Young & Restless

Kid-friendly activities that you’ll enjoy too.

Strawberry Shortcake Day at Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Crumbly shortcake, huge dollops of fluffy whipped cream, and heaps of sweet, summer strawberries…it’s a dessert that’s practically irresistible, especially in June, when local strawberries are at their peak of flavor. It’s so delicious, in fact, that the Cedar Creek Grist Mill is dedicating one whole day to this divine dessert. Strawberry Shortcake Day is happening from about 1 p.m. until about 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 24.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is a working museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only a few remaining 1800’s-era grist mills in the world. Bring the whole family any time during those hours to learn how the grist mill works and to eat shortcake made from whole wheat flour ground on-site using state-of-the-art 1876 technology. Guests are invited to take home free samples of flour (although donations are appreciated, as the mill is a non-profit operation) as well as Cedar Creek Grist Mill recipes so you can recreate Strawberry Shortcake Day at home.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is located deep in the woods east of Woodland, at 43907 N.E. Grist Mill Road. (Visit the Grist Mill’s website at www.cedarcreekgristmill.org for directions.) The mill is open on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m., showing guests the inner workings of an old-time grist mill with huge pulleys and spinning belts turning the heavy grindstones, all powered by the mill wheel. No gas or electricity are used—just the water in swift-running Cedar Creek. The mill produces flour, corn meal, and even apple cider. The mill hosts family-friendly events all year long, like Bread and Butter Day, Cornbread Day, Blueberry Pancake Day, and the incredibly popular Cider Press in October. To learn more, visit www.cedarcreekgristmill.org.

Steigerwald Eco-Blitz!

Get your hands dirty at Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge for this natural area’s first-ever Eco-Blitz from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 17. What’s an Eco-Blitz, you ask? It’s one-day event to document as many species as possible with the help of experts in different fields…and you! The event is free and open to all ages, and no experience is necessary, just a natural curiosity and a desire to help. Snacks and beverages will be provided.

The information collected from this event will be used as a baseline for what species currently live in Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge, important knowledge to have before beginning the refuge’s large restoration project scheduled to take place in 2019. It’s a “citizen scientist”-led treasure hunt to discover living organisms! Teams of volunteers will develop a “snapshot” of biological information in the refuge by counting and identifying plant and animal species using the iNaturalist app, cameras, and field guides. Brief training in species recognition will be provided, as will basic training on the iNaturalist app. Groups will be accompanied by scientists from many regional research and conservation organizations.

Even though it’s free, registration is required at Eventbrite or by clicking here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/steigerwald-lake-nwr-eco-blitz-tickets-33912550351?aff=eac2. Volunteers dress for the weather and bring water, sunscreen, bug repellent, hats, good walking shoes, and a smart phone or a camera. You definitely don’t need to stay for the whole day; you can sign up for one or more shifts/walks to search for specific kinds of plants, animals, and insects. Here’s the schedule:

  • 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.: birds
  • 7:30 to 9:30 a.m.: mammals
  • 10 a.m. to noon: insects
  • noon to 2 p.m.: reptiles and amphibians
  • noon to 2 p.m.: plants
  • 8:30 to 10:30 p.m.: bats and moths

Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge is located within the Columbia Gorge National Scenic area on the east end of Washougal at 35001 Lewis and Clark Hwy. (that’s Hwy. 14 to the locals). The event is hosted by Columbia Gorge Refuge Stewards and the US Fish and Wildlife Service with support from other local agencies and nonprofits. For more information about bio-blitzes, check out this link http://nationalgeographic.org/projects/bioblitz/ and this great video of the Forest Park bio-blitz https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7hV_tvnbWJ8.

Father’s Day Steam Train & Wine Run

The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will be bringing out the steam engine this Father’s Day Weekend, June 17 and 18. The train, pulled by a 1929 steam locomotive, runs south about seven miles to the Heisson area, through a 330-foot tunnel through solid rock, with a stop at Moulton Station to visit Yacolt Falls. Excursions depart at noon and 2:30 p.m. from the station in Yacolt, located at 207 N. Railroad Ave. Passengers should arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure. Reservations are recommended as space is limited, especially on Father’s Day. (…because seriously, who doesn’t love a train ride?)

Tickets are $20 per person, $19 for seniors, $15 for children five to 12, and $13 for little ones two to four. Babies up to age two are free! To buy your tickets and reserve your spot on this popular and scenic train ride, visit www.bycx.com or call 360-686-3559.

