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

Appelo Archive Center: Naselle’s Gem of a Local Museum

Labors of love. You can feel that sentiment when you enter the community museums of Southwest Washington. These are the spaces that preserve and celebrate the most local of histories. They tell the stories of early residents, preserve artifacts and traditions, and provide educational resources.

The Appelo Archive Center and Memorial Library is one of a number of interesting museums in the area including the Knappton Cove Heritage Center, Fort Columbia National Historic Site in Chinook, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park, and Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco. Other nearby historical museums including the Pacific County Historical Museum in South Bend and the Northwest Carriage Museum and Willapa Seaport Museum in Raymond. This is an area rich in local museums!

The Appelo Archive Center tells the story of logging and life, with a special focus on the Finnish roots of the Naselle/Gray’s River area. It was founded by local resident Carlton Appelo, 90, who has donated many items from the collection of his family. His father, Carl Arthur (C.A.) Appelo, emigrated to the U.S. from Finland in 1906. He moved to the Deep River, WA area in 1912 and become Deep River Postmaster, a position he held until 1960.

Located on SR 4 in Naselle, about 30 minutes from the Long Beach Peninsula, the museum also serves as a visitor’s center “for those passing through the area needing assistance and a good cup of coffee,” says museum co-founder Karen Bertroch. A new cafe is opening this month in the center.

Karen knows the history of the museum well. “Carlton has always loved history. He has been saving documents, newspapers, books, interviews, research materials, etc for years,” she shares. “The collection was stored in one of the Appelo family’s general stores in Naselle. He has always had the idea of making it available to the public. It was set up as nonprofit in 2005 with the Wahkiakum Community Foundation, then set up as an independent organization in 2010. Now almost 91, Carlton’s memories and life’s work still are an important factor in the Center’s development.”

Site Manager Samanatha Hollo is in the process of scanning the archives extensive and growing photo collection of more than 3,000 photos using PastPerfect museum software. The photos are then filed in binders for easy research and ordering by museum patrons.

Main Floor Lobby

The memorial library has an extensive section where people can research their families including genealogical and cemetery records. The research area includes books, newspapers and oral histories, many of which are transcribed. “Carlton has loved sitting down and talking with people and he always has a tape recorder or video camera going,” says Samantha.

Lobby Exhibit

The Appelo Archive also publishes books about the area including the latest title “When Logging was Logging – One Hundred Years of Big Timber in Southwest Washington.” Other books by local authors plus Pioneer Voices booklets are for sale in the shop. Books and photos can be ordered from the museum’s online store.

Poster for the Center

Along with the expansive photo collection, the diverse collection preserves the local heritage with items like a desk from the original Naselle school, the original switchboard from Deep River and a plethora of logging artifacts.

Local furniture on display

The local telephone switchboard

Logging and store artifacts

Partial view of the research library

One charming exhibit includes dresses from the Appelo family and others including the wedding dress of Agnes Appelo.

Local dresses on exhibit

Finnish ex-patriot costume worn by Americans of Finnish descent

The photo collection documents the rich history of the area.

Deep River Log Dump - Photo courtesy of the Appelo Archive Center

When trees were serious trees! Photo courtesy of the Appelo Archive Center

The power of a local museum is felt in this gem. “The Center has certainly given the community of sense of renewed pride in their heritage of logging, their Finnish tradidtions and awareness of the importance of educating school children about their own local history,” Karen Bertroch reports. The Center sponsors the “Old Timber Loggers Reunion” on the last Saturday in January each year.

That local pride will continue as the Archive Center expands with a cafe, logging displays moved from the second to the first floor and a new exhibit on living through hard times in Washington history (on loan from the State Historical Society), which will be on display July through October 2013.

Driving through Naselle? Don’t miss the Appelo Archive Center! Visit the Web site and Facebook page for the latest information.

January 23, 2013   No Comments

Music, Wine, Vintage Cars, Finnish Culture and More Will Keep You Busy in July!

Welcome to July! Could there be a busier month? Here are more than 30 events  (plus a 4th of July celebration in nearly every community) to keep you active this month.

In the daylight at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge - picture it after dark with night creatures!

