CLEARWATER VALLEY — As I end my 2nd full year of writing this column, I reflect on the fun and interesting people and events in the Clearwater Valley. With this, my first column of the New Year will recapture some highlights of the year’s mix of events, both events with long traditions and new events. Tradition is good, as long as something works, but great to try new things once in a while, or a new twist on the past events.

The Kamiah Characters reprised in early January with a live theater production of “Let’s Hang Him and Read the Will,” a murder mystery with over-the-top characters, played by various high school and middle school students. Later in January, the biggest event of Kamiah’s winter social scene, the Crab Feed had another fun three-night run of all-you-can-eat crab, rock and roll by the King pins, local entertainment and community fund-raising.

In February, Clearwater welcomed 400-plus hungry visitors for an all-you-can-eat breakfast at their 55th annual Groundhog Day Feed. The Kamiah Chamber of Commerce held their 2nd annual Fe”brew”ary brewfest, featuring local and regional beers and ciders. Muse Media Co’s downtown Kamiah office rocked in February, with an edgy local art show on equality, inspired by the #metoo movement, a fund-raiser for the local YWCA. KLEW news featured roughly 30 people marching in downtown Kamiah, waving signs and chanting in support of education, encouraging people to vote for the school levy.

As winter shifted to springtime, the Valley Singers ventured out of Kamiah, performing an Easter concert at the Monastery of St. Gertrude. Spring also brought a series of yoga classes to the old Harpster schoolhouse, led by Harpster- area resident, Carly Decker. Another first, an outdoor Earth Day event on 5th Street in Kamiah included diverse and free activities ranging from yoga, rhythm instruments of the world, the hidden costs of water, deer tracks, Farmer’s Market seed planting, recycling game, crafts using recycled materials including T-shirt- to tote bags, along with displays from various land management agencies.

Clearwater Valley High School came alive with an impressive musical production of Cinderella, directed by Mrs. Elizabeth Nuxoll. An art show and art-in-action event at Clearwater Valley elementary school gave students a chance to show off their creative sides to parents and other visitors. The Kamiah Kubs boys team had a great season, running, jumping and throwing their way to a second-place finish (of thirty-six 1A teams) at the Idaho state meet.

Summer brought the start of the new Kooskia Farmers’ Market at the city park. Market organizer Melissa Knapton brought together an interesting array of vendors focused on homemade or handcrafted items and local musicians, bringing life to the City park on Thursdays. A string of local town festivals- Stites Days, Kooskia Day, Elk City Wagon Road Days, included parades, games, stories, food booths and community spirit. Kamiah Barbecue Days drew a crowd over its three-day run, with a lot of interest in the expanded youth zone, with numerous inflatable “bouncy” activities. Big Cedar Homemakers held their traditional Navajo Taco Feed, a fund-raiser to help maintain the historic Big Cedar Schoolhouse.

As fall transitioned to winter, an array of holiday events began with a craft fair in Harpster, Kooskia Holiday farmers’ market and the old-fashioned Christmas event in Kamiah featuring a parade of trees (and wreaths), numerous holiday crafts and other activities. Tree lightings and Christmas concerts abounded throughout the valley. Harpster held the last of the events with a singalong, Santa and cookies event on the 16th. The week before Christmas the Kamiah Characters entertained those ready for an event without a Santa with two performances of Star Tracks- The Exposition Menace.

Hoping people were able to have a nice Christmas with family and friends. With the New Year, it’s time for a little peace and reflection. I will leave you with this thought. “Ask yourself, every day, who is it that you want to be in the world and go about being that person.”

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