Big Fun in a Small American Town
Article by J.L. Brian, Photos by Bill Sebright
The first Saturday in August 2023 dawned with hazy skies and a predicted high in the mid-80s. In the tiny community of Clayton, Wash., residents roused from fitful slumber, or perhaps restless dreams, to get ready to
attend Brickyard Day 2023.
The event began at the Clayton Grange at 8 a.m. with breakfast consisting of delicious pancakes with butter and syrup, sausage and eggs, along with coffee or juice for the cost of a donation benefitting the Grange. Also at 8 a.m., just north of the Grange, participants in the Brickyard Day 5K foot race set out on their journey to earn swift glory or just enjoy a leisurely stroll.
Others began lining up on either side of Railroad Road in anticipation of the parade at 10:30 a.m. During the wait, Elizabeth Gilliam and Andy Carlson entertained the crowd with witty banter and a scavenger hunt. Members of Deer Park BSA Scout Troop 2202 also offered free helium balloons donated by Lazy “L” Ranch (balloons) and Oxarc of Spokane (helium).
The parade was led by Troop 2202 proudly carrying our nation’s colors with great reverence and care. Immediately behind the color guard rode 2023’s Honored Citizen; Mary Lentz, in a festively garlanded white Toyota convertible.
Adults and children along the parade route enjoyed candy galore. Highlights include this year’s beautiful Deer Park float and royalty, several cool old cars, and a steer roping demonstration put on by one of the equestrian entrants. At 11 a.m. live music by Time Traveler began drawing people to the grassy triangle west of the Grange. Most people just sat and listened to the music but a few couldn’t resist kicking up their heels to lively numbers or tenderly embracing while moving to mellow melodies.
As the day warmed, children spent more and more time in the bouncy house water slide. The kiddos seemed extra energetic – perhaps copious amounts of candy gathered and consumed along the parade route had something to do with that!
While Vendors lined the street to sell their wares or promote their organization, visitors had a chance to speak with representatives of Deer Park School District, Stevens County PUD, or buy goodies ranging from shaved ice to decorative water bottles.
The Lazy “L” Ranch provided free ice cream to those with a special coupon – Maple and Huckleberry were popular flavors for sure! Deer Park Fat Quarter Quilters sold raffle tickets for one of the most beautiful quilts ever created.
While most activities took place on Saturday, the celebration actually began at dusk Friday at the Clayton Grange with an outdoor showing of a popular family-friendly movie.
This year’s Brickyard Day was a fun-filled family event, and we have great plans for next year’s Brickyard Day as well. So, mark your calendar for the first Saturday in August 2024 and come on out to Clayton for a day filled with fun for all!