Inaugural Lower Chehalis Potlatch is Saturday


Aberdonians are invited to “come as you are” for the inaugural Lower Chehalis Potlatch on both banks of the Chehalis River on Saturday at 5 p.m. “Food, Fire, Water & Fun” are promised.

Residents on the north side of the Chehalis River are invited to “Benn’s Point” at the foot of South F Street; those on the south side of the river are invited to “Donovan Trail” on North Boone Street. “Wander down to the water’s edge and place a piece of wood on the signal fire,” the flier for the event reads.

The original start time of 1 p.m. was changed to accommodate the memorial for City Council member John Erak, whose service is at that time. Citizens are asked to bring a log of firewood to toss on the fire in his memory.

Though not billed as a political event, many of the proposed participants are politicians. Council President Kathi Hoder will hand out hot dogs, Councilmember Alice Phelps will cook her BBQ fry bread and the husband of Ward 6 candidate Michelle Barclay volunteered to set up the fire, Brian Little, chairman of the Planning Commission and citizen organizer said.

Little started the event to help Aberdonians connect to their roots on the water.

Key organizers also include Jamie Judkins of the Planning Commission and Deb Carney Blecha, an activist for downtown renovation. Mayor Bill Simpson and others helped with “a trash mob” cleanup last weekend.

“Come as you are” is a lyric by famous native son and Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain. The event is expected to go until late in the evening.