July 3Full-Moon Hike – Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge – Carty Unit –  Trail guides will lead you on an adventure in which owls hooting, coyotes howling, bats flying, and rustling in the brush are all possibilities. 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. The hike is free but space is limited. RSVP with Sarah Hill at 360-887-4106 or email

July 44th of July Celebrations – “Staggering” describes the number of 4th of July picnics, concerts, parades, a rodeo or two and fireworks displays happening in Southwest Washington. The largest is no doubt the Independence Day at Fort Vancouver. But every community celebrates in its own, fun way. Please check your local events calendar for your closest celebration and have a fun, safe 4th!

July 4-7Vancouver Rodeo – Clark County Saddle Club – This is the 42nd year of the rodeo, which will happen at the Saddle Club. The schedule is here. Admission.

July 4-27Concerts on the ColumbiaSkamania Lodge – Stevenson – Concerts on the lawn. What a setting! The series starts with Patrick Lamb. 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Admission.

July 4 – Patrick Lamb

July 27 – Michael Allen Harrison and Julianne Johnson

July 5-August 9Riverview Six to Sunset Concerts – Esther Short Park – Vancouver – Set up your lawn chair in the park and enjoy a great series of evening concerts. Purchase dinner from the food vendors or take a picnic. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free.

   July 5 – Abbey Road Live (Beatles Tribute)

   July 12 – Hit Machine

   July 19 – Patrick Lamb

   July 26 – Stone in Love

July 6Art Walks and Special First Friday EventsVancouver, Camas and Ridgefield continue their monthly First Friday events. Camas First Friday will present the “Camas Car Show and Rock and Roll Night.” Ridgefield’s event will be in Davis Park from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

July 7LaCamas Lake Loop Bike Ride – This 32-mile bike ride starts at Clark College and travels east through Vancouver out to LaCamas Lake and back. Bakery stop included! Sponsored by Portland Wheelmen and Vancouver Bike Club but open to non-members. For more information, call the ride leader listed here.

July 8Music in the Vines with CloverdayleBethany Vineyards – The beautiful grounds of Bethany Vineyards make a great venue for summer concerts. Bring your own seating. No outside beverages. Check out concert details and restrictions here. Admission.

July 11-August 15  – Terry Lee Noon Concerts –  Esther Short Park – Vancouver – Noontime concerts draw large crowds. Don’t forget your lawn chair. Take your lunch or support the food vendors. Noon to 1 p.m. Free.

   July 11 – The Shwing Daddies

   July 18 – Justin Klump

   July 25 – Key of Dreams

July 12 – August 23Concerts at the Lake – Longview – Enjoy this Thursday night summer concert series in Lake Sacajawea Park. 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free.

   July 12 – British Export (Beatles Tribute)

   July 19 – Monroe Crossing

   July 26 – Gimme Some Lovin’

July 14Tastes &Tunes – Gardner Center in Battle Ground. Live music, food, beer and wine tasting. Sponsored by the Rotary Club of Battle Ground. 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Admission.

July 144th Plain International Festival – 4th Plain and Norris Road in Vancouver – Celebrate the diversity of the 4th Plain area. International food vendors. Entertainment. Check the Web site for details. Includes the first ever Vancouver International Dodgeball Tournament! Register your team here!

July 14-15Trout Lake Festival of the Arts – Trout Lake – Enjoy music, arts and food at The Farm, 22 miles north of the Hood River Bridge. Schedule and location here. Check out the live music listings. Free.

July 14-15Art and Wine Fair English Estate Winery – 17806 SE 1st Street, Vancouver. Enjoy the 109-year-old estate, live music and dozens of artists not to mention English Estate’s wines, which will be available for tasting.

July 14-15Clamshell Railroad DaysColumbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco – Celebrate trains with lectures, bus tours of the old rail lines, an expanded Lego Train and The Kids Craft Caboose, and model trains. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission. Kids free.

July 21Cruisin the Gut – Vancouver – This car event just keeps getting larger and larger! Lovers of vintage autos line Main Street with lawn chairs to watch collectible cars from the past cruise Main Street from Dairy Queen down to lower downtown Vancouver and back.  The route is here. Evening event but get there early! Free.

July 20-21 – NW Outrigger RacesStevenson – Watch these mighty paddlers as they compete on the Columbia surrounded by the gorgeous Gorge and Bridge of the Gods as a backdrop. Stevenson will have lots of food and drink to offer, too, in the charming downtown area.

