Home Online Work Organizers Work to Bring Week-Long Prairie Days Celebration to Yelm

Organizers Work to Bring Week-Long Prairie Days Celebration to Yelm

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By Brandon Hansen / For the Nisqually Valley News

Yelm Prairie Days will be back in Yelm and organizers say it will be better than ever.

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The festivities will include a week’s worth of events instead of the usual one or two days.

The offerings are usually centered around family fun and business specials.

Scheduled for June 20 to June 26, it’s setting up to be another exciting time for residents.

And to top things off, it’s all free.

“To make the event free for the community takes a lot of support from the community,” said Yelm Chamber of Commerce Director Line Roy. “It takes sponsors, volunteers, organizations who are willing to host events, businesses who are able to put some money behind it.”

Organizers always try to reach out to the community to hear what they want out of Yelm Prairie Days and ideas on how they can keep it free for families. They’re always looking for volunteers to help with events too. 

“It’s definitely a family friendly event, but this year especially, we’re trying to make it more inclusive for everyone,” Roy said. “The street dance can be enjoyed by an individual, a charity softball tournament, and while you might not be able to join a team, we need cheerleaders.”

As mandates and restrictions have been removed, it has been easier for the organizers of Prairie Days to be more creative with what they truly feel would encompass the spirit of the event as opposed to maneuvering around the question of how they can make things happen within restrictions.

“Safety has always been a huge concern for this event and we just increased that concern substantially over the past few years,” organizer Michael Malek said.

For the second year in a row, there will be a charity softball tournament but with a twist.

“This year, we’re switching it up and it’ll be smushball, which is similar to softball but new and exciting,” Roy said.

Malek also added there will be many competitions that can be taken on by individuals. Yelm Prairie Days will also bring back the parade this year and there will be a street dance for people to enjoy.

Planning for the event usually starts around January as organizers work to apply for permits and then things really kick into gear in March.

“The most difficult part in my opinion is getting everyone involved together at one time and hoping that we have enough volunteers and community members wanting to help build this event, be hands on and participate to make it a success,” Malek said.

Organizers are encouraged by how much they’ve seen the event grow though the last few years and they hope to continue that.

“For me, 2019 was my first year being involved with Prairie Days and not seeing it from an attendees perspective,” Malek said. “Everyone has their vision of what Prairie Days looks like. Some envision a dog parade, some envision a carnival and some truly enjoy being able to bring their family out and enjoy a stress free day where they don’t have to spend money if they don’t want to, but can also visit the farmers market or grab a bite from a local food vendor.”

Malek said they welcome anyone who wants to help the event and support the community. In previous iterations, partners have included businesses, organizations, nonprofits and community members.

For more information on Yelm Prairie Days, go to its Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/yelmprairiedays for updates.





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