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Bar Wars was another epic event this year – the biggest battle yet! Congratulations and thanks for all of the great participation, donations, and outstanding sportsmanship! For those that don’t know, Bar Wars is an annual water balloon war between the patios of Marko’s Place and the Roslyn Eagles. This year, the trophy went to Marko’s, but the real winners are the charities this event is designed to support. The event raised nearly $3000 to split between ARRF and the Roslyn Library.


As previously noted, the only word that accurately describes this year’s event is “epic!” All totalled, over 12,000 water balloons were thrown. Eagles came on strong early, barraging Marko’s with a torrent of balloons. Paired with the blaring Star Wars Soundtrack echoing out of the Eagles patio sound system, the 696 were truly laying down liquid terror from the sky. However, before long, Marko’s was able to push their way out into no-man’s land and fight from the alley (thanks largely to custom shields many participants made in advance of the battle). In addition to balloons and shields, there was also no shortage of super soakers, giant sling shots, and water buckets. Marko’s even had an archer (armed with a water balloon firing bow) laying down sniper fire from the neighboring Hideaway’s patio. Then, just as the mayhem seemed to reach its peak, insurgents joined in from the street with the full power of the Roslyn Fire Department. Both the Eagles and Marko’s had no choice but to endure the drenching wrath of the fire hoses – which many likened to being affronted by one of the dragons in Game of Thrones. Through it all, both sides battled fiercely until every Bar Wars T-Shirt worn by the Eagles and every superhero costume worn by many of the Marko’s fighters were soaked to the core. About 45 minutes after the battle began, referee Gus blew the horn to signal war time had once again transitioned back to peace.


Thanks also to everyone who went above and beyond to raise money ahead of the event as well. Raffle prizes and fund raising efforts supported by The Roslyn Candy Company, The Roslyn Grocery, Northwest Bicycle Improvement Company, Hope Gallery, Cicely’s Gift Shop, Roslyn Rags, Fused, Whole Pet, Jeb’s Pet Supply, the Eagles, The Roslyn Roadhouse and WhyRoslyn were all essential to the success of the event!  Congrats on a great Bar Wars, and see you all again in 2018!

In July, Roslyn goes to the dogs with the city’s first ever Canine Festival! The main attraction of this dog gone day is the DockDog Competition. This will be the second time DockDogs have brought their competition to Roslyn to face off on a 40 foot dock looming over a 26,000 gallon pool that will be constructed in Runje Field. Owners and their dogs compete in three categories: Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve. This year, first timers are even welcome to register and try out some dock diving. Between waves, you’ll have no lack of entertainment as you’re invited to visit the vendors or enjoy the beer garden. It’s going to be a great time for you and your furry friends, so come on out to Roslyn July 7, 8 and 9th.

Glenn BurkhartFor owner Glenn Burkhart, the Northwest Bicycle Improvement Company (NBIC) is a labor of love.  Though it opened in 2014 on 2nd street, the bicycle rental and service shop only recently moved to its current home on Pennsylvania Avenue.  The bike shop rents and services bicycles and also carries a wide assortment of products to ensure you have everything you need to ride the roads or the local trails.
Glenn has enjoyed bike riding for as long as he can remember, so the most important goal of the shop is to help spread the joy of riding in Roslyn.  “I’m really passionate about the area.  I love the climate, I love the ecology that we have here,” Glenn says, “secondly, I want to support the community.”   The staff is always happy to provide local trail information to help you on your way.  In the Spring and Summer, the NBIC also organizes group rides, often on Saturday mornings, where bikers can just show up and join a ride.  “It’s just an awesome, magical thing when people are group riding, enjoying each other’s company, enjoying the weather, and enjoying riding bikes.” Keep an eye on their Facebook page for those opportunities and be sure to check out the interactive Roslyn trail map available on their website.
The name of the shop, NorthWest Bicycle Improvement Company (a play on the historic Northwest Improvement Company that served as the company store during Roslyn’s coal mining era) is only partially tongue and cheek.  The team provides a wide set of bicycle maintenance, tune-up, and repair services to help you keep your bike performing at its best. Likewise, since the team at the shop possess decades of combined experience working on bicycles, you can be sure you’ll have only top talent repairing or optimizing your ride.
One thing visitors to Roslyn are quick to notice is the number fat tire bikes.  While not exclusively used for Winter riding, fat bikes are ideal for riding in snowy conditions and they help make riding a year-round recreation.  The wide tires provide more grip in the snow, and when the snow melts, they’re great for sand as well (of course, fat tire bikes are available for rent at the shop).  Another emerging trend is bikepacking. As the name implies, bikepacking is like backpacking, except you load up your bike with the necessary provisions and make your escape for days at a time.  If you’re feeling adventurous, a variety of gear and carrying systems are available for transforming your ride into a two wheeled caravan.
If you’re not comfortable on wheels, Snowshoes are also available for rent.  However, if you’re looking to enjoy a ride in Roslyn, regardless of whether you have a bike or need a bike, there is no better place to start your adventure than the Northwest Bicycle Improvement Company! Stop by and let Glenn get you started on your Roslyn ride!

