By Lyndsie Kiebert-Carey
The first Ponderay Neighbor Day, held in 2017, was meant to be a one-time way for the city of Ponderay and Friends of the Pend d’Oreille Bay Trail to gauge community support for an underpass to Ponderay’s waterfront. Overwhelming enthusiasm for the event — and its continuance — has kept it alive as an annual gathering in the years since.
“All year long, community members tell us how they look forward to attending,” said KayLeigh Miller, Ponderay planning director. “For me, this is one of the most rewarding projects that I work on each year.”
The fifth annual Ponderay Neighbor Day will be Saturday, Sept. 18 from 1-6 p.m. at Harbison Field, located behind the Hoot Owl Cafe on Highway 200. The family-friendly event will feature kid crafts, pony rides, a petting zoo, inflatables, food and retail vendors, carnival games, tastings, demonstrations and Magic by Star Alexander. There will also be free live music by country rock group Copper Mountain Band from 3-5 p.m.
Keeping with the event’s original purpose, the city will also be requesting community input on local projects. Miller said attendees can visit the city of Ponderay booth to fill out a quick survey and earn free entry into raffle drawings for a cooler, fire pit or drill kit. This year, officials are seeking opinions for “The Front Yard Project” — an effort to make Ponderay’s waterfront accessible to the community.
“Folks will be able to answer a few simple, quick and fun survey questions that help us keep in touch with the pulse of the community and gain important feedback,” Miller said.
Ponderay residents, as well as those who work in the city or who frequent it, are welcome to partake in the survey. Ponderay Neighbor Day is meant to celebrate connections between the many people invested in “The Little City with the Big Future,” as the city’s seal reads.
“Everyone who attends this event for the first time is pleasantly surprised by what can happen when an amazing community comes together,” Miller said. “Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to provide this event and all of the activities, as well as the live music free of charge.”
Ponderay Mayor Steve Geiger emphasized the important role local businesses and volunteers play in making Ponderay Neighbor Day an annual reality.
“What makes this event so special is the overwhelming generosity of our community businesses and residents who volunteer and contribute to make this event possible. We couldn’t do it without them,” he told the Reader. “It is a great event for the kids and families to come together and have a great time.”
Find more information at cityofponderay.org/ponderay-neighbor-day, or contact Miller at 208-265-5468.
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