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SOAP LAKE – Soap Lake will spread its cultural wings this weekend with the first-ever Soap Lake Food and Folk Festival.

The festival takes place all day Saturday at Smokiam Park and features musicians from various traditions, as well as food and craft vendors and regular raffle drawings throughout the day. It is hosted by the Friends of the Lower Grand Coulee.

“We have Mexican music, we have country music, we have contemporary folk music, we have Southern folk music, we have Delta blues,” said Kim Anderson, who has lived in Soap Lake her entire life and came up with the idea for the festival. “So we’re everywhere.”

Musicians include conjunto band Tejano Skyz, singer-songwriters Carl Tosten and Billy Stoops, country singer Myra Pearce, blues musicians The Delta G Band and Leif Totusek, whose compositions mix jazz, blues and soukous, a dance music style from Central Africa. Many of the musicians have ties to the area, Anderson said; Pearce and Tejano Skyz live in Moses Lake, and several members of the Delta G Band graduated from Soap Lake High School. Tosten also grew up in Eastern Washington, according to his online biography.

According to the Friends of the Lower Grand Coulee website, the culinary part of the name will also be well represented. Blacky’s Smokin’ Sweet, Unique Kettle Korn and Taqueria El Tapatio will all be serving their food. There will also be plenty of local artists and artisans.

According to the website, many local businesses and several of the performing artists donated items for the raffle.

“We ended up with 16 sponsors, some with in-kind donations, some with monetary donations,” said Ruthann Tobiason, another festival organizer. “And that was phenomenal, I think, considering we’ve never done anything like this before.”

The drawing will take place during the half-hour break between performances, Tobiason said.

It was no coincidence that this weekend was chosen, Anderson said.

“I was thinking about when Woody Guthrie came through with the Bonneville Power Administration in 1941 and wrote all those songs about the Columbia River,” she said. “His birthday was July 14, so I chose the second weekend in July.”

Since this is also the weekend after Soap Lake’s Suds ‘N Sun celebration, Anderson said organizers hope to make both an annual tradition so Soap Lake visitors can stay the entire week and enjoy both.

The Friends of the Lower Grand Coulee hope the festival will move the town closer to becoming a creative district, said Tobiason, who has led the effort to make Soap Lake eligible for state arts funding. Designating part of Soap Lake as a creative district, similar to what Moses Lake did several years ago, would allow the state to provide up to $60,000 in funding for local arts programs, according to the state’s website.

The organization plans to conduct a visitor survey on site to get an idea of ​​where people come from, how long they stay, and the like.

“When we get good data, it’s easier to apply for grants from tourism and other non-governmental entities, such as private foundations that support the arts, festivals and community events,” Tobiason said.

“Soap Lake has turned around and that’s a beautiful thing,” Anderson said. “There are really good things happening there. People should keep an eye on Soap Lake because I think they’re going to be really surprised in the next few years at how much this little town has to offer.”

Joel Martin can be reached via email at [email protected].

Time schedule

9:30 a.m. Opening ceremony

10am Tejano Skyz

11:30 a.m. Break, announcement, raffle

12:30 pm Myra Pearce

13:30 Break, announcement, raffle

2pm Billy Stoops

15:30 Break, announcement, raffle

4 p.m. Leif Totusek

17:30 Break, announcement, raffle

6pm Carl Tosten

19:30 last break, announcement and final draw

8pm Delta G Blues Band


GriffGear3D — Tombola dispenser

Garb and Gizmos – Raffle Donors


Kindhearted Mini Therapy — Raffle Donor

Lavish & Lather — Raffle Donor

Terri’s Treasures

The gnarled broom — tombola donor

Mountain Meadow Crafts — Raffle Donor

The sweet edition

Grant County Fire District 7

Jamie’s individual metal art

Amy’s artistic expressions

Blacky is smoking sweet

Unique kettle grain

Renewal by Andersen Windows

Taqueria El Tapatio

The glass cactus

Maria Benson — LifeWave

Denise Keegan

Youth development programme

OIC of Washington

Grant & Adams County, Parent to Parent

Michelle’s Custom Tumblers — Raffle Dispenser

Rudy Gonzales — Vintage and Collectibles

Singer-songwriter Billy Stoops will be among the performers at the Soap Lake Food and Folk Festival on Saturday.