Lewis & Clark Bicentennial

Today marks the kickoff of the bicentennial celebration of Lewis & Clark’s journey; there are many activities scheduled to commemorate the historic event. If you plan on attending some of the festivities, you can purchase “day-passes,” and there are also tickets for individual events. A day-pass will gain you admission to several events, including:

The Geraldine Buffalo Dinner and Street Dance on Saturday; artists’ tours at the C.M. Russell Museum; an ice cream social at Ryan Dam on June 13; “Home on the Ranch” barbecue June 16 at the High Plains Heritage Center; the Upper Portage Camp beginning June 23; Independence Day Extravaganza July 4th at Montana ExpoPark

I’ve heard several reports that ticket sales have been slow so far…but perhaps they’ll pick up as the event is actually upon us now. By the way — am I the only one who thinks that it would have been cool to call it a “Bison-tennial?” Heh…

Riverfest 2005

It’s almost time: Riverfest 2005 will be held on July 16, from approximately noon until 9:00 pm! Among the activities:

“…sea plane, water skiing and kayaking demonstrations; musical entertainment; arts and crafts show/sale; skate boarding demonstrations at Riverside Railyard; concessions and a beer garden; children’s activities including face painting, hair coloring, art projects, games and more; petting zoo and pony rides…”

I went to Riverfest last year and enjoyed it very much, and this year should be no different. I think the 49th Street Blues Project played last year, and they were great. Plenty of food, lots of crafts and artwork to browse and buy, everybody smiling — it was just a fun time. Make plans to go this year!

Bison Graduates

Great Falls High School held the 2005 graduation ceremony the other day: 330 newly-minted graduates crossed the stage. Among the achievements of the Class of 2005: “…two National Merit Scholars, the state’s best AA newspaper, four All-State band members, top honors at the state thespian contest and top soccer, basketball and volleyball players.” Eleven of the students graduated with straight A’s — good job!

And in related news, I discovered that the science department maintains a website: BisonScience. And more: one of the teachers maintains a blog (WordPress!) for his class — very cool!

School’s (Almost) Out

The school year is almost over, and Paris Gibson Middle School is almost No More. The school board is still trying to figure out what to do with the building, apparently. Which reminds me: someone wrote a letter to the Great Falls Tribune the other day suggesting that North Middle School be renamed in honor of Paris Gibson AND the soon-to-be-closed middle school named for him. After all, “North” is not a very imaginative name for a school; it simply states where it is in relation to downtown. Same with East Middle School. I think that’s a good idea; perhaps it can be integrated with the existing name: North Paris Gibson Middle School, or maybe North Paris Middle School, etc. What do you think?

“Starshine”

I first noticed “Starshine” when her Letter To The Editor was published in the Great Falls Tribune back in January. Her letter protested George Bush and encouraged people to not purchase gasoline on a certain day. The odd thing is that the Tribune published her letter on two consecutive days. And now she’s been published again, this time praising Senator Baucus for his work in protecting the Rocky Mountain Front. My question: at what point in her life did she adopt the name “Starshine?” Or is it indeed her given name?

“Welcome To Great Falls!”

One of my favorite sights in Great Falls, and one that I drive by every day, is the “Welcome To Great Falls” near the intersection of 10th Avenue South and Fox Farm Road. The sign is surrounded by trees, lush grass, and rocks, and was one of the first things that I ever saw when I arrived in 2002. There’s a “twin” over on the east side of 10th Avenue South, too, which is just as welcoming. And now, both of these areas have been spruced up, thanks to a group of energetic young folks sponsored by the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce:

“The 38 members of the 2004-05 Leadership Great Falls class spent the past nine months digging into the inner workings of their community. They also spent the end of last week digging in to make the community a better place, literally.

The class spent two days sprucing up the “Welcome to Great Falls” landscapes on the west and east ends of 10th Avenue South. They painted signs, pulled weeds, planted shrubs, cut sod, mulched and added river rock.”

I appreciate their hard work — it certainly makes ME feel welcome every time I drive by!

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