July 22Summer Concert SeriesThree Brothers Vineyards and Winery – The music continues in Clark County’s wine country with award-winning blues and R&B artist Lloyd Jones. Don’t forget your own lawn chairs or blankets. Take your own food (but NO liquids or beverages) or purchase catered food.  Wine, sodas and water available for purchase. Admission. 

July 25-20Sandsations and City Sandsations – Long Beach – On Wednesday, July 25, four master artists will start building in downtown Long Beach, culminating on Friday with a rodeo-themed sculpture. Construction for the sandcastle competition on the beach starts on Saturday at 10 a.m. There will also be a Sand Flea Pet Parade. Check the Sandsations Web site for details.

July 26-29Three Days of Aloha – Day one of this festival starts in Portland with a two-day Hula and Craft Workshop. Esther Short Park in Vancouver will be the site on Friday night for the Hapa Haole Hula Competition. The always popular Ho’ike and Hawaiian Festival will be held on Saturday at the park. Lots of food, music, dance, crafts! Check the festival Web site for details. Benefit for Ke Kukui Foundation.

July 26-29 –  Finnish-American Folk Festival  – Naselle High School on SR4. This festival is packed with authentic food and entertainment. The celebration of all things Finnish kicks off on July 26 with a golf tournament. Check out the event-packed schedule here.

July 27-28 – Camas Days Downtown Camas – “Three Ring Circus” is the theme of this year’s Camas Days. Two parades, bathtub races, wine and microbrew street each evening, plus arts and crafts vendors. Lots of details here.

July 28 Sip and Stroll – This benefit for the Hough Foundation is a great way to sample dozens of wines and beers while strolling through Uptown Village and downtown Vancouver. Check out wineries and microbreweries in downtown Vancouver and experience local shops where many of the tastings will be held. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.  21 and up. Admission.

July 28-29Bridge of the Gods Kite Fest – Stevenson – Celebrate wind and water! Kiteboarders and watchers won’t want to miss this event on the Columbia. The schedule is here.

July  29Music in the Vines with Patrick Lamb – Bethany Vineyards – The beautiful grounds of Bethany Vineyards make a great venue for summer concerts. Bring your own seating. No outside beverages. Check out concert details and restrictions here. Admission.

Whew! What a month! And this is only a smattering of available events. See you out there.



July 1, 2012   No Comments

20+ Not-To-Be-Missed Southwest Washington Events in May

From the Long Beach Peninsula through the Gorge, there is plenty happening in May. No excuses for staying home. Go enjoy Southwest Washington!

"Alice Christiansen" from the Hulda Klager lilac collection

April 21 – May 13Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Lilac Days –  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Hulda Klager’s farm home and beautiful gardens will be open and lilac plants and gifts will be offered for sale in a lovely gift shop. During Lilac Days, the farmhouse will feature a display of vintage hats and accessories. For background – Author Jane Kirkpatrick has just released a novel about the life of Hulda Klager, Where Lilacs Still Bloom.  Here is a past  ZEST post on the Hulda Klager Lilac Days. Admission.

Lots happening in downtown Longview

May 3 –  First Thursday in Longview – Many shops and galleries stay open until 7 p.m. and lots will be happening on the First Thursday of the month in downtown Longview. The Cowlitz County Historical Museum will be open until 9 p.m.

Unveiling of New Sculpture at the April Art Work in Downtown Vancouver

May 4First Fridays – If it’s the first Friday of the month,  you know what is happening in Clark County. Vancouver, Camas and Ridgefield continue their First Friday events. Camas has a First Friday Poker Tour happening. The Art Walk will be busy in downtown Vancouver with a special opening reception scheduled at the beautiful Kiggins Theater from 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. (21 and older only during the reception). Ridgefield will hold its First Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

May 4, 6, 11-13Touch of Class Chorale – Vancouver’s choral group will present five concerts with half of the proceeds going to various charities, depending on the concert. Check out the schedule here. Admission.

May 5Magenta Improv Theater – Vancouver’s own version of “Whose Line is it Anyway…?” —  takes the stage again at Magenta Theater. The show is family friendly. Players take audience suggestions and improvise. Admission.

May 5Carson-to-Stevenson Ridge Run– Skamania County Facilities & Recreation and the Columbia Gorge Running Club invite runners and walkers of all ages and abilities to embark on the annual Carson to Stevenson Ridge Trail 16k Run. The event starts in Carson and continues  to the Skamania County Fairgrounds with the finish line at the Columbia Gorge Fitness Fair. Admission.

