BATTLE GROUND — During the third weekend in July last year, the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce — along with the help of Battle Ground resident Courtney Givens who works for simple pleasures events — brought back several of the traditional elements of the annual Battle Ground Harvest Days celebration that community members had been missing over the last couple of years.
All of those elements that make the annual hometown celebration what it is, and more, will be back again this year during the 2016 Harvest Days celebration.
The 49th annual Harvest Days will take place this year Thursday, July 14 through Saturday, July 16. The theme for this year’s event is “Hometown Celebration,” and will feature a variety of activities and events that aim to celebrate Battle Ground.
Harvest Days will again return to the “heart” of Battle Ground, with a variety of family oriented activities available to event goers at Fairgrounds Park and the Battle Ground Community Center, located at 912 E. Main St., next to the Battle Ground Skate Park.
The celebration will kick off Thursday, July 14, with the Rainier Amusements Carnival open to guests from 4-10 p.m. This will also be “Buddy Day” at the carnival, meaning attendees can get two wristbands for the price of one. Activities and different events will then continue on Friday, July 15, from 1-11 p.m., and Saturday, July 16, from 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m. Most events and activities, including the parade, will take place on Saturday.
A few things that are new to this year’s Harvest Days celebration that Givens said they are excited about include the addition of skateboarding and BMX to the Xtreme Amateur Games Competition, which last year only included scooters; a jaws of life demonstration by Clark County Fire District 3; and the Saturday night movie in the park, Pixar’s “Inside Out.”
Givens said they are also excited about the second year of the Tasting Room at the Harvest Days event, and said they have many new vendors.
Here is an overview of the different events and activities that will be going on on each of the different days of Harvest Days, July 14-16:
Thursday, July 14
Harvest Days will officially kick off for all those carnival enthusiasts Thursday afternoon with “Buddy Day” at the carnival from 4-10 p.m. Anyone going to the carnival will be able to purchase two wristbands for the price of one. Wristbands will cost $25 and can be purchased online at www.battlegroundchamber.org or at the carnival.
Friday, July 15
On Friday, the Rainer Amusements Carnival will open at 1 p.m. and will remain open to event goers until 10 p.m. The Beer & Wine Garden, sponsored by Papa Murphy’s, will be open to patrons from 4-11 p.m., offering a variety of beer and wine.
Starting at 6:30 p.m., one of the most anticipated Harvest Days’ events, the Harvest Nights Car Cruise, will begin. Staging for this event will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Fifth and Main Street, and cruising will begin at 6:30 p.m. Event will be first in, first out, and no entry into the cruise will be allowed after 7 p.m. The Car Cruise will continue until 10 p.m. with participants cruising up and down Main Street.
Entries for the fifth annual Harvest Nights Car Cruise are limited to classic cars that are 1978 or older, and the event is limited to 450 participants. Those interested in entering a vehicle that is something special that is newer than a 1978 can submit a special request to be able to participate in the cruise online.
Pre-registration online for the cruise is $20, and this gives participants guaranteed entry. Registration at the door is also $20 and is payable by cash only. No entries after 7 p.m. There will be a burn-out pit from 7-9 p.m.
Also during the car cruise, Morton’s Stove, Pool and Spa will provide a barbecue from 4:30-8:30 p.m., at the Battle Ground Chamber of Commerce, 317 E. Main St. Proceeds will benefit Rocksolid Community Teen Center.
Register for the Harvest Nights Car Cruise at www.harvestnightscarcruise.com.
From 7-10 p.m., TLS, The Journey Tribute Band, will perform.
Also on Friday, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., the Friends of the Battle Ground Community Library Book Sale will be going on at the Battle Ground Community Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, in the Battle Ground Village.
Saturday, July 16
Everyone gearing up for a full day of Harvest Days activities on Saturday can get the day started with a hearty breakfast provided by Clark County Fire District 3. The Open House and Pancake Feed will take place from 7-9:30 a.m., at Station 35, located at 505 SW 1st St., in Battle Ground.