The railroad is offering another “steamy” option from 4 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 17, in conjunction with Moulton Falls Winery, 30901 N.E. Railroad Ave. in Yacolt. After some yummy appetizers served at the winery at 4 p.m., the steam locomotive will pick up passengers at 5 p.m., then continue on its scenic route through Heisson and on to a bridge across the East Fork of the Lewis River. On the return trip, the train will drop passengers back at the winery for dinner and festivities.

Tickets for the Wine Train package are available at Moulton Falls Winery during business hours or online at www.tickettomato.com. The price per person is $45, and includes appetizers, wine tasting, the train ride, a BBQ dinner, and live music from Full Circle until 9 p.m. This is another super-popular event, so purchasing tickets in advance of the day, while not required, is enthusiastically recommended.

Free Performance of Phantom Tollbooth at Vancouver Library

The Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy is offering three free performances of The Phantom Tollbooth TYA (with a shorter running time and a smaller cast) at the Vancouver Community Library at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 16, and again on Saturday, June 17, at 2 and 4 p.m. Adapted from Norton Juster’s beloved children’s book, the production tells the tale of Milo, his “watchdog” Tock, and a magic tollbooth. This inventive musical features a score by Arnold Black and witty lyrics full of wordplay by Pulitzer Prize and three-time-Tony-winner, Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof, She Loves Me). In case you’ve never read the book, here’s a plot teaser:

Milo is bored. Nothing interests him at all. The Phantom Tollbooth comes to the rescue and transports Milo to the Land of Wisdom, where he is thrust into adventure when he’s told that he must rescue Princesses Rhyme and Reason to bring peace between two kings. They are divided over which is more important: words or numbers. Knee-deep in danger, language and math along the way, Milo learns everything has a purpose. Upon his return home, he realizes there is never a reason to be bored in a world full of so many things to discover.

The cast of The Phantom Tollbooth TYA is part of the Metropolitan Performing Arts Broadway Jr. Program. This program allows beginning students the chance to gain acting, singing, and dance training, as well as providing performances opportunities. Metropolitan Performing Arts is a Vancouver based non-profit academy and community theater that offers professional, technique-driven classes in acting, dance, music, and theater tech. Its mission is to enrich the community by providing performance and educational opportunities in the live arts. For more information, visit www.metropaa.org.

The Vancouver Community Library is located at 901 C St. in downtown Vancouver. Free parking is available in the library’s parking lot.

Flag Day at Fort Vancouver

In 1949, President Harry S. Truman declared Flag Day a national holiday commemorating the nation’s flag as a symbol of the country, its history and ideals. Community members are invited to honor the U.S. flag at the annual Fort Vancouver National Trust’s 23rd annual Flag Day Celebration at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 14, at the Parade Ground Bandstand at the Fort Vancouver National Site (across from The Grant House, 1101 Officers Row).

Festivities include the National Pause for the Pledge of Allegiance and the annual Mayors of Clark County Patriotic Tie Competition, judged by local Boy and Girl Scouts. Corwin Beverage and Frito-Lay will provide complimentary refreshments. After the ceremony ends, kids can go to the Bandstand for lots of fun activities like drawing Washington’s state symbols, learning to sing patriotic songs, learning to march like a soldier, and learning how to be a landmark detective. Bonus for Brownies: Girl Scout Brownies can earn their Celebrating Community Badges by completing the activities.

Flag Day at Fort Vancouver is one of several free Celebrate Freedom programs organized by the Fort Vancouver National Trust. Celebrate Freedom is a series of educational programs and community events that inspire all generations to strengthen the community values of leadership, public service, patriotism, lifelong learning and vision. To learn more, call 360-992-1808 or email events@fortvan.org.

Above photograph taken by Robert Holcomb.

Free Kids Fishing Events in June

June is here and it’s time to grab a fishing pole! Gifford Pinchot National Forest and local partners will host free fishing events for kids and families on Saturdays, June 10 and June 24. Fishing rods and tackle may be available for kids to borrow and volunteers will be on hand to show kids how to fish. Fish cleaning will be provided. No need to sign up in advance—just show up! Here’s what’s happening, when, and where:

Saturday, June 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Mount St. Helens Kids’ Fishing Derby
The Mount St. Helens Kids’ Fishing Derby will be held at the day use area in Merwin Park east of Woodland.  This fun-filled event has 1,500 large rainbow trout in a netted-off section of Lake Merwin, waiting to be caught by kids. There will be loaner rods available for kids to use, worms for bait, and volunteers to show kids how to fish. Activities include a parade, storytelling inside a 40-foot-long inflatable salmon, face painting, an aqua-aquarium, boater safety, Gyotaku-Japanese fish printing on t-shirts, and button-making. Call 360-449-7800 for more information. Everything is free, including lunch!