May 5-6Loyalty Days – Not only does Long Beach have the World’s Longest Garage Sale (see May 25-26 below), it has the “longest consecutively running Loyalty Day celebration in the nation.” The two-day event includes a children’s parade, blessing of the fleet, oyster feed (yum!), grand parade and cowboy breakfast. This event is always the first weekend in May.  Saturday schedule here. For Sunday’s schedule, go here.

May 11Contra in the Couve – Put on your dancing shoes. Vancouver has a contra dance, held on the second Friday of every month at the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. Seattle band, KGB, and nationally-known caller Woody Lane, from Roseburg, OR will share the stage. 7:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission.

May 11-12Ridgefield Art Association Show and Sale – Don’t miss this annual show and sale. Reception on Friday night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Ridgefield Community Center.

May 12It’s a Blast! Volcano Science in Your Backyard – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Join the Mount St. Helens Institute for a fun event at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. Kids activities, food, guided hikes, ranger talks, and more. The road will be open! Celebrate the first public event of the season. Admission.

May 12-13Maryhill Museum – The museum will dedicate the new Mary and Bruce Stevenson Wing this weekend. The new 25,500 wing will include galleries, an education center and cafe. The event schedule includes an antique car show on Saturday.

Pat Courtney Gold

May 13Cathlapotle Plankhouse 2nd Sunday Series – Fiber artist Pat Courtney Gold will present “Native American Women of the Columbia River Area” at 2 p.m at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge. Guided tours of the Plankhouse and children’s activities will be available from noon to 4 p.m. Pat Courtney Gold, and her extraordinary work, is profiled here. A great way to spend Mother’s Day!

May 16-20Society of Washington Artists 50th Anniversary Show – This open entry art exhibit will include an art sale. Exhibit will be in Vancouver at the HH Hall Building, 10000 NE 7th Avenue.

Ed Asner as FDR

May 18Ed Asner as FDR – FDR is based on the Broadway hit “Sunrise at Campobello. ” Emmy-award winning Ed Asner performs the one-man play at the beautiful, historic Columbia Theatre in downtown Longview. Should be a great show! Tickets here.

May 19 –  Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum Anniversary Celebration –  Music, activities, hands-on demonstrations and refreshments from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. Admission to the museum will be free to the public for this special occasion.  For more information, visit

May 1948th Annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands – If it’s the third Saturday in May, you can count on a whole lot of music happening in Hazel Dell. The theme this year is “Remember When” and will feature two dozen bands and more than 100 entries.  Dust off the lawn chairs. View the route map here. The parade starts at 10:30 a.m.

May 19-20Herb and Garden Festival – It’s the perfect time for a country drive out to the Pomeroy Living History Farm, which is north of Battle Ground. Thousands of plants will be for sale. There will be a farm cafe, vendors and entertainment. This is a lovely destination. Directions here.

May 19-20Geology Weekend at Bonneville Dam – Explore the forces that created the Gorge through special presentations, guest speakers and hands-on activities. Rangers will offer programs about local geology at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Bradford Island Visitor Center. Power house tours will be offered at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. at the Washington Shore Visitor Center. For more information, contact the Bonneville Dam Visitor Center at 541. 374.8820. This event is free.

May 25-26World’s Longest Garage Sale – For more than 20 years on Memorial Weekend, the garages, yards, patios and other flat surfaces of the Long Beach Peninsula have been filled with treasures for, count ’em, 28 miles! Get out your most comfortable shoes and lots of dollar bills. And don’t forget to take a break to enjoy the ocean and the bookstores mentioned in this 2010 ZEST blog post about the booksellers of  Long Beach Peninsula.


Las Colibri - The Hummingbirds

May 26Las Colibri – Enjoy this very talented, all-female mariachi ensemble. Audiences will recognize sounds of  jazz, rock, oldies, and R&B through this unique mariachi ensemble. They will perform at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson at 8 p.m. Admission. Tickets available here.

May 26-27Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – The wonderful VSO adds a new twist for this performance. An interactive, 3-D showing of The Planets will be shown. The concert will also include pianist Linda Lorati Barker and a 2011-12 audience choice piece, which will be announced immediately before the concert. Tickets available here.

