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.’
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.
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
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.
St Helens – St. Helens celebrates the Spirit of Halloweentown as an Annual Tradition. The 1998 Disney Channel orginal movie “Halloweentown” had scences shot in the Courthouse Plaza. Over the years, the city pays homage every October to the movie “Halloweentown” by redocrating the square complete with a Pumpkin Lighting to kick off the celebrations. The number of Halloween activities continue to grow always celebrating a beloved holiday by many who live in Columbia County. If Halloween is your thing, you will surely find a few activities to join in on the fun.
Local organizers recently announced Kimberly Brown, actress from the movie will be attending and acting as the Master of Ceremonies for Annual Pumpkin Lighting on Oct 10th at 7:30 at the Courthouse Plaza. See You Tube announcment from Kimberly Brown actress from Halloweentown.
Many local business will put up scarecrows to participate in the Scarecrow Contest to give you a fright and don’t forget about the “Taste of Terror” as local resturants have featured Halloween food/drinks. Many other Halloween related activities from the Pumpkin Lighting to a Monster Dash benefitting Veterans. a pumpkin carving contest and so much more which will take place Oct 10th-31st. To keep up with all the local activities and as more are being added follow the Spirt of HalloweenTown Facebook page. See below a snapshot of activities:
Oct 8th – Oct 16th – Drop off pumpkin at City Hall for Judging Oct 8th-Oct 16th. One day voting Oct 17th 11-3:00 PM. Cash prizes sponsored by St. Helens Arts Coalition Commission.
Oct 10th- Pumpkin Lightening – 7:30 PM with Lighting at 8:00 PM at Court House Plaza. Costumes welcome and treats will be provided.
Oct 10th- Monster Dash- 10:00 AM hosted by Rotary to support Veterans http://www.sthelensmonsterdash.com
Oct 10th- 1st Annual Dark & Dank Disco at Dockside 8 p.m. Old Town St. Helens Oregon – When it’s black outside and gloomy it’s time to throw a party. The spinning some tunes and dancing the night away. Bring a friend and be ready to get into the “spirit” of things. Wear a costume. Prizes and fun.
Oct 11th, 17th, 24th & 25th – Haunted Tractor Rides with photo opportunities allowing you to get on and off. Suggested Donation is to purchase a pumpkin. Open Saturday’s 11-3:00 PM and Sunday’s12-3 PM at the Courthouse Plaza. Costumes & Friends welcome.
Oct 31st – Little Spooks Halloween Trick or Treat – sponsored by the Chronicle starts at 7:30 PM downtown