Chataqua History

13-14-15 July, 2018

A smalgroup of Chewelah area residentjoined togethei197tassisRainbow EmilTouraine, a nationallrecognized artist specializing in Native American themesbrinto Chewelah a displaoNative American relics, artand ceremoniacostumesMs.Touraines father, PhilipTouraine, waat thatime the curatoothe Scottsdale, Arizona Museum, and provided many priceless exhibitsThe evengenerated con­siderablinterest andparticipation blocal tribal members annon­ Indianartistin the area.
The nation was gearing up fothe celebratioof thBicentennial i1976The Chewelah grouwhich haformein 1974 decided to incorporatas a nonprofiorganization and develop a Bicentennial celebrationfosoutherStevens County.
The name Community Celebrationwachosen and i1975 thorganization filed ArticleoIncorporationwith thWashington Secretary oState. CommunitCelebrationalso filed for nonprofistatus with the Department oInternaRevenuand received the IRS 501Cdesignatiolati1975.
In 1975, CommunitCelebrationorganized Bisontennial I as a celebratioothe nation200th birthday,whicwoulbe officiallrecognized i1976Bisontennial I was a modessuccesbut served as a forerunneothingtcomeBisontennial Ii1976 waa much larger event whiclaiout thformawhichas been carried forward for 40 years.
Following thBisontennials, CommunitCelebrations marked thoccasioof th100th anniversary of the charterinof thChewelah posofficewhicalsgave the town an officianame anspellinof the name for thfirstime. The Chewelah Centenniawacelebrated i1977.
Chewelah is an Indian word whicroughly translates intlittle water snakes. ThIndianapplied thname to an artesian sprinwhich formed a pond in thgeneral areof thold magnesitplansite. Thswirlinwaters wersaid tgive the impressioof many smalsnakeswimmin– hencthe nameChewelah. Thvallefloowas mostly a swamp, aniearlspring, thwater was deep enougto permit boatraffic to anfrom the villagof Chewelah from the Cottonwood Road area. Smalwatesnakeweralso abundanithe valley, which thIndiancalled land of little watesnakesalssimilato Chewelah.
I1978, the name Chataquwaselected for the annuasummecelebration. The name wasuggesteby onof thmemberwhnoted that thformamoscloselresemblethe historiChautauqua, the most popular outdoor entertain­ment in thUnited States athturn othe century anlastinuntil the 1920s. Community Celebrationsimplified thspellinto make pronounciatioeasier antkeep the Chewelah Chataqua distanced from the Chatauqua Societwhicis stiliexistence at Lake Chautauqua, NeYork.
Chautauqu(Chataqua)is an Indian word from tribes, possibly Senecaiupstate NeYork, given to a lake. The translationvary, bumost agree thathe closesis meeting placin the mist” with reference ttribagatheringalonthe lake shore.
The ChautauquSocietformed in thlat1890anwas dedicateto encouraging culturaandeducational enrichmenfoadultsIt became huge­ly popular aneventually Chautauqutook to throawith tents and per­formers. The ChautauquCircuicovered rural Americbringinentertainment andinformation to small towns and villages starved for contact with professional actors, performers, musiciansand speakers.
In manrespects, Chataqusoughtfill a similar neein the rurareacheoStevens County. CommunitCelebrationstated goalwertdevelop, produce, promote ancoordinate educational, cultural anrecrea­tional activities. A secondary goawatprovide a performing artfacility.

City Park & Campground

City Park & Campground

I1978, the first Chataqubrought quality arts ancraftinto thcitparkestablished a traditiooexcellent fooservice aninitiatecontinuoumusicentertainment. Thstagin thparwanothinmorthan a raisewooden platform. Thpiansat unceremoniouslin the bacof a pickup adjacentstage. Wooden bleacherwerhauled in from the foot­ balfield, but mansaon the grasoilawn chaircarried frohome.
The neefor a permanenoutdoostagwaobviousIn 1981, Community Celebrations, workinwith thCitof Chewelah, funded ancompleted thfirsphasof an outdoopavilion. The cemenstagwoulserve alonfotwyears untifunding coulbraised tfinish the structureI1984with a grano$20,00frothe AlcoFoundation, thCenterStagPaviliowacompleted and dedicated to thCitof ChewelahThtotacosothbuildinwas approximately $80,000, paid fofroproceeds from Chataqua another funraisinactivitiehelbCommunitCelebrationover a period oseverayearsPermanenseatinwas thnext phase. LocacontractorTom anJohn Steinbach, engineered anconstructecemenseatinfo80spectators. Thworwafunded by CommunitCelebrations, witassistancisitpreparatiodonateby thCity. The Alcoa Foundation granted thorganization $10,00to complete the construction. The seatiniconsider­ed tbe stateoftheart, and the innovative design habroughothedesigners anengineers to Chewelah tsehow thcemenstructurwas done.
Sincitinception, Community Celebrationhasteppeforwarthelp brinneactivitieto thcommunity. ThannuaHalloweeParadwaor­ganizeby this groupThFestivaoLightis anotheannuaactivityThHalfCentury BicyclTour wastarted under thauspiceof Community Celebrationas a parof Chataqua anhanow beerescheduled tcoincidwith ColumbuDayAs resulof CommunitCelebrationservinas a coordinatofoWashingtoState Centennial activitiein Chewelah, the TraiDrive othe Centurfor antiqucarcame to Chewelah i1989 and the Choke& SpokeOlCar Club of Colvillhas elected treturn to Chewelah for theiNostalgiDayeveneacyear since. CommunitCelebrationhelps to coordinatthactivitiein Chewelah.
CommunitCelebrationfinanciallcontributeto the Chewelah Communi­ty Floatprovides a scholarshifor thYounWoman of thYear andonatemonetworthwhilcommunitprojectsThe organizatiohaprovidebicyclracks and park benches aniproposintfund thconstructioof a third bridge inthe park.
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