St. Helens, OR- If you’ve lived here for awhile, you might have been a customer of Geri Noble. She ran a business called “The Hutch” for 15 years on Main Street St. Helens. She’s back giving great customer service and sewing up a storm at a her old shop location but with a new partner, Debbie Loomis. Debbie, owner of Hagz Bagz since 2006 joined forces with Geri and merged their businesses on Oct 1st, 2016, Hagz Bagz & The Hutch located at 400 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens. You can also reach them at 503-397-1352.
Even with a name change, everything else has stayed the same except with added services. When asked how they decided to open their business Debbie replied, “I wanted to have a place to showcase what we love to do, create one of a kind gift items at reasonable prices.”
Geri is happy to be back on Main Street St. Helens and wants her customers to know she’s got a great new business partner. She wanted to work with Debbie to help her develop her business and sewing skills and they both love what they do. Debbie wanted to partner with Geri because “she has been in the sewing business a lot longer than me. Her wealth of knowledge was what I needed to go forward with my dream of having a storefront.”
Need a special gift, contact Hagz Bagz & The Hutch. Follow their Facebook page for ideas to give a gift from Columbia County that is personalized and from the heart. You can also shop online from their catalog.
Columbia County, OR – Columbia County has a strong, long-standing community choir called the River City Singers. The River City Singers will soon represent Columbia County at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Memorial Day, May 29th. If you are a local, you can enjoy listening to this group perform year round.
Director, Alice Boyer shared how the group was chosen for the opportunity. Alice said,” We were very excited to be invited by Dr. William Skoog who is the Chair of the Department of Music, and Director of Choral Studies at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN, to come be a part of his mass choir performance of Ola Gjeilo’s “Sunrise Mass.” This is a contemporary mass setting that will be performed with one of the New York Philharmonic Orchestras. Dr. Skoog and I have a long history of musical collaboration. I participated in the Dvorak Festival in Prague, the Czech Republic in 2001 as part of his festival choir. When he heard that I was directing a choir here in Oregon, he was eager to have us come be a part of this endeavor at Carnegie Hall.”
Understanding the group’s history is important; it shows their strong foundation as a group. The community choir group started in 2001 under the name Columbia Chorale of Oregon. The group has between 25-40 members depending on the season. With no auditions and no fees, the Columbia River Singers are a diverse group of men and women of various ages who love to sing. Performing in a variety of venues across Columbia County and Portland for the past 16 years, they typically perform 3-4 concerts a year with the first rehearsals starting in late August or Early September. Participating in a few community events such as Doughnut Day at St. Helens Police Department fundraiser for Columbia Pacific Food Bank allows them the opportunity to share their music with their community. They are a true community choir with a strong past and a bright future.
“We are always looking for singers and non-singers who love to support the growth of the arts in Columbia County to join us as members. While the chance to sing in Carnegie Hall doesn’t come along every year, we believe the chance to sing and perform meets a valuable need in our community. It’s been shown in recent studies that singing is a very health-promoting exercise,” Alice commented encouraging the community to get involved.
Want to show your support the local singers? If you like to sign, join them for practice on Thursdays at 7:00 PM at The First United Methodist Church, 560 Columbia Blvd, St. Helens. They are a 501(c)3 non-profit so donations are tax deductible. Alice mentioned the goal for the trip to New York is to raise $2000-3000 to offset the costs of this trip. Some of the choir members are using personal funds to cover their expenses, however, the group is setting up an “Angel” fund to help offset the costs for members on fixed incomes. Alice hopes to have as many singers who want to go be able to make this trip. For most, it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
I’d venture to say, our community is proud of the group to represent not only Columbia County but Oregon. Go to their Facebook page to stay up to date.
St. Helens, OR- The mission has been the same even with the new name change to Accumulations a local nonprofit that assists adults in Columbia County to help get them back to work. The organization has changed names and locations in the past few years but it is always true to their mission of helping individuals receive on the job training working within a retail establishment.
