Our Voice: We’re thankful for the differences that unite us

We’re thankful for the differences that bring us together in the Mid-Columbia. From food to festivals, you can learn a lot right here in the Tri-Cities.

Eats on the streets

Food trucks are not exactly new to the Tri-Cities; for years there have been taco trucks staked out at favorite spots, but a concentration of trucks in one place is a fairly new experience.

In the last year, Richland has welcomed food trucks to John Dam Plaza and is taking their presence into consideration as it plans for a new stage in the park.

This week starts Food Truck Friday in the Pasco Farmers Market site. For at least a couple of months — longer if it’s successful — patrons will be able to visit a variety of food trucks in downtown Pasco, including Backyard Grill, Swampy’s BBQ Sauce, King of the Dogs, Uncle Brother’s Fish Fry, We Ice and, of course, a taco truck. That’s at least a handful of reasons to visit Pasco at lunch time.

This initiative is about more than just grabbing a bite to eat. It is part of an economic development program designed to bring people to downtown Pasco. We hope it is successful. We’re impressed with the plan and it’s a good step toward a worthy goal.

Bigger cities have food trucks and food carts. We like the idea of having that feel in the Tri-Cities. We’re hungry just thinking about it.

Year of the Goat

We’re thankful for the celebration of diversity in the Mid-Columbia. Thanks to the Tri-Cities Chinese American Association for sponsoring a Chinese New Year Gala and inviting the community to share in the event.

It’s fun to see a family celebration that engages the old and the young. It’s impressive when our youth take to the stage to share their heritage.

Hanford tours

An excellent way to learn more about our community is to book one of the Hanford tours. Registration starts at 9 a.m. Monday. The list of available dates looks long and there are lots of slots on the dozens of tours, but beware — they fill up quickly. Really quickly.

We’re glad to see three tours being offered this year. One tour gives visitors a more in-depth look at B Reactor and a second one stops at the reactor, but is focused on Hanford environmental cleanup. In April, registration will start for a third tour that is being offered for the first time this year. This will focus on the homesteads and land where settlers lived when the government brought the Manhattan Project to Hanford.

So even if you’ve been out to B Reactor before, there’s something new for you to see this year.

If you haven’t been there, it’s worth taking the day off work to make it happen.

Register for the B Reactor tour at manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov/ and sign up for the Hanford Site Cleanup Tours at www.hanford.gov.