Thursday, February 22, 2024

23rd annual barn stomp raises over $3,100 for Chelan Bus Memorial enhancement


CHELAN — Bob Watson Jr. and his wife, Socco Watson, played host to the 23rd Annual Barn Stomp, a cherished tradition that had humble beginnings as a small family potluck gathering at Watson's Shadow Bay Belgians venue. Over the years, this event has evolved into a community affair, drawing participants in support of various charitable causes, including the Special Olympics, Camas Meadows Bible Camp, and Young Life Chelan.

This year's Barn Stomp surpassed expectations by amassing a commendable sum, exceeding $3,100, thanks to the generosity of approximately 200 attendees. The event unfolded at Watson's Shadow Bay Belgians, offering guests an evening of entertainment with the melodic tunes of the Omak-based band, Night Riders. Watson's Alpenhorn Cafe contributed a delectable assortment of chips and condiments, while Pepsi quenched thirsts with its beverage offerings. Sysco provided hamburger buns and patties to ensure a delightful culinary experience. The rustic ambiance of the Western-inspired venue, adorned with rough-cut lumber and vintage horse and wagon relics, provided the perfect backdrop for a night of fellowship and dancing.

The heart of the Barn Stomp experience resides in the namesake grassy area in front of the stage, where the rhythmic footprints of dancing patrons become indelibly etched into the earth over the course of the evening.

Notably, this marked the second consecutive year that the Barn Stomp proceeds were designated to benefit the Chelan Bus Memorial, situated on the South Shore of Lake Chelan along State Route 971. This serene park and monument serve as a poignant tribute to the tragic school bus accident of 1945, which claimed the lives of 15 students and their driver as a snowstorm caused the bus to veer off a 30-foot embankment. Eight-year-old Robert Watson Sr., the father of Robert Watson Jr. and co-owner of Watson's Harverene Resort and Watson's Alpenhorn Cafe, miraculously survived the incident. This year's Barn Stomp fundraising initiative sought to finance the installation of a solar-powered watering system at the memorial, honoring the memory of those lost in the tragic event while enhancing the community's cherished remembrance site.

Katie Lindert: 509-731-3211 or


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