Balloon Artist Don crafts hats, dogs and swords for kids young and old during May Day in Vader on Saturday. A parade, carnival games and tour of the historic city jail were among activities for families that day, as well as food and merchandise provided by vendors.
The rain might have held off only so long on Saturday, but May Day nonetheless blossomed in Vader as the community held their 62nd annual community festival.
Originally thought to be a nonstarter this year due to a lack of organizers available for the event, community activists Janet Charlton stepped forward just last month to make sure the celebration could still take place.
“I think it went really great,” said Charlton of the event, noting the short time span she and other volunteers were afforded to complete May Day preparations.
May Day had been organized for a number of years by the late Diana Trahanes (Charlton’s mother) who, in turn, had taken the reins from her mother, May Day Founder Lena DeAger. The community had been uncertain who would lead the event after Trahanes’ death in 2012, and Charlton said her aunt, Wanda Smith, who had organized May Day 2013, may likely be organizing the event next year as well, though Smith indicated her role as organizer is not yet certain.
The first of Lewis County’s summer festivals, May Day set the pace for parades and carnivals to come with appearances from old favorites and new entries this year.
Back were carnival games and food provided by Little Crane Café, which this year included Don the balloon artist, the work of whom could be seen in the hands of children, and even a few adults, throughout the festival.
Sure to be making appearances at other summer festivals were candidates for county and state offices. While the official filing week is not until May 12, many candidates have put their names forward unofficially and it is expected there will be a large showing throughout election season.
American Pride Associates received the Spirit Award during the parade as they raised awareness and support for homeless military veterans. They have recently established a drop-off center in Rochester and are seeking funds to buy a new outreach truck.
Lewis/Cowlitz Fire District 20 fills a dunk tank which it had been rumored would contain District Chief Rich Underdahl, however a nearby fire on Brim Creek Rd. was called in and the dunk tank was left in the hands of carnival volunteers.