.

The event is free and does not require a Discover Pass to enter the park, which is off Highway 12 where the Snake River converges with the Columbia River.

"Friday is dedicated to school-age children to come and explore from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.," said park ranger Reade Obern.

The family-friendly event is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 25. Folks can roam around and talk with re-enactors and historians.

"Heritage Days is all about exploring our heritage," he said.

More than 20 organizations have come together to participate and provide presentations for the event, with Native American programs, dancing and drumming, mountain man re-enactment camps, and Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery re-enactors being just part of the attraction, Obern said.

There also will be antique cars, a working antique steam saw, live birds of prey, pioneer trail cooking, traditional crafts and food demonstrations.

The old-time string band, Juniper Bush Huggers, will provide the tunes at 1 p.m. Sept. 24-25 with the Umatilla Native dancers and drummers performing at 2 p.m., and headline entertainment Squirrel Butter -- Charmaine Slaven and Charlie Beck -- at 3 p.m.

"(Charmaine) captivates folks with her mountain buck dancing while playing guitar too," he said. "It'll amaze listeners how rich and full the sound can be from two musicians with two instruments."

There will be a campfire program from 7 to 9 p.m. with storyteller Pat Thompson.

"This is perhaps the best value family activity in the Tri-Cities," Obern said. "There are so many things to see and do, that absolutely everyone in the family will find something to excite them."

For information, contact Obern at 492-1555 or go to

Heritage Days is presented by the Mid-Columbia Traditional Arts and Music Association, an all-volunteer nonprofit with a mission is to foster and educate about traditional arts and music.

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;