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Sunshine Days moved from third weekend in September to first weekend in October

Sunnyside's Sunshine Days will not be held on the third weekend of September, as it is traditionally.

Instead, it will be held on Sunnyside High School's homecoming weekend, Oct. 4-6.

That's because organizers Teri Alvarez-Ziegler of the Miss Sunnyside Committee and Pam Turner, director of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, recently learned the Central Washington State Fair will open the weekend of Sept. 21.

"We are being forced to change the date of Sunshine Days," said Alvarez-Ziegler.

She said she has been involved with the Miss Sunnyside Pageant for seven years. "I expected the schedule to be the same as usual," Alvarez-Ziegler said.

She explained that she was at a recent pageant and was talking with another organizer who informed her that the date of the Central Washington State Fair and Sunfair Parade had been moved back a weekend.

That weekend conflicted with the traditional dates of Sunshine Days and Alvarez-Ziegler immediately notified Turner.

"I called the state fair and confirmed the fair was bumped back a week. They said it was because of weather concerns," said Turner.

Alvarez-Ziegler said, "We can't compete with the state fair."

The duo quickly began making phone calls, confirming dates of other events. They said they didn't want to "...be a bad neighbor."

They said they believe organizers of the fair have been bad neighbors since it is a long-standing tradition to keep events like the fair from conflicting with other community events.

Turner said the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and the Miss Sunnyside Pageant organizers wanted to be mindful of other community events. Looking at the events schedule, it was decided the most logical date for Sunnyside's Sunshine Days would be the first weekend in October.

Alvarez-Ziegler confirmed with Sunnyside High School officials that Oct. 4-6 is homecoming weekend.

She said, "We are planning everything around the homecoming activities so the athletes can be supported and the students can attend the dance."

Sunshine Days will kick off on Friday, Oct. 4, with the car show's annual poker run, the SHS homecoming football game will be later that evening.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Sunshine Days Parade will take place at 10 a.m. and the car show will be that day. At 3 p.m. will be a Regal Majesty preliminary pageant, and the SHS homecoming dance will be that evening.

On Sunday, Oct. 6, at 1 p.m. will be the Miss Sunnyside Pageant.

"That gives my judges time to get home and people in the community will be able to attend church," said Alvarez-Ziegler.

Turner said, "This may be for the best...when you think about it, it'll (Sunshine Days) have a real hometown feel."

Alvarez-Ziegler said coordinating with officials at SHS and throughout the community, ensuring that homecoming weekend would be a good time to host Sunshine Days, took some effort.

"It gave me a real sense of community...it makes me feel good that the community is willing to work together to coordinate its efforts," she said.

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