April 30, 1997 in City

Roadside Tributes To Virgin Mary Fade Away In The Yakima Valley

Associated Press

As quickly as they appeared, many of the memorials to the Virgin Mary that were left near road signs in the Yakima Valley have disappeared.

Gone are flowers, candles and rosaries placed around the base of highway signs where some people said they saw images of the Virgin Mary in recent weeks.

The tributes were left by crowds that began gathering at two of the most popular signs along the Yakima Valley Highway in early April, when the first sightings were reported.

Smaller groups were also drawn to as many as 20 other highway signs between Union Gap and Grandview. But the crowds dwindled in recent weeks.

State Department of Transportation employees last week removed many of the items left at the signs, said Bob Martin, DOT assistant maintenance superintendent for the Sunnyside area.

“The interest pretty much died down, so we went out and cleaned up,” Martin said.

© Copyright 1997 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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