Saturday, June 10, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Lewis County Kids’ Fishing Derby
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is a proud sponsor of the Lewis County Public Utilities District Kids’ Fishing Derby. Located at Lake Scanewa in East Lewis County, this kids fishing event has been encouraging new anglers over 20 years. Kids can fish for trout, have their faces painted, learn how to clean fish, and participate in a number of games and fish competitions.  or more information, call Lewis County PUD at 360-740-2449.

Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.: Kids’ Fishing Day at Goose Lake
The Mt. Adams Ranger District’s Kids’ Fishing Day will be held at Goose Lake along Forest Road 60. Bring your own rods and tackle to fish from the shore, although there will be some loaner rods, tackle, free bait, and fish cleaning provided for kids aged 14 and under. Volunteers and staff will help teach kids and their families how to fish and clean the trout to take home. Learn about fish and fishing during this great family day in the outdoors. Parking is very limited, so bring a friend and carpool. For more information about Kids’ Fishing Day at Goose Lake, contact Stephanie Caballero at 509-395-3419.

Kids age 14 and under can fish year-round without a fishing license, but teens and adults aged 15 and older must have a Washington State fishing license on their person while fishing and all state fishing regulations must be followed during these events. Washington freshwater sport fishing rules can be viewed at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington.

Creature Feature Reptile Zoo at a Library Near You

Steve’s Creature Feature is bringing his Reptile Zoo to Fort Vancouver Regional Libraries (plus some additional locations) all summer long. This is a fascinating, interactive, and educational reptile program for families with kids ages five to 12. This one-hour, hands-on presentation stretches beyond the scope of TV’s exciting wildlife programs with a live intimate look at some of the world’s most interesting creatures. Questions and responses are encouraged! There’s a “reptile petting zoo” and photo opportunities at the conclusion of every show. The best part? It’s free! Here’s the schedule:

Get Outdoors Day & Brigade Encampment

Get outdoors on National Get Outdoors Day (GO Day) at Fort Vancouver from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. GO Day is a free, family-friendly event promoting healthy outside activities. This local event brings together 40 city, county, and federal land management agencies, non-profits, and outdoor-based businesses together to introduce the public to hands-on outdoor fun, include fishing, archery, and rock climbing. Booths and food vendors will be lined along East 5th St., in front of Pearson Air Museum. Park rangers from Fort Vancouver will share a special interactive exhibit exploring the history of 19th century naturalists at the fort, as well as native flora and fauna.

The National Park Service’s annual Brigade Encampment in the Great Meadow (just north of E. 5th St.) re-enacts the return of the Hudson’s Bay Company fur brigades to Fort Vancouver, illuminating how day-to-day survival skills of trappers in the 1840s have become recreational pursuits today, and how our relationships to the natural world have changed over time. Costumed volunteers will demonstrate cooking, crafts, games, dances, and music of the 1840s. Black powder demonstrations of replica 1840s weaponry will also take place.

For more information, contact the park Visitor Center by calling 360-816-6230, or visit https://www.nps.gov/fova/learn/news/getoutdoorsday2017.htm. The Pearson Air Museum is located at 1115 E. 5th St. in Vancouver, on the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Admission to the reconstructed Fort will also be free on June 10.

Second Sunday at the Plankhouse

Second Sunday at the Cathlapotle Plankhouse happens from noon to 4 p.m. on the second Sunday of every month from April through October and includes Plankhouse tours and children’s activities, hands-on learning opportunities to learn about native Northwest peoples, and a guided hike. It’s free to attend and parking is just $3. The Plankhouse is located inside the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge at 28908 N.W. Main Ave. in Ridgefield. The next Second Sunday is June 11. There will be a special presentation at 1 p.m. about Native American stories in popular culture, followed at 2 p.m. by a naturalist-led ethnobotany hike where participants will learn more about types and uses of native plants.

Keynote speaker Dr. David Lewis will examine popular Native American stories in our region—such as the legend about Wy’east, Phato, and Loowit, key characters in a story about the formation of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. How do we know that this story actually has Indigenous origins? Is it possible that this tale isn’t Native at all? Lewis will take a closer look at several popular stories that are attributed to Native origins and examine the effects of “colonizing Native history.”

