The 105th annual Kla Ha Ya Days Festival in Snohomish will feature all the traditions people know and love.
The baby crawl. The kids’ sawdust treasure hunt. The watermelon eating and cherry pit spitting contest. And don’t forget about the parade.
But what about dinosaurs, pole vaulting and local celebrities in a dunk tank? Andrew Urie, president of the festival’s board, hopes some of these newer activities will become rooted traditions of their own someday.
“You want to feel like you’re giving something to the festival,” Urie said. “I want to be able to say maybe 10 years from now that they’re doing something that’s going on at the festival this year.”
This year’s Kla Ha Ya Days are scheduled for July 18-22 at various locations in Snohomish. Up to 25,000 people are expected to attend the festival, which began in 1913.
One highlight will be the Kla Ha Ya Days parade, set to begin at 10:30 a.m. July 21 on First Street. Parade-goers will hear the roar of a 14-foot-long megaraptor — the largest of the raptor family, courtesy of realistic puppets designed by Universal Studios and operated by DinoCrew NW, an entertainment company based in Lake Stevens.
Later, kids will have the chance to interact with the megaraptor and a young T-rex by playing fetch, digging for fossils and holding dinosaur eggs.
Tyler McGuinn, owner of DinoCrew NW, said children are either curious or frightened by the faux dinosaurs.
“They warm up to them really quickly,” said McGuinn, a 29-year-old Lake Stevens resident. “For the most part they are completely intrigued when they see lifesize and realistic dinosaurs walking around.”
The parade, voted as the most popular event at Kla Ha Ya Days by past participants, kicks off the most jam-packed day of the festival.
Other highlights include:
■ A carnival begins 5 p.m. July 18 near Harvey Field and runs through July 22.
■ Vuelta La Luna Circus will feature aerialists, fire eaters and trapeze acts over 11 performances July 19-22 at Harvey. Tickets are $20. Go to klahayadays.com/events/schedule/ for performance times.
■ The Frogtastic Kids Fair begins at 3 p.m. July 20 at Snohomish Station on Bickford Avenue and will include a frog toss, face painting and a dance-off.
Gil Schwarzmiller, a founding member of the local favorite Sauerkraut Band, is grand marshal. It’s the 50th anniversary of the marching band’s creation.
“Everybody in Snohomish has so many fond memories watching the Sauerkraut Band when they were kids,” Urie said.
Another special guest, kept a secret for now, will also be featured in the parade.
“I think most people will love it, especially if you’re into anything sports-related,” Urie said. “It’s representative of something people will absolutely recognize.”
■ Two past events, the dunk tank and pole vault competition, are returning July 22 based on popular demand, Urie said. John Kartak, mayor of Snohomish, is the special guest for dunking from 2 to 4 p.m. on First Street and Union Avenue, outside First and Union Kitchen.
■ The pole vault competition, 2:30 to 8 p.m. July 21 on Glen Avenue, will include demonstrations and a chance to see how high you can leap.
■ The Car and Motorcycle Show and Shine is set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 22 on First Street from Maple to Avenue A and on Union, Glen, Pearl and Cedar. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top cars and motorcycles.
■ Helicopter rides, adjacent to the carnival at Harvey Field, will be available from 6 to 8 p.m. July 20-22.
■ There will also be live music, a beer garden and a street fair.
Proceeds from the event will be given to Snohomish-based organizations and high school students. The festival raised $7,000 in donations and scholarships in 2017; Urie said the goal is to raise $10,000 this year.
“Snohomish is very neighborly,” Urie said. “It feels like home when people come in and they want their piece of history, but also celebrate and recognize the traditions already here.”
Evan Thompson: 360-544-2999, firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @evanthompson_1.
Kla Ha Ya Days
The 105th annual festival is July 18-22 in Snohomish with events at different venues.
Venues include Harvey Field (9900 Airport Way), Snohomish Station (2727 Bickford Ave.), Kla Ha Ya Park (1117 First St.), Stocker Fields (27 Pine Ave.) Snohomish Senior Center (506 Fourth St.) and other downtown locations.
View the schedule of activities at www.klahayadays.com.