La Center residents, visitors turn out for annual Our Days Celebration

LA CENTER — It was time for residents of the city of La Center to show off their community pride over the weekend as events of the annual Our Days Celebration filled the streets and other areas with events for all ages.

The 2017 La Center Our Days Celebration got under way Friday evening along 4th Street with the Music in the Street event, featuring the Perry Gerber Band. At the same time the live music was getting underway, residents and visitors were also provided with the option of strolling down to Sternwheeler Park for Movie in the Park, featuring “Sing.’’

Blaine Dohman, captain at Clark County Fire & Rescue’s La Center station, served as grand marshal of the 2017 Our Days Parade Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz
Blaine Dohman, captain at Clark County Fire & Rescue’s La Center station, served as grand marshal of the 2017 Our Days Parade Saturday. Photo by Mike Schultz

Saturday’s events got underway at 8 a.m. with the 5K Fun Run/Walk, starting in Holley Park. Members of the community then participated in, and viewed, the annual Our Days Parade. The theme of this year’s Our Days Celebration was “American Heroes’’ and Blaine Dohman, of Clark County Fire & Rescue, served as the grand marshal for the parade, which followed a new route starting at the La Center Free Evangelical church and continued onto 4th Street and onto Holley Park.

Holley Park was also filled on Saturday with the annual Car Show, which began at 11 a.m. The park was also filled with the Kid Zone, vendors at the opportunity for residents and visitors to dine on a BBQ lunch prepared by Smokin’ Frank’s, East Fork BBQ Co.

According Frank Mazna, of Smokin’ Frank’s, 500 pounds of pulled pork was prepared for the event.

“We had a small team of teenagers helping me pull them out, pat them dry and then we got a rub on it, just a Memphis-style rub that we made here to make it something special,’’ Mazna said, revealing some of this secrets to the pulled pork, which was very popular with the crowd. “About midnight, we fired up the smokers and got it loaded with wood. We brought it up to temperature at about 1 o’clock (a.m.) and we started putting the meat on.

“For the first 2-3 hours the meat absorbs the the smoke, that’s how we get the smoke ring and the smokey flavor,’’ Mazna said. “Then, we ran the temperature up a little more that’s when we actually started cooking the meat. The final thing we do when we are done cooking is wrap it up with aluminum foil, that allows the steam and juices to break it  down and get that pull everyone is looking for.’’

While the adults and others were enjoying Smokin’ Frank’s pulled pork, families were taking part in the annual Beautiful Baby Contest in Holley Park. According to organizer Linda Tracy, the Miss Teen La Center program took over the Beautiful Baby Contest in 2004 so 2017 marked  the 13th year the organization has held the free contest.

Eight-month-old Pailynn Stearns was awarded first place in the 7-12 month division at the 2017 Our Days Celebration Saturday in La Center. Photo by Mike Schultz
Eight-month-old Pailynn Stearns was awarded first place in the 7-12 month division at the 2017 Our Days Celebration Saturday in La Center. Photo by Mike Schultz

Winners were named in four different categories or age groups. Waylon Hantho (age 6 months) was named the winner in the 0-6 months age division. Pailynn Stearns (age 8 months) was named the winner in the 7-12 month age division and 18-month-old Cadence Walker was the winner in the 13-18 month age division. The overall Grand Champion was Klara Pauls.

Later on Saturday afternoon, those in attendance had the opportunity to play a little Bingo.

Head-turning classic cars filled Holley Park in La Center Saturday for the annual Car Show at the 2017 Our Days Celebration. Photo by Mike Schultz
Head-turning classic cars filled Holley Park in La Center Saturday for the annual Car Show at the 2017 Our Days Celebration. Photo by Mike Schultz
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About The Author

Ken Vance got his start in the newspaper industry in 1987 as a reporter at The Columbian Newspaper in Vancouver. Vance graduated from Stevenson High School in Stevenson, WA, and attended Clark College in Vancouver. He worked for The Columbian from 1987-2001. He was most recently a staff member of The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground, where he served as editor since 2010 and reporter since 2007. Vance’s work in the newspaper industry has won him multiple awards, including a first place award from the Society of Professional Journalists for in-depth reporting.

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