A hot summer weekend blessed two signature community gatherings Saturday
by: Chase Allgood Gaston Rural Fire District volunteer firefighter Tyler Reynolds stirs up a batch of pancakes during the annual fire department pancake feed.

Hot times hit the cities of Banks and Gaston as 90 degree temperatures put a finishing touch on the small towns' main summer draws, the Wapato Showdown and the Banks BBQ and Tractor Pull.

In Banks, a giant inflatable shark lured children into its maw at the 66th annual Banks BBQ and Tractor pull on Saturday.

While in Gaston, the Wapato Showdown served as a bright and shiny capper to a weekend of Gaston pride, led off Friday by the Good ol' Times Parade.

The event was a timely opportunity for community members to check in on a trio of volunteer firefighters injured in a blast at the Stimson Lumber mill last Wednesday.

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