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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Posts from — September 2012

20 Ways to Celebrate October in Southwest Washington

Welcome to October! Where did the summer go? There are lots of autumn happenings in Southwest Washington. From cranberries to clamming, birds to Block 10, there are no excuses for staying home. See you out there!

Reprinted by permission of the American Library Association.

September 30 – October 6 – Banned Books Week – Celebrate your freedom to read at your local library. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library District branches will hold events at various locations throughout the week. Check here for the schedule. For other locations, check your local library. Or celebrate the 30th anniversary of Banned Books Week by reading one of the more than 11,300 books have been challenged since 1982! Check here for classic books that have been banned or challenged.

Sketch of the future Block 10 in Downtown Vancouver. Illustration by Derek Chisholm.

October 5Block 10 Back to the Future – 5 p.m. – Downtown Vancouver’s monthly First Friday event focuses on Block 10, the new park being developed on the block between 8th and 9th Streets and Columbia and Washington. Talk with those who are working on the project to learn more about their vision. Art galleries will be open for First Friday Artwalk receptions, too, of course. Read more about the project here.

October 5Pumpkin Pageant – 5 p.m. – Downtown Camas will celebrate First Friday with a pumpkin event. The town will be filled with carved pumpkins on this First Friday. You can enter the pumpkin carving contest by carving a pumpkin to place in one of the downtown businesses. During First Friday you can vote for your favorite pumpkin.The winner will receive a fall basket donated by Downtown Merchants.

October 6Old Apple Tree Festival – 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Old Apple Tree Park, 112 Columbia Way in Vancouver. Celebrate the 186th birthday of the oldest living apple tree in the Northwest. Food, live music, children’s activities, cuttings from the tree, scarecrow contest (pre-event applications required for the contest) and more.

Maestro Salvador Brotons of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

October 6-7Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – Crossroads Community Church, 7708 N.E. 78th street, Vancouver. The  symphony opens its 34th season with works by Copland, Ravel and Saint-Saens. Performances by guest artists from Israel, Nitai and Hillel Zori on violin and cello. 3 p.m on Saturday. 7 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are available here.

October 6-29Pumpkin LanePomeroy Living History Farm – This historic farm, located between Battle Ground and Yacolt, will offer its annual pumpkin celebration on Saturdays and Sundays in October. Hayrides down decorated pumpkin lane. Farm cafe. Children’s games, animal petting and much more. There will be civil war reenactors on October 20 and 21.

October 12Contra in the Couve – 7:30 p.m. t0 11 p.m. Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. – This 2nd Friday dance starts at 7:30 p.m. with lessons, followed by the dance. This month features The Hat Band with Karen Marshall calling.

Big band music will be featured on Sunday at the Water Music Festival.

October 12-14Water Music Festival – Ilwaco and Oysterville – A variety of styles will be presented including classical guitar, vocal performances, a string trio featuring grand piano, flute and string bass and a big-band jazz group from California with  a powerful vocalist. Lodging packages are available. Tickets available here. Don’t miss the Cranberrian Fair (see below) while you are there!

October 13-14One Sky, One World Kite Fly for PeaceWorld Kite Museum, Long Beach – This is a delightful museum with a kite-filled gift shop. There will be kite making and kite flying lessons available. Experienced flyers will decorate the sky with large and varied shaped kites. Everyone flying kites can sign the worldwide register. The event will happen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Bolstad Avenue beach approach in Long Beach.

October 13-14Clamming! – It’s clamming season again! The first razor clam dig is scheduled on the Long Beach Peninsula. Dates and times are always tentative so check here for the most current info. Licenses required and available at locations on the Peninsula. ZEST bloggers posted about clamming in 2011. Check out the ZEST post, In Search of Razor Clams.

Harvesting cranberries on the Long Beach Peninsula in the rain at the 2010 Cranberrian Fair.

October 13-1492nd Annual Cranberrian Fair Did you know that October is National Cranberry Month? The Cranberrian Fair is a wonderful festival dedicated to all things cranberry. Foods, crafters, bog tours.  Collectible buttons are $5 each and cover admission to all events at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. The Cranberry Museum is free and provides a fascinating look at the area’s cranberry heritage. Combine cranberries with the performances of the Water Music Festival plus clamming and the Kite Museum and you have a great weekend at the coast. And if that’s not enough, check out the October-November Wild Mushroom Celebration with 10 participating restaurants on the Peninsula!

