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A Legacy of Community in Action at Nile Valley Days

 

This year's Nile Valley Days is Saturday and Sunday, July 21 & 22.

 

 

 

thumb_100_1141.jpgEvery year on the third weekend in July, the heart and soul of America is captured in a small community fair in Cliffdell, WA.  “Nile Valley Days” takes place at Jim Sprick Community Park on Hwy. 410 (Chinook Pass), 18 miles west of Naches.

 

The event began in 1975 when residents decided to organize a celebration to honor their heritage and the old fashioned spirit of their community.  To that end, they decided that no political, commercial, or mechanized events would be allowed.

 

Jim Sprick, for whom the park was named, owned hundreds of acres of land in the Nile Valley, including 17 acres which was used for a community park. The creation of the park was truly a community effort.  The Nile Women’s Club and Chinook Pass Lion’s Club helped to clean up the park site and did fund raising, along with the community.  Jefferson Logging donated equipment to help clear part of the land.  Akland Irrigation donated a pump for the water system, and the Naches Valley High School woodshop made benches and picnic tables.  Park founders and contributors, including Sprick, shared a vision to pull the community together and to provide a location for special events.thumb_100b7514.jpg

 

Sprick passed away in 1985, and the land for the community park was willed to the Nile Betterment Association, which is the official sponsor of Nile Valley Days.  Almost all organizers are local residents.

 

thumb_100_1170.jpgThere is plenty of work to be done year round, including keeping the grounds of the park clean, keeping buildings maintained, and making trophies for winners of Nile Valley Days contests.

 

Activities at the fair appeal to young and old, including corn shucking and sack races for the kids, and cross cut, axe throw, and wood splitting for teens and adults.  Some events, like the watermelon eathing contest, and the popular egg toss, are open to children and adults.  There is a 4-H sponsored booth with games and activities for the young’uns.  The Lion’s Club puts on a pancake breakfast, and runs a bingo tent.  Civil War re-enactors, search and rescue, and other community or educational groups also have a presence at the fair.  thumb_100b7690.jpg

 

What would a fair be without food?  Elephant ears are a favorite, as well as burgers, hot dogs, and cotton candy.  While enjoying the good eats, visitors can stroll among the many booths selling hand crafted items.  No commercially made products are allowed – all vendors must sell only their own hand made products.  The icing on the cake is down-home entertainment on the center stage from local individuals and groups.  On Sunday morning, the Nile Community Church holds its services in the park.

 

thumb_100_1221.jpgThere’s so much to see and do at this fair, it’s really not to be missed!  Come enjoy the tall pine trees, the sparkling Naches River, and the cool mountain air!  Admission is free, but donations are requested for parking.  All proceeds from Nile Valley Days are used to finance community projects. 

 

 
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