Winetasting at East Fork Cellars

May 26-28Clark County Wineries – Memorial Weekend – Visit the wineries of Clark County on Memorial Weekend.  Click on the Web site for a map to 11 wineries in Clark County. And check out this Columbian article on the 2nd largest wine producer in the U.S. — Washington State!

What a great month!

May 1, 2012   2 Comments

30 April Events in SW Washington to Get You Out of the House!

It’s time to ignore the never-ending rain and get out of the house. From film to flowers, hiking to kayaking, contra to Indian dances, there are no excuses. See you out there!

WSU-V Native American Film Festival

April 4-6Native American Film Festival– Washington State University Vancouver is offering a Native American Film Series at 5:30 p.m. in the Dengerink Administration building, room 110. The series is free and open to the public. Each evening opens with a 30-minute guest lecture at 5:30 p.m. followed by the film screening at 6 p.m. Each film in the series addresses Native -American experiences with boarding schools. The speakers and films are:

April 4, “Older Than America” – Georgina Lightning, the film’s director and actress, will speak before the screening. In this contemporary drama of suspense, a woman’s haunting visions reveal a Catholic priest’s sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that took place at her Native American boarding school.

April 5, “Our Spirits Don’t Speak English: Indian Boarding School” – Jacqueline Peterson, WSU Vancouver professor emerita of history, will speak before the screening. This documentary uncovers the dark history of U.S. Government policy which took Indian children from their homes, forced them into boarding schools and enacted a policy of educating them in the ways of western society.

April 6, “The Only Good Indian” – Grace L. Dillon associate professor, indigenous nations studies at Portland State University will speak before the screening. In this film, set in Kansas during the early 1900s, a teen-aged Native American boy is taken from his family and forced to attend a distant Indian “training” school to assimilate into white society.

April 5First Thursday – Downtown Longview and Kelso  – Galleries and the Cowlitz County Historical Museum  are open in the evening with receptions at various galleries.

 April 6Full Moon Hikes at Ridgefield  National Wildlife Refuge . Evening hike, starting at 7:30 p.m. on the Oaks to Wetlands trail at the Refuge. Space is limited and reservations are required. Call 360-887-3883 for reservations and details.

 April 6 – As always, there are multiple First Fridays around Clark County including Vancouver, Ridgefield and Camas. For details check out the Arts of Clark County calendar.

In Downtown Vancouver – At 7 p.m., don’t miss the unveiling of the latest addition of public art to downtown Vancouver – a sculpture by Dave and Jennifer at Cobalt Designworks installed at Evergreen and Main. No excuses for staying in on the first Friday of the month!

In Downtown Camas – Visit each participating merchant, pick an egg out of the basket and see if you can select the Golden Egg!  Special deals are inside each golden egg at each of the participating merchants!

First Iron Man Strong Ale Festival

April 7First Iron Man Strong Ale Festival –  Noon – 8 p.m. The inaugural event features this year’s release of Walking Man Brewing’s Iron Man Imperial IPA, live music, hot food and a chance to sample a variety of Strong Ales from various breweries. Held in honor of “Iron Man Jim Caldwell.” Skamania County Fairgrounds. Admission.

April 7Vintage Fishing Gear Show – Display and show at 9 a.m. at the spring meeting of the NW regional of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club. Red Lion Hotel in Kelso. Details at 360-274-8045. Admission.

April 7Klickitat Trail Conservancy Birding walk – 7 a.m. Lyle trailhead  – 3-4 miles. This is a special area. From the Conservancy: “The Klickitat Trail follows the first 31 miles of an old railroad corridor linking the towns of Lyle and Goldendale.  It is unique among rail trails. Nowhere else is there a rail trail that starts in a remote, beautiful tributary canyon, winds along a nationally designated Wild & Scenic River, and finishes in one of the nation’s only National Scenic Areas.”

 April 7-9Razor Clam Dig! – Three beaches – Long Beach, Twin Harbors and Kalaloch – will be open for morning razor clam digging all three days. Mocrocks will be open for two days, April 7-8, and Copalis will be open April 7 for one day only. Get the details here. Here is a ZEST post about our first excursion digging those delicious bivalves.

April 7-29Columbia River Kayaking has  a plethora of kayaking trips for beginners and experienced kayakers. Check out their calendar of trips here.  The river is really high right now. Be dry, safe and plan accordingly! Trips begin at their Paddle Center in Skamokawa unless otherwise listed.

