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Future of well-run festival questionable


A Coulee Dam resident told the town council last week how well all the elements of the July 4 Festival of America celebration worked.

Carol Netzel, who lives at the north end of Columbia Avenue, said that the town should write the Grand Coulee Dam Area Chamber of Commerce a letter congratulating its officials and members on how well the celebration was planned and executed.

Netzel told how polite people seemed and how the large number of visitors seemed to enjoy themselves.

Netzel suggested that in future years parking areas might be established with some sort of bus service to get people to the park below the dam so they wouldn’t have to walk so far.

Parking space in west Coulee Dam is often impossible to find on the night fireworks are scheduled for the top of the dam.

Mayor Greg Wilder said he would write the letter and that he would like to have a post-celebration meeting to discuss ways to make things even better.

Chamber Executive Director Peggy Nevsimal said that the heat wave had its effect on attendance at the park below the Visitor Center for Grand Coulee Dam, where the festival was held.

The recorded temperature was over 100 degrees, which hindered people coming for the music, patronizing the booths and visiting the beer tent on Columbia Avenue.

Still, it was estimated that over 10,000 people jammed viewing places to watch what one person called the “best fireworks ever.”

Nevsimal stated last week that the chamber’s board would be discussing whether the Festival of America celebration can be continued in its present form.

“We lose a huge amount of money on the July 4 celebration,” Nevsimal stated.

Present levels of support make the continuation of the celebration questionable, she said.

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