Columbia County- Leaves are dropping along with the temperature, Fall has arrived and Halloween is quickly approaching for Columbia County. With the movie Halloweentown filmed in St. Helens in 1998, the city is still celebrating and the many across Columbia County have also embraced this holiday.
Local citizens have ties to the movie as many had their debut acting in the movie as extras such as Rainier Mayor, Jerry Cole along with Clatskanie resident, Brian Fawcett. Brian was a kid at the time who got his first paycheck as an extra to perform alongside his sister and mom in an Aladdin Costume. Brian shared that his favorite memory of the movie was, “Being part of a locally made movie with my family was a cool experience. And watching the movie near Halloween after the fact to find myself, my mom, and my sister in random scenes made for some good memories.” Maybe that’s why so many people jump at the chance to celebrate Halloween and welcome curious tourists.
The movie has a cult following that will bring a lot of tourists to the area for Halloween the month of October for a variety of activities. To view, a list of Spirit of Halloweentown events go to www.discovercolumbiacounty.com and www.keepitlocalcc.com to view many local events. SHEDCO (ST Helens Economic Development Corporation) has partnered with several local groups to host a few events for locals to have some fun along with the tourists and ways they can get engaged to show off their local community.
A signature event to kick off the month-long celebration is the Halloweentown Parade that is on Oct 7th at 3:00 PM. Last year, the parade had a Witches Float, Star Wars of Oregon, Columbia County Sherrif Department, Aliens, Zombie fighters, Scary Clown Bikers and more participated. The 2nd year parade is sure to outshine the past year. When asked what will make this year different?” Gretchen Williams, Parade Organizer, replied, “For me, the parade this year is different from the last because of the willingness from groups to participate. Many crowd favorites from last year contacted me immediately wanting to return. I didn’t even have to ask them! I have several families who have signed up to participate simply because they love Halloween. I’m very excited to see their entries! We are on track to surpass the number of entries we had last year. Something else that is new this year is that I did not have to charge an entry fee. Thanks to several additional sponsors, everyone can participate for free.” Afterwards, the Community Pumpkin lightening will take place in the Holiday Plaza at 7:00 PM.
Ways for you to get involved:
September 25th-Oct 6th Participate in a Scarecrow Contest. Open to all citizens and businesses Across Columbia County are invited to put up a ScareCrow for the Spirit of Halloweentown ScareCrow Contest. Winners get $150 sponsored by the City of St. Helens. You can post your photos to the FB page between Sept 25th- Oct 6th details on the facebook page.
Oct 7th – Halloweentown Parade sponsored by SCC Chamber of Commerce, SHEDCO & Columbia River PUD Oct 7th. Locals can participate in the parade for free by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for an application.
October 6th – Oct 30th. If you like to get dressed up in costume, you can become a WayFinding Witch. What’s that? It’s a chance to share our local businesses and happenings with the tourists in your Halloween Costume. Click on the link, to sign up for a volunteer spot.
Oct 19th,20,21st at 7:00 PM & 21st at 2 PM ShoeString Theatre, “The War of the Worlds” on October 19, 20, 21 at 7 pm, and October 21 for a 2 pm matinee. Tickets on Sale September 30th online or at Bertucci’s.
Vernonia, OR – If you’ve visited Vernonia on a Saturday in the Summer, you’ll see many cyclists. Vernonia known to many as a bustling cycling community will be the start of the 2nd Annual Columbia Century Challenge Race Saturday, June 17th. A local group of volunteers that involve business owners and community leaders from across Columbia County have been working over the past three years to bring this race to Columbia County. The Columbia Country Challenge is the only organized cycling race in Columbia County put on by locals who care about enhancing the cycling opportunities in Columbia County.
Gearing up for its 2nd year brings a few changes to the new event. Last year the race started in St Helens, this year it’s in Vernonia. You have the option to pick three types of rides out of Vernonia. The Century Plus 119 miles, Metric Century Plus, 86 miles or the 40-mile gravel ride through commercial timberline. Go to the website to see the full map to determine which path is the one you shall choose. Rolling hills, farmland, historic logging trails, scenic views of the Pacific Northwest, what’s not to like? It’s not too late to join the upcoming race as a cyclist or as a volunteer. You can register online at http://cyclecolumbiacounty.com/registration/ While it lasts use special code CCC17 for a 2 for 1, so grab a friend. Enjoy your ride whatever one you choose!
