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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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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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