Snoqualmie Railroad Days 2014 was a spectacular success, featuring the first operating steam locomotive in 25 years, the Santa Cruz Portland Cement 2. More than 2,000 people took an excursion or tour, and an estimated 12,000 visitors attended at least one event or activity. A grand parade, fun run, Legends Car Show, live music, history reenactors from Fort Nisqually, timber sports demonstrations and more made this Snoqualmie Railroad Days one to remember!
Snoqualmie Railroad Days is a community event managed and hosted by the Northwest Railway Museum. This 76th annual festival was held August 15 - 17, and was made possible by the generous support of the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe, City of Snoqualmie, All Weather Heating, Snoqualmie Valley Hospital District, and Carmichael's True Value Hardware. And support from the YMCA and their awesome volunteers made the Children's Field of Fun truly successful.
Among the many events and activities were the history reenactors from Fort Nisqually, the recreated Hudson's Bay fort in Tacoma's Point Defiance Park. Volunteers provide living history demonstrations at the fort and graciously agreed to visit Snoqualmie Railroad Days. These dedicated volunteers demonstrated how rope was made, gave cooking demonstrations, displayed children's vintage games, performed blacksmith demonstrations, and more.
Art in the Park, supported by Snoqualmie Arts Commission, featured Arts and Craft demonstrations, displays of artwork, and live music at and Redmond Ridge Winery stage. Local artists including carvers, painters, quilters, and potters were on hand throughout the event.
The Legends Car Show was held on Sunday, August 17 during Railroad Days. More than 100 classic and antique cars were on exhibit all day, staged along Railroad Avenue in the center of historic downtown Snoqualmie. This remarkable show was the largest-ever in Snoqualmie, and featured a wide variety of vehicles. A variety of awards were made to exhibiting autos too, and visitors helped choose the winners.
Many other activities contributed to the success, and the very essence of Snoqualmie Railroad Days. A variety of craft and home-based vendors exhibited and marketed their unique and interesting products. Local honey producers, clothing, and even book dealers were set up along Railroad Avenue.
One of many highlights was a concert by Spike and the Impalers, (no connection to this author!) and their well known members Bob, Spike, and Joe. These gentlemen were the talent behind the Bob Rivers Show, which recently retired from Seattle's KJR-FM. Awesome sound that this Spike can still feel!
For the City of Snoqualmie, forest products had the greatest economic impact of the 20th Century. So how appropriate would a timber sports demonstration be in celebrating the community's history? Quite! The Moses Family and many others put on an awesome demonstration of logging skills in the park adjacent to the Snoqualmie River. Featured events included axe throwing, and whip saw and chain saw competition.
Trains and engines were also part of Snoqualmie Railroad Days. The United Northwest Model Railroad Club set up model trains and operated throughout the event. Coach 218 operated all weekend allowing hundreds of people to experience an authentic excursion in a 1912 coach complete with mohair-covered seats, mahogany paneling, and a hardwood floor. And of course all the trains were pulled or pushed by steam locomotive Santa Cruz Portland Cement 2, courtesy of owner Stathi Pappas and event sponsors.