Columbia County, OR- Columbia County has a habit of celebrating Earth Day with several clean ups in our communities. This year they are scheduled on Saturday, April 22nd. You can get involved by volunteering, cleaning up your property or even donating new and gently used residential building materials, home furnishing supplies.
Organizations like SHEDCO (St Helens Economic Development Corporation) have partnered with SOLVE Oregon to help make our community a beautiful place to live. In rural communities like ours, it takes a group of volunteers working together to make a difference. You can get involved by registering at http://www.solveoregon.org/get-involved/events/shedco%E2%80%99s-4th-annual-spring-cleanup. The 4th Annual SHEDCO Clean Up starts down at the Courthouse Plaza in St.Helens from 9:00 AM-1:00 PM. Some of the volunteer tasks include picking weeds, trash pickup, sweeping, and flower planting. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a few tools and gloves if they have them. You can volunteer for an hour or two. You decide. There will also be fun activities for kids like face painting and free pumpkin starts while supplies last. Light snacks and beverages will be provided after the work is done to celebrate Earth Day.
Citizens are also encouraged to bring their unwanted items, yard debris, scrap metal, appliances and more see the flyer below for details for Spring Clean Up. You can also bring your new and gently used residential building materials, appliances, fixtures, and home furnishing picked up by local nonprofit Habitat for Humanity at three convenient locations: St. Helens High School, Scappoose High School, and Columbia City school. Drake’s Towing & Recovery is available for FREE Removal of your scrap vehicles, Call Ryan 503-438-6099.
This is your community. Local citizens are encouraged to help pitch in to make their community a cleaner place. Thanks for getting involved and celebrating Earth Day bycleaning up your local communities. #earthday #springclean #columbiacounty #hereincc
St. Helens, OR – Food and Art. Art and Food. No matter how you say it, Food and Art is an excellent combination. Add raising funds to help fight hunger and the event has elevated to a can’t be missed evening out called Empty Bowls. Empty Bowls is a fundraiser for Columbia Pacific Food Bank and its right around the corner on April 7th from 5:00 -7:00 PM at the McBride School Cafeteria in St. Helens.
What makes Empty Bowls so much fun? You get to pick out your bowl. It’s handmade pottery created by local retired teacher, Pat Brame. Oh, and he has friends that help him as well. Pat also sells his pottery at the event donating 25 % proceeds back to the food bank. Pat has been involved over the past 11 years, since the beginning of Empty Bowls. Then you get to pick out your soup. The eating part is pretty yummy thanks to local restaurants who donate the food. The Ridge Runners provide live music for entertainment.
Casey Wheeler, Executive Director for Columbia Pacific Food Bank, wants the community to know, ” The purpose of this event is to help people understand what food insecure families face in our community. Often they only have soup, bread and some water for dinner (if they are lucky). Often the parents do not eat so the children have something to eat.” Casey mentioned his favorite part of the event is ” Having the St. Helens Middle School Honor Society adopt this as one of their community service projects. They develop the theme, decorations, set-up the venue, serve food and drinks, clean up and help put everything away. Also, watching the interaction of people as they eat and pick out their bowls.”
This fundraiser is a ticketed event. You can purchase your tickets for $10.00 each at many local businesses such as Bertucci’s, Sunsations, Grocery Outlet and Scappoose Bagel. They have been known to sell out so don’t wait if you want to go. See you there!
Our communities offer many types of activities around the 4th of July to showcase a sense of community pride while celebrating our nation’s independence. These communities are inviting you to join in the fun.
Scappoose – Start your morning off right with a donation only Pancake Breakfast from 7:30-11:00 AM. All proceeds go to Scappoose Firefighters Association Scholarship Fund held at 52751 Columbia River Hwy.
St. Helens- 4th of July Festivities start at Columbia View Park at 11:00 am with an Adult Tail Gate Party down at the waterfront. The Elks Food Cart opens between 11:00-8:00 PM. Elks will be grilling up hamburgers and such to raise funds for Veterans. Other family friendly events like a Pie Baking Contest,Watermelon Eating Contest, Trash Can Painting Contest all happen during the day. Live music starts at 3:00 PM followed by local sensation Hit Machine at 8:00 PM. For specific events, go to St Helens 4th of July Events Schedule.