April Contra in the Couve Caller Mary Devlin

April 13Contra in the Couve – Vancouver has a contra dance on the second Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m. the Hazel Dell Grange, 7509 NE Hazel Dell Ave. New and experience dancers welcome! Popular Portland caller Mary Devlin will be calling the dance. 

April 13-28Magenta Theater – Downtown Vancouver’s always entertaining theater company presents Hitchcock’s 39 Steps. Tickets are available here.

April 14Battle Ground Wine Loop – You can take the Battle Ground Wine Loop Tour bus around the loop for just $5 per person. It will make the loop all day long. Just hop on and off at each of the three participating wineries – Rusty Grape Vineyards, Heisen House Vineyards  and Olequa Cellars. Or take a designated chauffeur and drive the scenic 7-mile loop if you prefer.  Small tasting fees may apply at each location. Battle Ground Wine Loop from noon – 6, followed by live music after at Rusty Grape starting at 7 p.m.

April 14Klickitat Trail Conservancy Wildflower Walk – 10 a.m. 4 miles – Starting at the Lyle trailhead. Easy to moderate.

April 14-15Vancouver Symphony Orchestra – 3 p.m. on Saturday and 7 p.m. on Sunday. Winners of the Young Artist Competition will perform  the Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3 and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. Also All Classical’s Edmund Stone will narrate A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Mendelssohn with a performance by the Willamette University Chamber Choir. Buy Vancouver Symphony tickets here.

April 14-21Second Annual Cultural Immersion Week –   Immerse yourself in India! Columbia Theatre offers a wonderful schedule of events, culminating with a April 21 performance of Ragamala Dance (see below). Lots of events happening on Saturday, April 14 including Indian food, music, yoga, henna, fighting kites and “Bollywood Movez” dance lessons.

Holland American Bulb Farm Show Field


April 14-15 Woodland Tulip Festival –  The 10th Annual Woodland Tulip Festival will include annual blooming tulip fields, display garden and gift shop and much more. Check out the Holland America Bulb Farms Web site  for all of the events.

Cathlapotle Plankhouse

April 15Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, 28908 NW Main Ave., Ridgefield, WA –   The Plankhouse opens the season with a special presentation at 2 p.m. by Dr. Robert Carriker who will present “A Student in the Pacific Northwest: Sacagawea Travels the Columbia River.” Guided tours of the Plankhouse and children’s activities will be available from noon – 4 p.m.

April 19Sakura Festival – 1-4 p.m. To celebrate the breathtaking cherry blossoms that bloom in the spring, Clark College hosts an annual festival for the college and the region. The festival also honors Vancouver’s sister-city relationship with Joyo, Japan, which was established in 1995. This year, the Festival will also dedicate the new Royce Pollard Japanese Friendship Garden.

April 21Hometown Tourism Day – Many Long Beach Peninsula and Pacific County sites and museums are working together to promote Hometown Tourism Day. Check out the list of locations.

April 21Klickitat Trail Conservancy hike through Swale Canyon – 9 a.m. Lyle trailhead – 13 miles – strenuous. Early flowers should be at peak. The Trail is railroad gravel in places, so sturdy boots are needed.

April 21Kalama Word Catcher –  Writers take note – You can spend the entire day exploring your craft with an excellent roster of instructors including Larry Colton and Carolyn J. Rose. This is a benefit for the Kalama Public Library. Pre-register here.

April 21Columbia Theatre presents Ragamala Dance – 7:30 p.m. The classical dance troupe will perform “Sacred Earth” as part of the Second Annual Cultural Immersion Week sponsored by Columbia Theatre. Tickets available here.

April 21Trout Lake Run – The Half-Marathon, 10K & 5K running/walking events start and finish at Trout Lake School, which is the beneficiary of the event.

April 21Earth Day Celebrations – Lots happening around SW Washington. Check your local papers and Web sites!

April 21-22 Woodland Tulip Festival –  The 10th Annual Woodland Tulip Festival will include annual blooming tulip fields, display garden and gift shop and much more. Check out the Holland America Bulb Farms Web site  for all of the events.

April 21 – May 13Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens Lilac Days –  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Hulda Klager’s farm home and beautiful gardens will be open and lilac plants and gifts will be offered for sale in a lovely gift shop. During Lilac Days, the farmhouse will feature a display of vintage hats and accessories. Admission.  This is easily combined with a visit to the tulip festival! Here is a past  ZEST post on the Hulda Klager Lilac Days.

