I love being involved in this community any way I can. It makes me feel like I have something to contribute, no matter how small. Luckily, our local community theatre group has allowed me to do just that. It has played a big part in my life for many years. I’ve been performing since I was a freshman in high school. I wasn’t ready to give it up after graduation and that is where The Riverside Players came into my life.
Theatre was always something I aspired to do, even as an extremely shy child. Never did I realize what a huge impact it would have on me as an adult. It has brought me out of my comfort zone, given me better social skills, and most importantly, has given me the confidence I need. When reality becomes difficult to deal with at times, theatre is a way of dealing with it. I can escape and be in someone else’s world and have fun. Theatre is my own personal form of therapy.
The first show I performed with The Riverside Players was Godspell in 2009. I loved every minute of that show. I had never gelled so well with a group of people, other than my family. From then on, I knew I wanted to continue my love of theatre with them. There is never a moment where I take them for granted. They have become an important part of my life and I will be forever grateful.
Looking back to where I was when I began, it’s important to have something to hold on to. Whether it’s community theatre, sports, a local organization, etc. If you are someone needing a way to become involved, there’s something for everyone. I always encourage people to audition with The Riverside Players. More times than not, they become lifelong members. Our local community theatre group is open to everyone. You will always be welcome.
Theatre is more important to our community than people realize. The problem is people aren’t always sure where to look. You can ask, go on social media, or visit their website. There are many ways to become involved. All you have to do is give it a try.
Growing up in Washington, I always felt safe and never had the desire to leave. While there are so many places to explore in this world, being a part of such a wonderful and unique community has made me feel like I am where I am meant to be. My family, friends, and everything I know is here.
Living in Washington my whole life, I have witnessed so much growth. This community has welcomed many new additions, but what really makes it special is its ability to stay loyal to our long-time local businesses. You can never go wrong with a gooey cheeseburger and Sun Drop from Dairy Delight. Maybe even indulging in a classic, glazed donut from Schulte’s Bakery on a Sunday morning. There’s something for everyone.
Since I was a child, there has been one building I’ve been infatuated with. The Calvin was home to entertainment, both on stage and screen. Although it has remained empty for several years, I do have memories of sitting in the theater enjoying what was being played out in front of me. I truly believe it is one of the many gems which makes our town so special. A good portion of my summers were spent at the pool. As well as playing softball at one of the local fields, running around Lion’s Lake, and of course, The Washington Town & Country Fair. There is never a shortage of fun in this town.
I cannot imagine having these kinds of experiences anywhere else. Living and working downtown with my significant other, I know how truly blessed I am. I’m able to encourage people to explore and appreciate what is here. From the Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipe Factory to Elijah McLean’s, I’ve found enjoyment in the exposure of WASHMO. I will never fault anyone who chooses to venture beyond their own backyard. However, I hope that in doing so they appreciate where they came from. It’s true what they say, home is where the heart is.
Growing up one of my favorite pastimes was watching my dad create realistic and detailed model train displays. From carving mountainsides out of foam to adding tiny trees and buildings, every detail slowly came together to form its own little world.
Now as an adult, I get to share the love of model trains with my own children at the Iron Spike Train Museum. After our first visit, it quickly became one of our favorite spots in Washington! Iron Spike has a variety of different sized model trains running throughout their building; we could spend hours watching the little engines chug around the expansive warehouse. As a homeschool family, it’s the perfect backyard field trip for my eight year old to learn about pieces of our American history while looking through their large library of books. The miniature landscapes really bring to life the information we are learning about. For my four year old, it’s hard to get him any further than the “Thomas Room,” as he calls it - an entire room dedicated to children’s wooden train tracks that he would stay in for hours if I let him. It allows him to get hands-on with the trains and use his imagination to the fullest.
After exploring and studying all that Iron Spike has to offer, they even have a retail area to pick up a souvenir to remember your trip or a gift for an upcoming birthday. The items they have are high quality and unique; we still play with our little Lego train frequently!
Outside of the museum, they have even begun restoring an old caboose. We can’t wait to see what’s in store as our little hometown museum keeps improving and expanding!
Iron Spike Model Train Museum
1498 High Street - Washington, MO 63090
As stores stock their shelves with corned beef and cabbage, communities prepare floats for lively parades and rivers turn green, Washington had its own sea of green Saturday, March 5th in an early celebration for St. Patrick’s Day.
From Front Street up to Main and over to 5th, parties of people were seen in matching green shirts, with green wigs, beads, hats, and other fun St. Paddy’s Day attire during the Young Professionals Fake Paddy’s Day Pub Crawl.
One of my favorite ways to break a sweat and stay fit is to go for a run. Fortunately, the Washington community offers an array of great options and opportunities for runners (of all skill levels) to get out and enjoy the activity.
Look no further than Washington’s collection of great parks. The Bernie E. Hillermann Park, which contains Lion’s Lake, offers a trail network perfect for a run. Take a quick lap around the lake, or a longer run using the network of trails that connect to other area parks - like the Jerry J. Jasper Lakeview Park or the Miller-Post Nature Reserve.
