Yelm Prairie Days 2015

2015 FILE PHOTO — Mexican dancing horses from Tacos Gaby entertain with sharp clip-clops during the parade.

It’s summertime, the livin’ is easy and our annual summer event is back and better than ever!

We wanted Prairie Days to return to what many in our community remembered — a free, fun, family event. So, a group of like-minded folks got together and reimagined how we could best welcome summer to the prairie.

What we came up with was a mix old and new, but all fun.

Friday night, June 28, we welcome back the street dance! Now, we haven’t had one of these for many years, but when we asked “old-timers” what they liked best about the old Prairie Days, the street dance was one of the most often cited events. So, let’s dance!

Friday night, June 28, starting at 6 p.m. we’ll close off Second Street right in front of the Community Center and a DJ will play music reflecting this year’s theme of “Prairie Days Through the Years.”

Family friendly, we’ll have music all can enjoy, though as the evening progresses it will be less “Raffi” and more Rock n’ Roll.

That might get you hungry, so there will be food trucks and a beer and wine garden. So strap on your dance shoes and come join the party! Don’t stay up too late though, because you’ll want to get up early enough to find a good spot to watch the parade Saturday morning, June 29. Organized by the Yelm Area Chamber of Commerce, the parade will start on the newly constructed Tornado Alley by the high school, then proceed up Tahoma Valley Boulevard and turn onto Yelm Avenue at the Medical Center, finally dispersing at the middle school parking lot.

After the parade, come on over to the new and improved Yelm City Park. Your family is going to love it! We finished installing the long-awaited playground equipment improvements and the new splash pad. In the park you’ll find many of our community organizations have set up free, fun things to do for kids of all ages.

Remember, we no longer host the carnival at this event because, in part, it had become too expensive for families to enjoy and overshadowed all the cool things we can do as a community for free.

Try out the National Guard’s climbing wall or enter the pie-baking contest. Want to see some great old military equipment? There will be an impressive display! Tractors too! And then in the afternoon, grab some food from one of the food trucks, claim a section of cool grass and listen to live music on the little stage. Oh, and the Yelm Farmers Market will be going too!

Sunday, June 30, the fun continues with a 5K put on by Yelm Rotary, and in the park we’ll cap off the festivities with two very special events — the Olympia Symphony Orchestra will play a free live concert in the community center starting at 3 p.m., which will be followed at 4:30 p.m. by a free performance of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” put on by Goldfinch Productions.

This IS your parents’ Prairie Days, and now it can be your family’s memories in the making. What a great way to kick off Summer in Yelm!

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