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Napavine Funtime Festival Celebrates 40th Year This Weekend

Tradition: Funtime Fest Begins Friday Along With Napavine’s Centennial Celebration

By Kyle Spurr / kspurr@chronline.com

50108a1230c5b.imageThe Napavine Funtime Festival will bring the community together for the 40th year this weekend, a feat the festival board chair Jerry Owens said is impressive considering the celebration was nearly canceled last year due to a lack of volunteer support and challenging economic times.

Despite the recent challenges, the festival went on as planned last year and has a full lineup of events scheduled for this weekend, beginning Friday night with the Princess Napawinah Coronation.

“Even though there have been ups and downs, it has continued,” Owens said. “And I hope it will keep going for another 40 years.”

Owens said the festival benefited this year with help from the Napavine Centennial Committee that planned events to celebrate the city’s century mark along with Funtime Festival activities.

The Centennial Committee opened Mayme Shaddocks Candy Store & Ice Cream Parlor in a vacant building on Washington Street across from where long-time resident Shaddock ran a convenience store known for its candy and ice cream in the 1950s.

The parlor will be open during the Funtime Festival this weekend.

A centennial dance will also be held at the Hamilton Feed Store on Saturday night.

“We have several new people involved with the Centennial going on,” Owens said. “The general involvement helps make the whole weekend fuller and give people more of an opportunity to do things.”

New to the Funtime Festival this year is a farmers market on Saturday that will have 31 vendors. On Sunday morning, a Princess Napawinah Breakfast will also be held for the first time at Sahara Pizza.

All of the past Princess Napawinah’s have been invited to come back for the 40th year.

The Funtime Festival started four decades ago as a parade and logging show, Owen said, and over time it added events such as a demolition derby and drag races.

Owen said the town doesn’t have the space or experienced volunteers for the races and derbies, but a car show will still be held on Sunday in front of Sahara Pizza.

The nearly 30 festival volunteers planned all year to organize the three-day event.

Owen, who has been the festival board chair all 40 years, said the festival relies on the town’s support if it is going to continue in the future.

“We keep on hanging on and we hope the community continues to come out and enjoy it,” Owen said. “That is what it’s all about.”

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