Community celebration will last through the weekend
There might be an age limit on the competition, but there is no age limit on participation.
Rhea LaPierre felt compelled to return to downtown Woodland on Thursday afternoon to showcase her skills with the chalk, creating sidewalk art on the first day of Planters Days.
LaPierre was one of the winners in 2019, the last time the competition was held.
Now 14, she is a year too old to win anything.
Still, she just had to be there, to express her love for Woodland.
“I think it’s a really fun way for everyone in Woodland to be able to come together and share community and show people who and what we are and what we stand for,” LaPierre said of Planters Days, celebrating its 100th year.
“It’s a fun way to enjoy Woodland. It’s one of the best towns,” she said.
The oldest of nine children, Rhea also helped her dad with supervising. Rhea’s 9-year-old sister Charis won a prize for the chalk artwork this year.
Rhea recalls moving from California to Washington.
Nothing really compares to Woodland,” she said. “Walking around and knowing that most of the time you are going to be safe, and there are a lot of people here who are super friendly.”
This week and weekend is Woodland’s time to shine, as well, as the community celebrates the 100th year of Planters Days.
The pandemic took away some momentum from community celebrations.There were some virtual events for Planters Days in 2020 and a couple of events last year, but this year marks the returns to a more traditional schedule.
That started Thursday with the art show, the children’s parade, and the pet parade.
How’s this for normal?
During the pet parade, there was a person in a dinosaur costume, walking a dog, wearing a dinosaur costume.
There was also a little girl, dressed as an old woman, using a cane to walk the parade route with her dog. It was explained that the girl was dressed as a 100-year old to coincide with Planters Days.
On Thursday night, BrookLynn Donald was crowned the queen of Planters Days. That was followed by a fireworks show.
More normalcy will include the frog-jumping contest, parade, the car show, and the raffle this weekend.
On Friday, there will be a “mass” wedding, with multiple couples getting hitched. And if anyone else wants to renew their vows, they are welcome, too. Plus a royal reunion, with former princesses and queens asked to gather together again.
Keith Bellisle, the president of Planters Days, said this event dates back to 1922. For years, the town had been building dykes in order to keep the waterways from flooding the farmlands. There were no floods in 1922. All the work had paid off for the local community.
“They elected to have a Thanksgiving-like celebration to commemorate that,” Bellisle said.
The event has changed names through the years, but it is back to Planters Days. It is also believed to be the longest continuing community celebration in the state.
“Planters Days means community, and people coming together to throw a celebration,” Bellisle said.
He loved seeing the families along the parade route Thursday. The bigger parade on Saturday will attract even more people.
“When you see people out like this … that’s one of the best illustrations of a community,” Bellisle said. “You can really feel the sense of community.”
For a full schedule of events this weekend, go to: https://www.Planters-days.com/
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