April 27-29Home and Garden Idea Fair –  The fair features hundreds of ideas on how to make your home, yard and garden a more beautiful, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly place. Sponsored by Clark Public Utilities.

April 28Klickitat Trail Conservancy hike from the town of Klickitat to Pitt – 9:30 a.m. Lyle trailhead – easy walk.

If these aren’t enough events to get you out of the house, check your local newspapers for more ideas!

April 1, 2012   No Comments

March is for Clams, Charlie Brown and Sasquatch

This is the month when we yearn for dry, sunny weather. Whether it’s still raining (it will be) or shining (it might be), abandon your recliner and get out there!

There is plenty to do in Southwest Washington in March. Here are a few options:

March 1Damn Yankees – Columbia Theatre brings the Broadway hit musical to Longview for one night. Tickets available through the theatre box office.

Oleg Ulitskiy's exhibit of boat paintings will continue at Art on the Boulevard in March

March 2First Friday Events – Vancouver, Camas and Ridgefield always offer convivial evenings on the first Friday of the month. Downtown Vancouver will hold its First Friday Art Walk from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Downtown Camas will hold a Lucky Leprechaun Scavenger Hunt and restaurants, shops and galleries will be open in downtown Ridgefield.

March 3 Arts and Culture Summit – Join colleagues and friends to build a vision for the future of the arts in Clark County. The day will include a host of speakers and panelists.

March 4Ft. Vancouver Run – Rain or shine, registration for the Fred Meyer Ft. Vancouver Run starts at 7 a.m. Details here.

March 9-31You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown – Who can resist the characters from Peanuts? Presented by Love Street Playhouse in Woodland.

March 10Still Walking: Bigfoot in the Dark Divide and Beyond. Author and lepidopterist Dr. Robert Michael Pyle talks about his book on the search for Sasquatch in Washington State and exciting new developments at the Willapa Hills Audubon meeting in Longview. Meeting details here.

March 10-11 Razor Clam Dig (tentative) – Dates are always tentative but the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced morning digs at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. Licenses are required. No clamming is allowed after noon. Go here to read a past ZEST blog post on clamming. For details read the official WDFW announcement. Here are the rules and regulations.

Maryhill Museum, photo by Nayland Wilkins

March 15Opening Day – Maryhill Museum – Although not all parts of the museum will be open (watch for a May opening of the Mary and Bruce Stevenson wing) the museum will open the 2012 season with Beside the Big River: Images and Art of the Mid-Columbia Indians. with 40 photographs by Lee Moorhouse, Thomas Rutter and J.W. Thompson. View the exhibit catalog here.

March 16-17 17th Annual Peninsula Quilt Guild Exhibition – Head to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco to see the quilts by talented fiber artists of the Long Beach Peninsula.

March 17 St. Patrick’s Day TeasPomeroy Living History Farm will offer formal teas to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Reservations are required.

Get your surfboards out. Beaches at Washington State Parks will be FREE on March 18-19!

March 18-19Washington State Park Free Day – In honor of Washington State Parks’ 99th birthday on March 19th, Washington State Parks will be free on March 18-19. Find Southwest Washington parks here. Parks along the Pacific Coast are here.

March 19
Women’s History Month Tea and Luncheon – March is a month for drinking tea! The Clark County Historical Museum in Vancouver offers this event.

March 24-25Spring Release Weekend – Maryhill Winery – Stop by the gorgeous tasting room of Maryhill Winery with its spectacular view of the Gorge. Details here.

March 24-25Razor Clam Dig (tentative) – Second announced dig for March! Dates are always tentative but the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced digs at Long Beach, Twin Harbors, Copalis and Mocrocks. Licenses are required. Digs are timed with morning tides. No digging after noon. Go here to read a past ZEST blog post on clamming. For details read the official WDFW announcement. Here are the rules and regulations.

Spring is coming! Enjoy your March!

February 29, 2012   No Comments

February is For Hearts and Horses, Art and Wine, Cinderella…and Chocolate!

February is a short month that offers a long list of activities. From quilts to chocolate, kites to Chalacha – no need to stay home.

February 1-29Castle Rock Quilt Show – Castle Rock Exhibit Hall, 147 Front Ave NW, More than 80 quilts All those tiny stitches! Don’t miss them at the quilt show.