Need a hand finding your way around the Roslyn network of trails?  The Roslyn Trails Alliance, with support from a large group of local sponsors, maintains a detailed trail map that will help you on your way.   The map is available here as a standalone PDF file.  When paired with the Avenza Maps App, your phone’s GPS will place you within the map so you can easily navigate the area.  Both the map and download instructions for the Avenza Trail App are available at the Northwest Bicycle Improvement Company’s website.Roslyn Trails App

Upper Kittitas County is brimming with talented, burgeoning artists, and this is your chance to come out and experience it in person.  This Saturday, for Roslyn’s annual Student Art Walk, the city’s many businesses will become home to a vast collection of local art. Students from pre-school through high school have been working hard to prepare pieces, and all will be on display.  Moreover, in Roslyn, art is not just a spectator sport. Students young and old can make original art at “Try-It” stations that will be located throughout town.
The event will also feature local student music! The high school jazz band and choir will be performing at Stonehouse 101, and soloists from the elementary school will be playing at Basecamp Books and Bites.  So, bring the family and show your support of the arts while enjoying the works of aspiring local artists and musicians… you’ll be glad you did!

 

Do you want to experience Winter in Roslyn, but can’t actually make it here to visit this year?  Now you can enjoy a 360 degree video experience! Use your mouse to navigate within the video below, or view it in any YouTube compatible virtual reality device.  Of course, it’s not as good as the real thing, but we hope it makes you feel a bit like being here!

Santa and FriendsThe snow is falling and the Christmas season is in full swing in Roslyn! In addition to the great restaurants and shops worth visiting, there is also plenty of holiday fun to be had. First, don’t miss your chance for photos with Santa and friends in the historic NWI building mall. They’ll be here for a visit between noon and 3pm on Saturday the 10th and 17th. The mall hosts some fantastic local businesses, including Fused, Roslyn Rags, Hope Gallery, and Willy Nilly Antiques and Relicology. On Saturday, December 10th, the Red Bird Café (located across the street from the NWI building) will also be offering free gift wrapping with all donations going to support a local woman who is currently battling leukemia.

On Saturday December 17th at 3pm, come celebrate the Solstice at the Roslyn Yard. Create your own yule log, then take a luminaria lit walk through the Roslyn Urban Forest and enjoy a short story by fire light. A donation of $20 for families and $10 for couples is suggested (proceeds to support the Roslyn and Ellensburg Outdoor Schools).

There is also plenty going on at Suncadia during Winterfest 2016. Experience the thrill of downhill tubing through the snow with the ease of a rope tow to bring you back to the top! Three hour time blocks are $20 per person and includes use of the tube and the rope tow (weather permitting). Suncadia also offers ice skating at the outdoor rink located at the Village Pavilion. These are just a couple of the activities in Suncadia, so check out the 2016 Winterfest Guide for full details on times, costs, and scheduled activities.

While in the area, be sure to check out the other great shops and restaurants in town, including:

Suncadia Tubing

DuckfestIf you’re out at the Brick for Happy Hour this Friday and you hear some nearby quacking, it’s likely you have just waddled into a 10 years running local event called Duckfest.  Originally started as a neighborhood BBQ back in the Summer of 2007, Duckfest has evolved into a local tradition that includes royalty, special handshakes, majestic attire, rubber duck races, and good times with friends new and old.  To organize the first Duckfest, it was decided a royal court needed to be formed to manage the planning, and thus, the first King and Queen of Duckfest were crowned.  The first year was a potluck style party where neighbors came together with food and home brewed beer to spend an evening under the stars chatting and playing guitars around a fire.  Over time, new traditions developed, including the rubber duck races that commence in the Brick’s 23 foot long running water spittoon (Friday, August 19th this year).  The races usually kick off with a toast given by the reigning King and Queen over a round of Duckfarts.  Following the races, the Duckfesters and new found friends parade to other establishments, often with instruments and dressed in grand attire.  The Friday festivities are open to anyone who wishes to participate in this Roslyn style fun.  Just show up at the Brick and join in with the crowd.   Later in the weekend, a locals only Duckfest event is held to celebrate the company of friends, enjoy live music, and crown the new King and Queen, who will carry the tradition forward into the following year.  Duckfest is just another example of how fun it is to live in the unique and wonderfully quacktastic city of Roslyn.

doggie_olympicsThis weekend, Roslyn is once again going to the dogs!  The ARRF Animal Rescue Doggie Olympics will be held Saturday July 23rd at Runje Park.  The annual ARRF Doggie Olympics supports a great cause and is fun for the entire family!  Bring the kids and bring the dogs for a morning packed full of fun K9 competitions, including:

  • Doggie Dash
  • Dunking for Dogs
  • Peanut Butter Lick
  • Musical Hoops
  • Most Unusual Trick
  • Frisbee Throw
Registration opens at 9:30am with the games kicking of at 10:00am.  Each competition is $5 to enter and you may pick and choose the competitions you’d like to participate in.  Of course, all proceeds go toward helping ARRF ensure every pet has a home!

Come celebrate the arts during the 2016 Roslyn Art Festival on August 5th and 6th.  In addition to the many different types of art on display, you can look forward to a Friday night street dance, a Saturday wine reception,  and “try-it” stations that enable anyone to exercise their inner artist.  Pennsylvania Avenue will be closed between 1st and 2nd street starting at 7:30pm Friday night for family friendly street dancing. The wine reception Saturday will take place from 7pm to 9:30pm at Basecamp Books and Bites and include hors d’oeuvres crafted by Rustic Root Catering Company (tickets for the reception can be purchased at roslynartfestival.org).  The Roslyn Art Festival aims to promote art and artists and also celebrate the historical qualities of Roslyn, Washington.  So come on out to show your support and celebrate the Arts, Roslyn style!