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!
Scappoose, OR – Have you met Celeste Hardesty? She’s not your typical business owner and FinishLine Graphics (FLG) isn’t your typical business. Celeste Hardesty and her husband Todd started their first business in 2011 called Todd Hardesty Fabrication metal fab and cut vinyl. FLG business has expanded under the parent company Finish Line Technologies as their graphics business has exploded. In February 2017, the business moved to Scappoose as they simply outgrew their space. FLG located at 53303 Columbia River Hwy specializes in branding and marketing. They can create graphics, signs, printing, custom apparel, customized products and more. They can also wrap anything from cars to boats, stairs and more.
Once you meet Celeste you can tell she’s not like all the other business owners. She has Racing in her blood and it runs in her family. Celeste has both a passion for racing and a passion for design. When not working, Celeste likes to spend her spare time on the race track. She currently drives a Dirt Late Model Car. If you ask Celeste, she will proudly tell you, “I started racing when I was 5 years old sitting on my dad’s lap of an old Jeep. I raced jeeps and off-road vehicles until my family started Mud Drag Racing with the monster trucks when they 1st started. I got to grow up around Grave Digger and Big Foot when they 1st started.” She explained, “My parents met racing, so I have been in and around it forever. My dad built a special seat in the jeep for me as a newborn to go with on all the relay races. But I got behind the wheel officially when I was 5, racing barrels in our jeep.” Celeste also shared that her mom was bad @ss too. She was the 1st female mud drag racer on ESPN and one of the 1st female mud drag racers to compete in King Dome.” You could say racing is in her blood.
Celeste described how she graduated from one racing level to another, “When I went to college I met my husband Todd and he introduced me to dirt circle track racing. He bought me my first dirt car which I raced at River City Speedway in St. Helens in the Women’s division. After a few years, I finally got my championship and stepped up to run with the Sportsman division. My 1st race with “the boys” as I called it (but there were women competing) I ended up winning. The best part of it all was the fact that my husband had taught me over the years how to work on my car. He had required me to do it all if I wanted to race. So that win meant more to me than anything! I sold that car a few years ago and purchased a Dirt Late Model, which races throughout the tracks here in Oregon. I finished 3rd in points last year and now have my eye set on getting into a Dirt IMCA Modified. With my crew chief, Shawn Etheredge, helping me both last year and this year…. I look forward to the challenge of a very male dominant sport.”
The Racing Season started mid-April. Celeste is getting excited to get on the track, “but unfortunately my motor program (dad still builds my motors) is a bit behind this year due to the business taking a lot of my time and energy. I hope to have my Late Model motor back by the end of April to start running at Sunset Speedway, Willamette Speedway, and Cottage Grove. Our FinishLine facebook page will announce when the FLG car will be running, but since I am not running for points this year my schedule will be more sporadic with a bit of “let’s go have fun” attitude behind it.”
When she’s not racing, she’s helping her clients. Her racing clients bring their cars to get decals from all over Oregon. She can design and wrap just about anything from a car to a staircase. She can work with businesses or families on promotional products where she can print on just about anything creating the perfect customized gift for your clients or loved ones.
Stop by FLG and follow them on Facebook. #racing #carwraps #decals #FLGgrahics #flgwrap #customapparel #racingdesigns
St. Helens, OR – Established in 2000 as a 501(c) nonprofit, the Amani Center is a community-based assessment & treatment services center, that helps children who have been abused in a child-friendly setting to minimize trauma and raise awareness against child abuse. Every year since 2009, they have held a walk to promote Child Abuse Awareness in our communities as well as a fundraiser for the organization. This year marks the 9th Annual Race which you can support our children in our community by participating in a 5k, 10k or Half Marathon or if you’re not a runner join the 1 mile Walk on April 22nd, 2017.
Beth Pulito, Development Director, shared why this race is so important for Columbia County. Beth said, “Although this is an annual race, just recently we have been trying to consistently hold in in April, which is the National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This race gives us an opportunity to raise necessary funds to provide forensic interviews and medical evaluations to children of Columbia County suspected of abuse or neglect. It’s an event that allows participation and support from all ages and all levels of fitness, with distances from our 1 Mile Family Fun Walk to a beautiful and challenging Half Marathon. We have great volunteers who assist us in many facets of the event, supportive vendors who make our event run smoothly and fabulous sponsors and participants who see the value in supporting our mission and the children we serve. We see amazing growth potential for this event in the future and look forward to participants and partners collaboration to continue and evolve a long-standing race in Columbia County.’
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!
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.
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.
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