Birds, bluegrass music, kayaking, Native American culture, history - it's all there at BirdFest.

October 13-14BirdFestRidgefield National Wildlife Refuge – LOTS happening at the Refuge and in town in celebration of our feathered friends this weekend. Saturday welcome ceremony at 11 a.m. in Ridgefield. Birders’ Marketplace. Audubon Live Bird Show on Saturday at 1 p.m. Tours of the Cathlapotle Plankhouse.  Bird and ethnobotany walks at the Carty Unit of the Refuge. Bluegrass music on Saturday afternoon at the Old Liberty Theater. Other events on the River ‘S’ Unit. There are MANY events! Check out the full schedule here.

The Chelatchie Prairie Train warms up before a trip to Moulton Falls.

October 13-14 Fall Leaves Special Train – If you haven’t ridden the vintage Chelatchie Prairie train, you are missing a special trip, which follows the scenic route used since 1888. The train is pulled by a 1941 diesel locomotive and there is indoor and outdoor seating offered. Reservations highly recommended. Get your tickets here.

October 13-14Maryhill Winery Harvest Fest 2012 – The grapes are in. It’s time to celebrate. You’ll have the opportunity to stomp grapes. Live music, wine tastings. The event continues on October 20-21.

October 14Girlfriends Half Marathon – Vancouver – Run or walk the 13.1 mile mostly flat and scenic route which includes Officers Row, Fort Vancouver and the Columbia River. Live music, chocolate and lots of cheer with proceeds going to breast cancer research. Register here by Oct 10. Note: last year this event sold out early.

The Southwest Washington Symphony Orchestra.

October 14Southwest Washington SymphonyColumbia Theatre, Longview – The Southwest Washington Symphony presents “Scary Stuff!” including Night on Bald Mountain, Danse Macabre, Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor and much more. Perfect classical music for the Halloween season! Tickets available here.

October 25Kathy Mattea ConcertColumbia Gorge Interpretive Center, Stevenson – Hear this talented American country music and bluegrass performer who often brings folk, Celtic and traditional country sounds to her music. Tickets available here. Here is a video of Kathy singing the powerful “Hello My Name is Coal” from her new CD, Calling Me Home:

October 26Oregon Ballet TheatreColumbia Theatre, Longview – Portland’s acclaimed dance troupe will perform highlights from their repertoire including four distinct dance and musical styles in the beautifully restored Columbia Theatre. Tickets are available here.

Who knows when the Headless Horseman will appear during the October 27-28 train ride?!

October 27-28 Headless Horseman Halloween Train – Take the scenic Chelatchie Prairie train ride from Yacolt at 9:30 a.m., noon and 2:30 p.m. to experience the Headless Horseman. (See October 13-14 above for more train details.) Reservations highly recommended. Get your tickets here.

Southwest Washington Wind Symphony

October 28Southwest Washington Wind Symphony – Union High School Performing Arts Center, at 6201 NW Friberg-Strunk Street, Camas. 3 p.m.  Musical selections by the 55-member orchestra include “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” by Johann Sebastian Bach, Overture to “The Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini, and “The Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi. Free!

Ready for autumn? Celebrate the fall season in Southwest Washington!

September 30, 2012   No Comments

10 Minute Conversation with Nikki Klock, Editor of the Vancouver Family Magazine

Nikki Klock is the Editor of Vancouver Family Magazine. She has lived in Vancouver with her family since 2003 when they moved to the area after college from Utah.  She is the mother of two daughters, ages 6 and 9, who attend Vancouver Public Schools. We spoke at the new Vancouver Community Library which was named one of the country’s top ten children’s libraries in the U.S by Livability.

Nikki Klock at the Vancouver Community Library Early Learning Center in Downtown Vancouver

What do you love about SW Washington?

I love what everybody else does. We have access to the mountains, we have access to the beach, we have access to all kinds of recreation and, having lived in other areas that don’t have access to those things, I love it. I wouldn’t want to live in the desert. I love the fresh fruit in season. My friends and family come and visit from Utah and say, “This fruit is just unlike anything we can get!” I love the food and the produce and gardening as well as the recreation.

The thing I love about Vancouver, and I never plan on leaving, is that is big enough to not feel like a small town, because I’m not a small town person and it’s small enough to be like a small town. It has all the things you want about a small town and all the things you want about a big city and it is absolutely perfect for my family and me.