Friday, February 3 – First Fridays in Multiple Cities!

February 3 First Friday – Ridgefield, 5 to 8 p.m.- Alcove Art Gallery will feature nine artists for the month of February. The theme will be entitled “Passion for Art.” Shops and restaurants will be open, too.

February 3A Chocolate Affair to Remember – 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown Camas. Sample locally made chocolates, specialty chocolate drinks and more! Plus local quilters kick off 2012 with a show of their original work at Second Story Gallery in Camas. The annual open exhibit in February will begin with a reception on First Friday and remain on view inside the Camas Public Library through the end of the month.

February 3 First Friday Artwalk – Downtown Vancouver, 5 to 9 p.m. Always a great celebration of community and fine art and a way to stroll with neighbors and friends. Downtown shops, restaurants and lounges welcome you as well. Art is leading the way for changes in downtown Vancouver!

February 3Wintertide – VSO Chamber Music Group – 7 p.m. Trinity Lutheran Church 309 W. 39th Street in Vancouver. The Columbia River Brass present various styles from composers including Wilke Renwick, Samuel Scheidt, Eric Ewazen, Dave Robertson and J.S. Bach. Concert is repeated on February 5 at 3 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church in Camas.

February 3-4Indoor Market – Long Beach Grange, 5715 Sandridge Rd., 10am to 4pm. A variety of vendors will be selling farm fresh eggs, home-baked goods, handcrafted items, goat cheese and goat milk soaps, gift items, art, jewelry and more. Lunch will be served from the Grange kitchen.

February 4Stand up Comedy at the Old Liberty Theater – Downtown Ridgefield. 7:30 p.m. An evening of “honest comedy” featuring: Ian Karmel- From IFC’s “Portlandia” plus other comics. 21 and older. Tickets by phone: Don Griswold,, booking phone (360) 601-7549.

February 4-5Asian New Year at the World Kite Museum – Long Beach. This opening has special events to introduce the Bali Kite Exhibit. The exhibit lasts until March 25.

February 7Chocolate Confession by Joan FreedKiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver. This hilarious one-woman show is a fundraiser for the Pink Lemonade Project. This is a perfect warm up for Valentine’s Day!

February 10-25Sense and Sensibility Magenta Theater – downtown Vancouver’s theater troupe presents an adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel in their intimate theater.

February 11Valentine’s TeaPomeroy Living History Farm, 20902 NE Lucia Falls Rd., Yacolt. Noon. Reservations required (360.686.3537). Seasonal menu will include assorted tea sandwiches, scones, desserts and two kinds of tea. A tour of the historic log house can be added for a small, extra charge.

February 11-12Columbia Gorge Wineries Valentine’s Day Open House Weekend – Columbia Gorge Wineries in Washington and Oregon. Winery Open House Hours are 11am – 6pm. What a great opportunity to taste and purchase wine for Valentine’s Day.

February 12Bravo! Concert Series – Leonard Bernstein Mass – St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 400 S. Andresen Road, Vancouver. 2 p.m. Leonard Bernstein’s Mass blends sacred text, human emotions and musical styles – from classical to sacred, rock, blues and jazz. The Bravo! Chorale, guest soloists, and Chamber Orchestra will perform.

February 14 Musical Dinner Theater Historic Trout Lake Country Inn. Go up and play in the snow on Mt. Adams and then enjoy a dinner show.

February 16-19CinderellaThe Columbia Theatre presents Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella. February 16th at 7pm, February 17th at 7pm, February 18th at 2pm & 7pm, and February 19th at 2pm.

February 17-19Washington State Horse Expo – Horses and equestrians come together en masse at the Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds. Check out the full program schedule.

February 18-20 Columbia Gorge Wineries President’s Day Open Houses – Yet another wine weekend as the Gorge wineries open up again to celebrate President’s Day. More than 30 wineries will be open with special releases and discounts. Live music at Maryhill Winery.

February 21 Volcano Views & Brews – Tommy O’s Pacific Rim Bistro in downtown Vancouver at 801 Washington Street. Doors open at 5 pm. Speaker presents from 6:30 – 8 pm. Rick McClure, the Forest Archaeologist and Heritage Program Manager for Gifford Pinchot National Forest presents “The Place Called Chalacha – History Beneath the MSH Monument Headquarters and Chelatchie Prairie.”

What a great month! See you out there!

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February 2, 2012   No Comments