Thursday, January 21, 2010

Enjoy Yakima Valley Art

Art is celebrated in the Yakima Valley for its freedom of expression, which inspires others to create, unique, one of a kind works. Many travelers to the Yakima Valley take time to stop and enjoy an enriching experience viewing our local artists creations. The Larson Galley, located on the Yakima Valley Community College campus is a favorite for this reason as well as its ever-changing exhibits.

This month, January 2010, the gallery features, "Women Artists: Where we are now," in conjunction with the centennial celebration of women receiving the right to vote in Washington State. Regional professional women are displaying works of art, outlining the creative process, cultural influences and barriers, which brought them to their art, and artistic expression. This art project includes the exhibition as well as lectures and workshops, which outline woman's historical struggle for identity in an art world predominately populated by men

If you are lucky enough to be in the Yakima Valley May 15, 2010, enjoy touring the local artists homes and studios, seeing where and how artists live and create.
From local painters and teacher exhibitions, to the June and July Summer Workshop series, where professional artists teach beginners to advanced, the Larson Gallery is truly a community treasure.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

201o Yakama Native American Celebrations. (videos)

Have a passion for history? The Yakama Native Americans have preserved rich cultural traditions. In June11-13 2010, a celebration the signing of the Treaty of 1855, will take place in White Swan, WA, just outside of Toppenish. The Yakima Nation will be celebrating the 156th year of the signing of the Yakama Nation Treaty during Yakama Nation Treaty Days Pow Wow, June 11-13 2010. The All-Indian Rodeo takes place in the nearby town of White Swan, WA.

The treaty was signed at Camp Steven in Walla-Walla between then governor Isaac I. Stevens, the superintendent of Indian Affairs and the confederated tribes and bands consolidated under the name "Yakama". These tribes consist of the Yakama, Palouse, Pisquouse, Wenatshapam, Klikatat, Klinquit, Kow-was-say-ee, Li-ay-was, Skin-pah, Wish-ham, Shyiks, Ochechotes, Kah-milt-pay, and Se-ap-cat.

The celebration includes a salmon feed, traditional stick games and an all Native American Rodeo, a sample of the bull riding event can be seen in the video below:

This is also a time for the Nations and Confederated Tribes to gather together for Pow-Wow. Men, women and children participate in numerous traditional Native American dances. The video below show women participating in the traditional dances, men also dance, although they dance separately.

Sources:Treaty/Tribes info.-CRITFC Columbia River Inter Tribal Fish Commission

Monday, January 4, 2010

New Years Travel Resolutions

It's that time of year again, New Year resolutions. From being more healthy to resolving to get in touch with old friends, Americans are good at making (and breaking) resolutions. A University of Scranton study in 2002 found that nearly 45% of Americans make New Year resolutions, and less than half of those are being kept by summer.

Last week I was reviewing online stories and blogs on 2010 travel resolutions. Not surprisingly there were many out there offering a range of ideas and advice. My favorite post was authored by blogger Katie Hammel on Gadling.

One thing she recommends is to get to know your own backyard. With that in mind, here are ten suggestions for enjoying Washington wine country and the Yakima Valley:

  1. Eat local. Try a new restaurant that serves local foods. Visit a fruit stand for fresh, locally grown produce.
  2. Take the long way home. Find some good local maps, get off the interstate and meander down a country lane.
  3. Try a new lodging option. Chain hotels are nice, but a resort, inn or bed and breakfast gives you greater exposure to the people and character of the destination.
  4. Visit a new winery. There are seventy wineries open to the public in the Yakima Valley, and another hundred or so in Eastern WA. Surely you have not visited them all!
  5. Head for the hills! There are some amazing hiking trails in the Naches Ranger District and, with proper planning, they make for a great excursion. Or take a stroll along the paved Yakima Greenway trail.
  6. Soak up the arts. Sure we're known for our wine and agricultural bounty, but there's a growing (pardon the pun) artistic community. From galleries to Broadway productions, the Yakima Valley has a range of artistic endeavors.
  7. Indulge yourself. Get a spa treatment at one of our local spas.
  8. Better yet, make it a girlfriends getaway with your favorite friends.
  9. Plan to take in a new festival or event.
  10. Tell your friends about our region or let us send them a Yakima Valley Visitors Guide. Be sure to sign up for email updates on what's happening in Washington wine country.

Here's wishing your travel resolutions take you to some great destinations and hope to see you in the Yakima Valley in 2010!

John Cooper