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Odessa celebrates 120 years | Columbia Basin Herald

ODESSA – The small town of Odessa celebrated the town’s 120th anniversary on Saturday, April 30.

First Avenue was lined with American flags and vendors set up along Division Street on both the north and south sides of First Avenue. There were even a couple of old tractors and the event was in the same vicinity as a couple of storefronts that were built around the same time the town was incorporated.

As part of the celebration, and one of the most popular parts, was that food was served at 1902 – the year of the city’s founding – prices. hot dogs, previously called Dachshund Sausage, were served for only 5 cents. Plates of barbeque chicken, cowboy beans and a biscuit or chicken dumplings and a biscuit were only $1.50 a plate.

All proceeds from the food went to benefit the Odessa Historic Museum.

Jeff Huiras, a board member of the Crab Creek Alliance which organized the event said the idea behind reverting back to the 1902 prices was to go back to the roots of what the town started with and to see how far they had come.

Huiras said that a few more people than they expected turned out to the event for food and that the line wasn’t moving as fast as they had anticipated because the food was taking longer to cook than how fast it was in demand. He said they were going to keep going until they either ran out of food or ran out of people.

The Crab Creek Alliance is a nonprofit organization working on social, economic and historic benefits for Odessa, according to their Facebook page.

Huiras said he found the 1902 costs of those foods on the internet where he found an old menu.

When how it was possible to make a profit for the museum when selling the food so cheap, Huiras said it was asked because the cost of the food was covered through donations, sponsors and the vendor fees paid to have a booth at the event.

Huiras said they had enough food for 850 meals that day, not including the hot dogs.

“I think the biggest thing that people can realize is, the small communities are still alive, there actually is a lot going on. They’re very business-oriented and look for new businesses to come here,” said Huiras.

One vendor at the event was a family-owned business just outside of Odessa in Mohler called Parker Family Farm.

Carrie Parker and her husband Dylan Parker, owners, said they started their business last year as a hobby, which has grown and become a serious business. They started a farm because that was the type of experience they wanted to raise their five children around. Both are first generation farmers.

Their business currently offers chicks and chickens of many different breeds including quail, pheasants, geese, ducks and guinea fowl as well as eggs.

Carrie said they saw the need for local families and farmers to have a closer location to buy their animals or supplies and wanted to fill that gap.

She noted that her 8-year-old daughter has started raising meat rabbits because she wanted to have her own part in the business.

“It’s fun to be a part of the community and do stuff with the business, not just be a business,” Dylan said. “It’s nice to actually be able to offer something that people value.”

District 13 State Representative Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) also made an appearance and spoke at the event. Dent said that, even though he will no longer represent Odessa after state redistricting, he celebrates the values ​​of small-town living epitomized by the 120-year celebration.

Maria Greenwalt lives between Odessa and Ritzville and said she came out to the celebration to have lunch and go yard sailing with her son.

“It’s just nice to see the small communities do something and get people to come into town. A lot of small communities are dying out and if you don’t do events like this, I mean, how do you get anybody to come to town? So. it’s nice to see a bunch of people in town, a bunch of vendors.” Greenwalt said. “It’s good to see these small communities thrive.”

Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at



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