My Next Step has changed their name to “Accumulations” and relocated to 1271 Columbia River Hwy, St Helens, OR. Accumulations is a 501c(3) nonprofit that offers a Job Readiness Training Center set in a resale & consignment store. The store raises money by reselling items and re-purposing items into something different for sale. This win/win mix helps the adults by providing in-class education and on-site job skills for participants of the Job Readiness program.
Shopping at the location helps the organization. Donating new to gently used items also helps the nonprofit. 100% of all cash and noncash donations are deductible and stay in this County.
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
Scappoose, OR- Every Spring, one thing is certain. That’s the opening of the Scappoose Farmers’ Market. May 21st marks the 14th Season open from 9:00 AM- 2:00 PM. This year you will find some of the favorites such as veggies, plants, and artisan gifts. You’ll find a few new things in the mix this year.
* Demonstrations focused on Art of Food Preparation using local ingredients, grant by Columbia County Cultural Coalition.
*Planting Ideas & Master Gardeners Tips
*Live Music courtesy of Columbia River PUD’s Community Grant
*Burrito USA using local fresh ingredients where possible
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.
Dreaming of a healthier you in 2016? If you are not as motivated as you’d like, try group exercise. Groups are a great for accountability, to make new friends, build self-confidence and meet your health goals. Columbia County has many group exercise options. After reading a community facebook post where locals bragged about the following exercise hot spots, I’ve complied a list of their favorites. I also wanted to share a few more if your New Year’s Resolutions is for a healthier you, if you are into that. If not, maybe just because it’s good for you.
Columbia City: Pacific Athletic Club. Racquetball, pickleball, and more just follow their facebook page.
St. Helens, OR- Have you heard about the Reindeer Run? It is a signature event in Columbia County. It happens the 1st weekend in December. This Saturday December 5th marks the 6th Annual Reindeer Run held at the Columbia River Four Square Church 555 Commons Drive, St. Helens. You can participate in the walk or run. 5K ,10k or half-marathon. It’s up to you which one you choose.
Money raised at this run is donated back to support community programs. The three chosen local charities benefitting from the run are St. Helens Police Reserves Academy, Toys for Tots Program and Columbia Pacific Food Bank. . Over the last few years an average of over $12,000 was raised each year.
Scappoose, OR- There is a new kid in town when it comes to a retail store in Columbia County located right across from Scappoose City Hall at 3355 Columbia Ave, Suite 113. Young or old it doesn’t matter, you can now entertain the “nerd” in you by stopping by to check out cards, comics and gaming. The Nerd Nest is the kind of place you can stop in for a little while to hang out or buy Disc Golf Sets to get some exercise.
The Nerd Nest is a unique retail venue in South Columbia County. To keep up with what’s going on “Like” their facebook page The Nerd Nest . Owners, Sean & his wife Jamie Lowry, have been open for 2 months. They have already partnered with another local business, NERDstaglia, Inc. to carry their Disc Golf Sets owned by Chris and Emily Emanuel.
Next time your looking for something to do. Stop by to grab a comic book or a new Disc Golf Set to go play at a local disc golf park such as McCormick Park in St Helens.
St. Helens, OR- English High Tea? Cucumber sandwhiches or tasty chicken curry sandwhiches, perhaps. Let’s not forget about the scones. Tea stirs up good conversation with loved ones.
Now, do I have your attention? New business Tea Time located at 165 N. 11th Street, on the corner of 11th and Columbia Blvd.,owner, Cindy Sutiff, invites you to join her for the Grand Opening Oct 30th along with a Ribbon Cutting by the South Chamber of Commerce at noon. Tea Time Open House 12-5 where you should check out her inventory of teas, homemade English treats and step back into the 1920’s at her new tea shop.
Cindy spent her time as a kid having tea with her grandma. It was a family event. It’s a tradition she wants to bring to Columbia County to share some of her own experiences with others. She opens Oct 30th with starting hours on Saturday and Sunday 11 to 5, with occasional Friday 11-5 . She has already started booking private parties and encourages you to come by for a cup of tea. She also loves to collaborate and is looking for artists to showcase their work on a monthly basis. Cindy believes in Shop Local and currently serves on the City of St. Helens Pedestrian and Biking Committee.
To follow Cindy on her journey as her business grows, please “like” her on Facebook.