By Matt Kearny – Wenatchee Valley Sports
We probably receive more inquiries asking “what is there to do?” in February than in any other month. It’s interesting, because February is one of our busiest times in the Wenatchee Valley in terms of sports and recreation opportunities, both for participants and spectators. It’s just a mindset that every region falls in to. Getting around and getting motivated this time of year takes some extra effort and desire. But opportunity is there to be had. Even with the traditional snow-oriented activities being cut back this year due to minimal snowfall (downhill & cross country skiing, snowshoeing & snowmobiling), there’s still plenty out there to ‘do’ or ‘watch’. Need some ideas?
There are 3 distinct levels of hockey taking place at Town Toyota Center, all very entertaining. The Wenatchee Wild continues their run toward a possible playoff berth with 4 home games this month. This weekend, there are two Wenatchee Amateur Hockey Association tournaments taking place – the PeeWees and Squirts, in the 10u & 12u age divisions. And the following weekend, several women’s teams from around the northwest compete in the annual Kiss My Ice tournament. Few sports provide action like hockey, and that’s true for any age group, male or female. Take your pick. While we’re on the subject of ice sports, a couple more come to mind. On the 20th the Winter Ice Gala features a formal dinner, with guests seated on decked ice, enjoying the entertainment of world class skaters. And of course, speed skating and figure skating play a big role in the Special Olympics Washington Winter Games, here for the 25th anniversary later this month (we’ll go into more detail on that incredible event in a couple of weeks). Youth basketball is also an option this month, as the Eastmont Winter Basketball Classic, which generally attracts 40+ 4th thru 8th grade teams, is spread out over 4 school gymnasiums in East Wenatchee February 20, 21 & 22. And speaking of schools and youth sports, the high school winter sports seasons are in the midst of post season play. Swimming, wrestling and basketball state championships are still to be decided. And don’t forget the highly competitive WVC men’s and women’s basketball teams. Both have home games remaining, and their schedules are set up so they play back-to-back games, giving fans a nice showcase.
A very cool event took place earlier this week at the WRAC. While it is already behind us, it’s definitely worth mentioning. Former French Open Tennis Doubles Champion Luke Jensen was in for a day, conducting clinics and taking part in an exhibition. I stopped by for one of the clinics, and while I’m not much of a tennis player, it obviously was a great opportunity for locals who are.
Back to the hills, a lack of snowfall hasn’t completely stopped events. Earlier this month the Mission Ridge Ski Team hosted the Apple Cup Invitational featuring 250 skiers from teams throughout the state. It was their second consecutive weekend hosting a large-scale competition. And on the 21st, the Lake Wenatchee area has the 1st annual Moose Dewlap Citizens Trek, a 41k Nordic ski challenge that replaces the Hog Lopett, an event that fell victim to unpredictable conditions ranging from a lack of snow to avalanche concerns. And of course, Mission Ridge is open on the weekends, and will add to that schedule if conditions allow.
So, if you’re looking for ‘something to do’, there are some suggestions. Many of the club events listed above have minimal or no admission charges. You can find additional event details by going to www.wenatcheevalleysports.com and accessing the calendar.
Matt is coordinator of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at 509-662-2116 or firstname.lastname@example.org