The Rotary Riverfront Trail, accessible just to the East of the boat ramp at the James W. Rennick Riverfront Park, gives runners the option to run multiple distances. From short, quick runs to longer multi-mile outings, this trail is a great choice. It extends nearly 3 miles in one direction giving runners the option of up to almost a 6-mile round-trip if they’re up for it. The trail follows the edge of the Missouri River, giving runners to ability to enjoy the peaceful scenery along the way.
A second trail heading West alongside the Missouri River opened recently, giving area runners yet another opportunity to check out a great trail right in the heart of downtown.
If competitive, timed runs and races are more your speed, Washington has an abundance of options for those as well. One of my perennial favorites is the Washington Town and Country Fair Run/Walk, held every year on the Saturday before the fair. This event offers several distances to choose from, including 5k and 10k, so runners of all skill levels can get involved. Getting a group of friends together to participate is always a fun time, with food and drink awaiting finishers at the finish line before the awards are announced.
There are many other races held by numerous groups throughout the year in Washington. A couple of my other favorites include the “Turkey Trot,” held annually the morning of Thanksgiving Day, as well as the “Marquart’s Landing Beer Run,” a more laid back, party-style running event held each year in the late spring/early summer.
Washington even has several groups & clubs (Daily Run Club) dedicated to the sport of running that those interested can get involved in.
In short, Washington is a great community for those of us who enjoy getting out and “pounding the pavement.” We’re very fortunate to have so many beautiful options right in the heart of the city to get out and enjoy the sport of running.
Washington is a great running community! Below, find a listing of all the 2019 races in town. Some are timed, some are not... check with the organizer for more details!
**Did we miss one? Contact Amanda to have it added!
Ready, set… let’s GO! Throughout the year, the Y hosts run/walks of varying lengths to gather friends and celebrate healthy living. On some months we host traditional runs with timing and medals… and some months our runs are just for fun with wacky awards and spirit!
Online registration is available until the event apparel deadline. You can always call the Y at (636) 239-5704 to register. Watch for our reminders on Facebook!
2019 Spirit Series Run Schedule
RUNNING IN THE NEW YEAR RESOLUTION RUN
Tuesday, January 1, 10:00 a.m.
5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk.
Start and finish at the YMCA. Free for all. No official times given. Join us for our open house after the run/walk.
LOVE THE RUN YOU’RE WITH
Saturday, February 9, 8:00 a.m.
2 Mile Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk.
Start and finish at the YMCA. Free for members. $5 for community. No official times given. Event apparel for purchase until 1/23. Presented with Kiwanis Club of Washington.
3-2-1 DASH FOR DOWN SYNDROME
Thursday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m.
3.21 K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk.
Start and finish at the YMCA. $13.21 includes a short sleeve event shirt. Upgrade to long sleeve for $10 more. A donation of $3.21 will be given to All Abilities Athletics for every registered participant. We also encourage you to wear your crazy socks to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Day. No official times given. Presented with All Abilities Athletics.
HEALTHY KIDS DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE
Saturday, April 27, 9:00 a.m.
A challenge course for kids and families, start and finish at the Y.
Free for all kids. $15 includes a Healthy Kids Day shirt. It’s a celebration of healthy kids and families. Event apparel for purchase until 4/7.
RUN FOR THE BADGES
5K Friday, August 23, 6:30 p.m. start
5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk and Dog Walk to honor our police, fire and all emergency responders.
Start and finish at the YMCA. $5 to participate. Free for police officers, military and first responders. Event apparel for purchase until 8/4.
5K GLO RUN, GLO FOR GIB
Friday, September 13, 6:30 p.m. 5K
Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk
Starts and finishes at the Y. Free for all participants. No official times given. Event shirts must be purchased by 8/25. Bring your glow gear and shine for Gib. Presented with Mike and Nikki Obermark family in memory of Gib.
RUN TO READ
Saturday, October 12, 8:00 a.m. start
5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Story Stroll.
Start and finish at the Washington Public Library. Free for school employees. $13 for all other participants. Chip timing. Awards for first finisher in all age categories 6- 70. Includes cotton event shirt for registrations received before 9/25. Upgrade to dri-fit for $10 more. All participants receive a book. Youth finishers receive a finishers medal. Presented with Missourian in Education.
HALLOWEEN NIGHT RUN
Friday, October 25, 6:00 p.m. start
5K Run/Walk and 1 Mile Family Fun Run/Walk.
Start and finish at the YMCA. Free for members. $5 for community. Timing clock will run, unofficial times given. Medals awarded for top finishers at 7:00 p.m. Event apparel for purchase until 10/3. Spirit awards for Halloween costumes and fun! Stay for chili and snacks plus our family night trunk or treat until 7:00 p.m. Presented with Franklin County Area United Way and Girls on the Run.
TURKEY DAY 10K
Thursday, November 28, 8:00 a.m. start
10K Run/Walk, 5K Fun Run/Walk and 1 Mile Dog Walk.
Start and finish at the YMCA. $13 includes a short sleeve event shirt. Chip timing. Medals awarded for top finishers in 10K age categories 6-70. Event apparel for purchase until 11/4. Enjoy turkey sliders, cider and Thanksgiving pie. 5K award ceremony at 8:45 a.m. and 10K awards at 9:30 a.m.