Cost for the breakfast is $5 per person or $15 per family. The menu includes pancakes, ham, eggs, orange juice and coffee. The funds raised will benefit the family of 11-year-old “Jack” (his family wishes to remain anonymous) to help with the purchase of a motorized wheelchair.
After breakfast, event goers can make their way over to Main Street to claim a spot where they can watch the DeWils Grand Parade. The annual parade will begin at 10 a.m., and starts at Northwest Fifth Avenue and East Main Street.
The theme of this year’s parade follows the theme of the entire Harvest Days event, which is “Hometown Celebration.” Last year’s parade featured 107 entries and was improved over past years with a great variety of entries representing many businesses, groups and individuals from Battle Ground and the surrounding area.
Typical entries in the Harvest Days parade include floats, big trucks, band, drill or dance team, automobile clubs, organization or club walking, equestrian club and political entries.
The Battle Ground Rose Float is of course always prominent in the Harvest Days parade, with the Battle Ground Rose Princesses riding atop it.
From 11 a.m. to dusk, the Xtreme Amateur Games Competition will take place at the Battle Ground Skate Park. Last year was the first year for this type of event, and last year’s event only included scooters. This year, the competition will also include skateboarding and BMX.
From 11:30 a.m.-noon, the ceremonial Rose Planting at Central Park honoring the 2015 Citizens of the Year will take place. The 2015 Citizens of the Year were Dan and Veronica Mirehouse.
At noon, opening ceremonies will be held on the Main Stage. A few other activities will kick off at noon as well, including the Sidewalk Chalk Drawing Contest at the Family Stage area, open to all ages and put on by Morton’s Stove, Pool and Spa; and the GeoCoin Challenge kickoff, which will take place at Kiwanis Park.
From noon until dusk, the Harvest Days vendor booths will be open. Vendors will offer a variety of food, art, crafts and more. Also from noon until dusk, the Tasting Room inside the Battle Ground Community Center will be open. This is the Tasting Room’s second year at Harvest Days, and it will again feature local wineries, breweries, distilleries, cideries and meaderies.
The Rainier Amusements Carnival will be open from noon-10 p.m. The Beer and Wine Garden, sponsored by Papa Murphy’s, will be open again from noon-10:30 p.m. A cover charge of $5 begins at 5:30 p.m.
The Friends of the Battle Ground Community Library Book Sale will continue again from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at the Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, in Battle Ground Village.
From 1-2 p.m., in the Family Stage area, Fire District 3 will do a Jaws of Life Demonstration, something new to this year’s Harvest Days. From 4:30-5:30 p.m., a Kickball Tournament will be held in the West Field in the Fairgrounds Park area.
There will be a variety of entertainment going on all day on Saturday as well. On the Family Stage, the Talent Show will be held from 1-3:45 p.m. There will be three different age groups in the Talent Show — elementary school, middle school and high school. Acts can be solo, duet, trio or quartet.
Other Family Stage events on Saturday include Elite Cheer & Dance at 4 p.m.; NW Rock Academy at 5 p.m.; Children’s Hula Hoop Contest at 6 p.m.; Ora Nui Tahitian Dance at 6:45 p.m.; a performance by Columbia Dance at 7:45 p.m.; and Movie in the Park, Pixar’s “Inside Out,” at dusk.
On the Main Stage, the Opening Ceremonies at noon will feature Amber Sweeney. At 1:30 p.m., The Hill Road Band will perform, followed by The Perry Gerber Band at 2:45 p.m.; Frank & Maria at 4 p.m.; a performer TBD at 5:15 p.m.; the winner of the Talent Show at 6:30 p.m.; Morgan Alexander at 7:15 p.m.; and the day will be finished off by Country Billboard Artist James Otto at 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 17
The Friends of the Battle Ground Community Library Book Sale will continue today from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at the Library, 1207 SE 8th Way, in Battle Ground Village.
To see the complete schedule of events for Harvest Days, to purchase tickets/wristbands to the carnival and to find out more information about the community event, visit www.battlegroundchamber.org.