A Memorable Memorial Day Weekend Brings the Community Together
The Guemes community came together over the three-day Memorial Day weekend to celebrate island life.
On Saturday the Summer Art Studio Tour welcomed residents and visitors to 10 gallery locations to view and purchase a variety of artists' offerings. Guemes Connects and the Soup-to-Go volunteers reconvened to provide a drive-through lunch of four soup choices, cornbread, and a cookie. The proceeds were donated to a Ukraine charity.
Sunday brought a break in the weather and a celebration of Samish traditions followed by a day of music, food, and community connections. The new Community Stage was festooned with cedar boughs and cloth sashes in the traditional Coast Salish colors. Rosie Cayou honored all who had a hand in building the stage. Old and young alike were tasked with observing and carrying on the memories of the day. Attendees received gifts of gratitude for being part of the celebration. The "dreamers" and the "builders" untied the sashes for the ceremonial ribbon cutting to officially open the Stage. The ceremony was closed by Jim Denovan in traditional Scottish dress playing the bagpipes. There were few dry eyes in the crowd.
Mike Gwost on guitar and Sue Gwost playing her father George's fiddle opened the day of music. The Island Explorers, led by Gale Myles sang a song of mountains, ocean, and flowers. Ian Woofenden and Lisa Grace engaged the audience with their gentle acoustic style. Kids and adults were wowed by Wren Schultz, juggler extraordinaire.
As the afternoon progressed, the music gained momentum and energy with the 13-member Dog Island Drums, our island's African drumming ensemble. Guemes favorites, The 720 String Band, The Haul Outs, and The Clark Point Rounders brought people to their feet. Nick Allison with Nightingale transitioned the crowd into the evening. Children of the Blues and Savage Blues Band were the crescendo that ended a memorable day of celebration.
Dozens of volunteers made the event possible. Dave Baumert provided all the sound equipment and "front of house" support. Don Bird was stage manager with the help of Cliff Christianson and Sean Sternberg doing the heavy lifting and providing audio support.
Ray Poorman of San Juan Cable provided WiFi capability so token sales could be streamlined for the purchase of wine, beer, ice cream, and commemorative bandanas.
A huge thank you to Jeff Schackman of Patterson Cellars who donated the wine for the Beer & Wine Garden. Rockfish Grill and Anacortes Brewery provided the beer.
The Guemes Island Fire Department entertained the kids with tours of their fire trucks and equipment. They also provided the first aid tent which thankfully was not needed.
Food vendors kept the crowd fed throughout the day. Thanks to Rosie Cayou and her family crew for the fry bread and Indian Tacos. DIGS Food Truck served pizza by the slice. Gourmet hot dogs with all the fixins' served by Road Dawgs. Ice cream sandwiches and cups from Lopez Island Creamery were a welcome treat. GICCA kept their popcorn machine working overtime giving away free popcorn throughout the day.
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with promotion, signage, moving tables and chairs, setting up tents and the beer garden, managing the parking lots, tending the water tables, picking up trash, and helping clean up. Rosie Cayou and her family taught us all to be gracious and grateful for what a community can accomplish when we all work together.
Monday of the long weekend brought people to the Guemes Cemetery for observance of Memorial Day. The many people lost during this past year were remembered.
Pickleball instruction and play and organized walking tours of Guemes Mountain, Kelly's Point, and Dogwoods rounded out the busy weekend. It was truly a time to Celebrate Guemes!