Little Boston revels in a special weekend

 - Brad Camp/Staff Photo
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

LITTLE BOSTON — A festival-like atmosphere spread over Little Boston residents as the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe made a point to celebrate its members and friends Friday and Saturday. Port Gamble S’Klallam Days 2007 started with a glitter-covered bang Friday evening with a princess pageant, and picked up speed from there.

Saturday was all about the kids, as the Early Head Start teachers lined the tribal administration parking lot with children’s activities, and competitions were set up for both parents, friends and youth.

“It started with the princess pageant last night,” said Early Head Start teacher Loree Hadden. “Just seeing the families getting to get together and spending some time having fun is what this is all about.”

She and Early Head Start teacher Chrissy McBride were manning the “duck pond,” an activity during which children attempted to scoop up different rubber ducks for prizes. A little further down the way was Little Boston resident Shawnene Simmons, who had one of the more popular activities — hair painting at a temporary salon. Her handiwork was on display throughout the celebration, as children ran around with wildly brilliant hair in colors ranging from blue and red to pink and green.

“I actually looked it up on the Internet,” Simmons said of the idea. “It’s something for the kids to do. You can pretty much pick out the kids that have been here.”

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Youth Council manned its own booth selling soda, and five teenagers were hanging around it, several having already been by Simmons’ makeshift salon and displaying brightly colored hair. The group was debating the different competitions, and discussing which they should participate in.

“The fishing derby is awesome,” said Gary Wurden, 14. He added that the event was one of his favorite parts of S’Klallam Days.

“I like being around the people,” added 14-year-old Alex Wright. “There are always new people to meet, and friends to hang out with.”

Adults were enjoying themselves as well, with the chance to trade stories, get caught up and participate in their own activities. Among the favorites were the Strong Man and Woman competition Saturday afternoon, and a hot dog eating competition.

Tribal Council member Betty DeCoteau said she always has a booth at the celebration with jewelry and other wares for sale. She said her favorite part of the weekend festival is observing the children and the competitions.

“Watching the kids have fun is nice,” she said. “Or the families, I should say, they are fun to watch.”

“We all work together, and this is a great way for us all to relax and have fun,” McBride said.

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