What is the best-kept secret about SW Washington?

Southwest Washington’s best-kept secret is definitely Alderbrook Park, out in the Brush Prairie/Hockinson area. It has a pool, petting zoo, train, bounce houses, pirate ship, maze, open fields, walking trails, and even drinking fountains with pink lemonade! For years it was available only for private events such as weddings but in 2011 they got new owners and opened it to the public on weekdays in the summer. It’s an awesome place for families, and an incredible price for everything there is to do ($5-$8 per person).

What is your favorite place to relax or play in SW Washington?

We love going to the parks in addition to the library system. We have visited Lewisville Park and played in the water, we love Frenchman’s Bar. Outside and in the water. The kids love the water. I’m not as big of a fan but I love to sit and watch them play with my husband. There is a sand beach and there are 6-10 volleyball nets, a full playground, there is grass and paved paths between Frenchman’s Bar and Vancouver Lake if you want to go biking.

I love downtown Vancouver. We love Esther Short Park, the concerts in the park. We saw the Journey tribute band. We are huge Journey fans and the kids were singing along.

In the winter – the library. We love, love, love everything about the library.

If you didn’t live here, where would you live?

Probably Utah because my family is there. Utah Valley south of Salt Lake City. (But she definitely has no plans to move.)

What’s coming up that you are excited about?

In the magazine, we are getting ready to launch our 5th annual Best of Vancouver Awards. That’s always really fun. I like seeing where people like to go. I like being out and about. I really love counting up those votes.

As far as my kids – I love watching them grow up. Now they are in school full time and it’s a different type of joy than when they were babies. You watch their first steps and see their first teeth but now they are learning division and we are starting to think about middle school. I am loving watching my kids growing up. And getting ready for teenagehood. That is where we are right now — laying that groundwork for teenagehood so wish me luck!

What would surprise people to know about you?

Oh, I am soooo boring! I LOVE to cook and clean and be domestic. I’ve got my job and I love all the things that go along with that and working, but sometimes I want to just take a day off and can peaches and clean the house and be a housewife. So I love being domestic. I love cooking, preserving food, drying food. What might surprise people is that I am boring. I am healthy, no phobias and I am just your average, everyday married mommy.

Trying out the row boat at the Early Learning Center

September 22, 2012   No Comments

September in SW Washington: Campfires and Candlelight, Collectible Cars, Oktoberfests and Much More

It’s feeling like Fall is coming but wait, not yet! Keep summer going by attending the many, many September events in Southwest Washington. See you out there!

Kumoricon characters from 2011

Sept  1-3Kumoricon – Vancouver Hilton, Red Lion at the Quay and Esther Short Park – This amazing convention  features about 4,000 participants wearing the fascinating costumes of their favorite Japanese anime (and other) characters. Esther Short Park and the walk between the Hilton and Red Lion offer the best viewing. Guaranteed to lift anyone’s spirits. Registration fee for the convention but hanging out in the park with the characters is free!

Sept  1-3Annual Chinook Art Festival  – Chinook —  Juried arts and crafts show including photography, glass arts, pottery and more. Highway 101 and Olympia Street in Chinook.

Sept 1-3Columbia Gorge Wineries Labor Day Weekend Open House –  More than 30 wineries will be open for tastings on both sides of the river.

Sept 3Art on Wheels Car Show, Poker Run, Dinner and Concert – Bingen Park – Start the day with cars, trucks and motorcycles, check out the Poker Run and follow it by music (by Driven and Johnny Limbo and the Lugnuts) and a $5 dinner feast. The White Salmon area knows how to celebrate Labor Day!

Sept 7Art Women and Wine – First Friday in downtown Camas –  This First Friday event showcases of the work of art students from Elida Art Studio.  Visit local merchants and vote for your favorite painting. It starts at 5 p.m. at Elida Art Studio at 421 NE Cedar and finishes at 8 p.m. at the studio with a raffle and live music.

Sept 7First Friday Vancouver Art Walk – Downtown Vancouver –  The galleries, pubs and restaurants will be waiting in downtown Vancouver.

Sept 7-9Vancouver Sausage Fest –  The annual fundraiser for the St. Joseph School is back with carnival rides, food, beer garden, 5K run/walk, and, of course, LOTS of sausage.