The Cathlapotle Plankhouse is a contemporary Chinookan plankhouse built to interpret the Chinookan village of Cathlapotle that existed on what is now the wildlife refuge. There are also ample wildlife watching opportunities on the River S Unit Auto Tour Driving Route through the refuge. Check the Friends of the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge website www.ridgefieldfriends.org for maps of driving routes and trails or contact Sarah Hill at sarah_hill@fws.gov or 360-887-4106.

Above image: Destany Reeves lounges in an entrance to the Planhouse. Photo courtesy of the National Wildlife Refuge System. To learn more, read this interesting article about how the Plankhouse links ancient Chinookan culture to our contemporary community.

Art Eruption: Day of Creativity at Mount St. Helens

Come up to the Science and Learning Center at Mount St. Helens, where you can join the “Art Eruption” on Saturday, June 10. Create art inspired by the amazing landscape and take home your own, very personal piece of Mount St. Helens. This day of creativity includes mixed media art workshops, kids’ art workshops, naturalist-guided walks, live music with Lewi Longmire and the Left Coast Roasters, and food. Photo scavenger hunts will also take place around the building throughout the day. Or, if you prefer, you can bring your own art project to work on: knitting, crocheting, drawing, painting—whatever makes you happy! Here’s the schedule of activities:

  • Mixed Media Art Workshops: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., $15 (includes event admission). Use ink, paint, and smoke to make a one-of-a-kind print to take home. The workshop will be guided by award-winning water media painters Susie Cowan and Lee Baughman of Art-Adventures.com. This workshop is best suited for youth 16+ and adults.  All backgrounds and skill levels are welcome. The workshop includes instruction and all supplies.
  • Youth Nature Art Workshops: noon to 1 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m., $10 (includes event admission). Explore drawing and painting natural objects such as insects, moss, and rocks to create one or more prints to take home. The workshop will be guided by scientist and nature artist, Natalie Tonn. This workshop is best suited for kids over age six. All backgrounds and skill levels welcome. The workshop includes instruction and all supplies.
  • Naturalist Guided Walks: 11 to 11:45 a.m. and 2 to 2:45 p.m.: Learn about the 1980 eruption from the ¼ mile Winds of Change Trail from a trained ranger or naturalist. The path is paved but has some steep sections. This is a family-friendly walk.
  • Crafts and Activities: all day! Create a shrink plastic necklace or window charm, card or banner (Father’s Day is coming), get nature themed face painting from 3 to 5 p.m., make a Mount St. Helens diorama, join the photo scavenger hunt, and take a photo in the photo booth station.
  • Lunch: Potato & Salad Bar, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., $7 for adults or $5 for kids, students, and seniors.

The Mount St. Helens Science and Learning Center is located at 19000 Spirit Lake Highway (Milepost 43.3, State Route 504) in Toutle. For more information, visit the event’s Facebook page, call 360-274-2114 or email rent@mshinstitute.org. You can also get more information about “Summer on the Mountain” events at http://www.mshslc.org/events/.

Above image: a happy participant in last year’s Art Eruption!

The Big Paddle

Canoers, kayakers, and stand-up paddleboarders who are up for a local expedition should meet at the Port of Ridgefield Public Boat Launch (5 W. Mill St.) on Saturday, June 3, for The Big Paddle. Choose from a two-hour interpretive tour that goes as far as the confluence with the Columbia River or a relaxing, recreational one-hour tour along Lake River. The festivities will get off to an auspicious start with a Chinook drumming and blessing at 9 a.m., then the two-hour tour leaves at 10 a.m., followed by the one-hour paddle at 12:30 p.m. You can also come early, at 7 a.m., for a waterfront breakfast at the Port of Ridgefield.

If you’re a landlubber who prefers to stay on the dry side of things, there’s plenty of things to do on solid ground: festivities include vendor booths, an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt around the Ridgefield area, live marimba music, a beer garden, food trucks, an obstacle course for all ages, First Saturday events including a Farmer’s Market in historic downtown Ridgefield, and walking along the paved waterfront path. End the afternoon with a bonfire and s’mores at around 3 p.m.

You can bring your own kayak, canoe, or SUP, or you can get a discounted rental rate by visiting Alder Creek Kayak, Canoe, Raft & Sup at www.aldercreek.com or calling 360-727-4520. There’s a $5 fee for the two-hour interpretive paddle (or $20 for groups of six), but the one-hour recreational paddle is free. Admission to the waterfront festival is free and there is plenty of free parking. Register for the interpretive tour at 8 a.m. on the day of the event or online at Eventbrite by clicking here. Register for the one-hour paddle at noon on the day of the event or register in advance by visiting www.aldercreek.com or calling 360-727-4520. For full event schedule and details, visit http://ridgefieldwa.us/event/big-paddle/2017-06-03/.
 