Rainer Days starts officially at noon on July 7th. You will find free live music, carnival rides, evening kids movie in the park and more until July 10th. According to their website, they were voted Best fireworks on the Columbia River for 5 years in a row. Make sure to catch the “Fibre Federal / Rainier Days in the Park Fireworks show” July 9th 10:00 PM. Rainier Days 2016 Schedule.
Clatskanie – Heritage Days is a long-running tradition started by pioneers. Many new events have been added to showcase the best of Clatskanie. On the 4th, they have a day full of events to celebrate their local Heritage. Two of the highlights is a live logging show at 6:30 PM followed by a fireworks show at dusk. For more information or detailed events, go to their website.
The Vernonia Chamber of Commerce hosts the Vernonia Great American Bash 2016. They have a parade that starts at 6:00 PM and fireworks at dusk. Looking for daytime activities? The newly upgraded Dewey Pool is ready for visitors. Want to squeeze in a bike ride? You can jump on the Crown Zellerbach Trail. Whatever you choose to do, you will enjoy your time in Vernonia.
Columbia County hosts many community events with free activities that allow you to see your neighbors, meet new friends and participate in what makes small towns so great. #Thankscolumbiacounty #hereincc #keepitlocalcc #welovecc #welovewherewelive
St Helens, OR- Do you remember the old Port-o-Fun? Port-o-Fun was located downtown along the waterfront in St Helens for many years. St Helens Kiwanis decided to bring back the memories and fun with a new name, The River Festival. St. Helens River Festival will start at noon on Thursday 16th with Free Admission. You’ll have plenty to do with 13 Nights on the River open air market from 3:00-9:00 PM and live music starting at 6:00 PM by a band called “Slicker” made up of some of Oregon’s finest home grown, professional musicians.
Another long-standing local tradition, St Helens Kiwanis will also host the 101st year Kiwanis Parade with the theme “2016 Year of Health & Wellness” June 18th at noon at Columbia Blvd and Hwy 30. This parade is great family fun. If you want to get creative, you can participate in the parade by signing up the day of the parade between 9-11 at Emmert Motors. Parade judging starts at 11:00 and Parade at Noon. It’s a not to miss community event. Kiwanis want to invite Columbia County to join in the celebrations.
Yes, there is adult fun involved. When was the last time you attended a street dance? This upcoming weekend, you’ll have the option to attend two street dances. One on Friday 17th by Stevie Marie & Jackson Road and The Wieners will play on Saturday both start at 8:00 PM with a $5.00 cover for each dance. River Festival Facebook Page follow along for details. Spending time at community creates great family memories.
St Helens, OR- Join in on the fun at this new event hosted by SHEDCO (St Helens Economic Development Corporation), Columbia Arts Guild and the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center. Start at the Columbia County Courthouse & Museum from 3-4:00 PM to get your Artwalkmap for the Spring Into Art Walk on March 31, 2016. The map has a variety of artists featured at local businesses. This is an opportunity to visit over fifteen local business that will host local artists plus artistic demonstrations like Native Drum Making, Clogging, and much more.
Want to join in the artist fun? You can participate in the SIAcoloringcontest with prizes given for three different age groups. Must be present at the wrap-up party to win prizes. Participating artists and local residents will meet at the Visitor Center at the South Columbia County Chamber, 2194 Columbia Blvd., from 6:00-7:30 PM for a wrap-up party and a chance to meet your neighbors.
If you travel highway 30 on a Saturday, you most likely have seen groups of cyclists ascending into Columbia County from Portland. For years, these groups of cyclists have been coming out here to enjoy the CZ (Crown Zellerbach Trail) from Scappoose to Vernonia and onward to Banks, OR. You see, as a country, we are quite bike friendly. The City of St Helens has a Pedestrian and Bike Commission that meets on a monthly basis. Plus, many local businesses are bike friendly with bike racks. If you own a business, check out how to become Bike Friendly and more from City of St. Helens Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission.
To meet the needs of locals and tourists alike, June 18th will mark the 1st Cycle Columbia County, Columbia Centurian Challenge, starting in downtown St Helens riding thru many small towns such as Vernonia, Mist and Columbia City. To see a full route and to register for the challenge which opens soon go to www.cyclecolumbiacounty.com and “like” Columbia Century Challenge Facebook page. #hereincc #columbiacenturychallenge #cyclistslovecc