Sept 7-8Slow Drag at the Port and Run to the End of the World – A mass of vintage cars are expected for this annual auto gathering in Ocean Park. It kicks off Friday night, September 7,  with the annual Slow Drag in Ilwaco, starting at 4 p.m. until dark.

Sept 814th Annual Carson National Fish Hatchery Kids Fishing Day – Get your fishing poles out and head to the hatchery, on the Wind River Highway, three miles east of Stevenson and continue 14 miles.

Pioneer cooking on display

Sept 8Fort Vancouver Campfires and Candlelight – This popular event showcases Fort Vancouver at dusk and evening with a timeline of historical re-enactors including “The Night of the Shark” a re-enactment of the aid provided  to the sailors of the shipwrecked American vessel, The Shark.

Sept 8-9Highlander Festival – Kelso – Whether you have a clan, or not, get out your plaid and travel to Kelso for the annual Highlander Festival. Experience Scottish and Celtic culture. You’ll find games, parades, pipe bands, Scottish dancing and much, much more. Even a Scottish Shortbread contest. Free admission!

Sept 14-16Pacific NW Bonsai Convention and Exhibit – Vancouver Hilton –  Displays, demonstrations and international and national bonsai artists. Includes public bonsai exhibit. “Imagine & Create” is the theme.

Sept 15Drink This!  – Downtown Vancouver – Celebrate locally-produced artisan beverages. Primary participants are: Burnt Bridge Cellars, 1500 Broadway; Gouger Cellars, 1812 Washington St.; Loowit Brewing Company, 507 Columbia St.; Salmon Creek Brewery and Pub, 108 W. Evergreen Blvd., Mt Tabor Brewery, 113 W. 9th St.; Compass Coffee, 1304 Main St.; Torque Coffee Roasters, 501 Columbia St.; Paper Tiger Coffee Roasters, (serving at Cakes by Design); Tea Bar Downtown, 1015 Main St.; Brewed 360, 603 Main St.; and Bader Beer and Wine Supply (demonstrating at Burnt Bridge Cellars).  Also, hosting other local liquid masters are Niche, 1013 Main St.; Kiggins Theater, 1011 Main St.; Brickhouse, 109 W. 15th St.; Mint Tea, 2014 Main St.; Cakes by Design, 207 E.McLoughlin Blvd.; and By the Bottle, 104 W. Evergreen Blvd. Check the Drink This! Facebook page for updates!

Sept 15-16ARTrails 2012 Studio Tour – Check out the 10th Annual ARTrails Open Studio Tour. This self-guided, free event takes you through the towns and backroads of Lewis County to visit the artists and studios of Lewis County.

Sept 21 Oktoberfest  – Vancouver — This has to be THE party of September in SW Washington. Beer, German cuisine, dancing to the amazing Donaumusikanten from Bavaria. This event sells out (for good reason!) so buy your tickets well in advance here.

Sept 22-23ARTrails 2012 Studio Tour –  See Sept 15-16 for this fun, open studio tour.

Sept 23Harry James Orchestra – Columbia Theatre, Longview. Lovers of swing music should check out the Sunday afternoon performance of the Harry James Orchestra. Under the direction of Fred Radke who played trumpet with Harry James. Easily combined with the ARTrails 2012 Studio Tour. Make a day of it! The Columbia Theatre is a beautiful hall for any performance. Check out their 2012-13 season brochure here.

Sept 28-30Whale of a Quilt Show – Ocean Shores Convention Center – Demonstrations, vendors, boutique, refreshments and three days of quilts, quilts, quilts.

Sept 29National Public Lands Day – This entrance fee-free day includes Washington State Parks (no Discover Pass required on Sept 29 for state parks either), Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument  and Fort Vancouver.

Sept 29VoicePlay (formerly 42Five) – Corbet Theatre, Centralia College – Hear this award-winning, a cappella quintet. You can preview their fun vocals here.

Sept 29Bread and Butter Day –  Cedar Creek Grist Mill – Between Woodland and Amboy – Sample butter churned at the Grist Mill and fresh bread made with whole wheat milled at the historic mill. What a fun (and tasty) way to end the month!

Coming up:

Oct 6-7Vancouver Symphony Orchestra — Season opening concerts conducted by the excellent Maestro Salvador Brotons.

See you out there!



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September 2, 2012   No Comments