Bike Demo Day

Come and try out some bikes at Camas Bike and Sport from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 4! Norco Bicycles will be bringing in a fleet of their most popular full suspension 27.5″ and 29″ bikes, the same ones that have won numerous awards and incredible reviews. Take a free test ride on a few of their models! Upon request, they will have guides to escort you through the most appropriate and/or epic trail sections of Lacamas Lake Park and Fallen Leaf Lake. They plan to have the all-new Optic, Torrent, Revolver, Sights, and the Range on hand (and possibly more models). Dumonde Tech Racing Oils, Bicycle, and Firearms lubricants will also be there to offer drivetrain cleans to your current bikes, as well as product samples.

All that biking and looking at bikes will certainly make you hungry…so The Hungry’s Bakery will be there with yummy treats and drinks. Bring your drivers license, credit card, helmet, and your pedals (optional). The event location is 2610 Everett St. (State Route 500) in Camas. This is just a few hundred yards south of Camas Produce, and has direct access to Lacamas Park without hitting any pavement. The event goes until 4 p.m., but the last chance to check out a bike is 3:30 p.m. For more information, click here or visit www.camasbikes.com.

Above image: a Norco bike in action. For more great bike pics, check out Norco’s Facebook page.

GolfZilla at Camas Meadows

Camas Meadows Golf Club is hosting a free, fun kids’ event from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 3, featuring GolfZilla—the giant inflatable lizard-dragon modeled after everyone’s favorite Japanese megamonster, with golf-ball-sized holes strategically placed to give players something to aim at (or shoot it straight into GolfZilla’s mouth—he won’t care!). There will also be free practice available at driving range stations and complimentary ice cream for everyone.

While at Camas Meadows, kids and families can check out the latest youth equipment, practice with GolfZilla, meet Camas Meadows instructors, and get fitted for just the right size clubs. Find out about kids’ golf summer camps and other youth programs, or sign your young golfer up for lessons.

Camas Meadows is located at 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive in Camas. The event is free to attend and all ages are welcome. For more information, call 360-833-2000.

Brave the Shave: St. Baldrick’s Fundraiser

Join Cascade Middle School and The Quarry Senior Living to “Brave the Shave” in order to raise money for St. Baldrick’s Children’s Cancer Research Foundation. Individuals or teams volunteer to shave their heads—either partially or fully—or make drastic cuts to their hair any time from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, at Cascade Middle School, 13900 N.E. 18th St. in Vancouver. By collecting pledges from family and friends, your follicles can fund lifesaving cancer research.

This is a free community event—a full-on party with games, raffle prizes, food trucks, VooDoo donuts, and more. You’ll enjoy the fun of the Firsternburg Center DJ and have a chance to check out the other freshly shaved heads—all to raise money for children’s cancer research. If you can’t make the event, you can still donate online at www.stbaldricks.org/events/CCCC.

The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a volunteer-powered charity that funds more in childhood cancer research grants than any organization except the U.S. government. For more details about this event, go to the St. Baldrick’s website at www.stbaldricks.org and search for “Vancouver WA” or “Cascade,” or simply click here: https://www.stbaldricks.org/events/mypage/11991/2017. At the time of this writing, almost $7,000 has already been raised toward the $30,000 goal.

Camtown Youth Festival

Each year on the first Saturday in June—this year, that’s Saturday, June 3Camas Parks and Recreation hosts the Camtown Youth Festival at Crown Park. Admission is free and there’s a world of kid-friendly fun, including inflatables, a carnival, craft activities, entertainment, food, a kids’ art show, and a kids’ flea market.

Activities are practically endless, with everything from a scavenger hunt and soccer to hay rides and hula-hoop making, from origami to jugglers to martial arts to cake walks, from chalk art, juggling, and face painting to puppets, a petting zoo, hay rides, riding the mechanical bull, and playing in the bubble pool—plus about 30 other fun things that you can see if you click here and here.

The entertainment is family-style and just right for kids ages two to 16. Performers include school choirs, dancers, clowns, and bands on two stages that will be running during the entire festival. And when you get hungry, there’s hamburgers and hot dogs, burritos, kettle corn, Hawaiian ice, and pizza.

For more information, contact Krista Bashaw at 360-834-5307 or email kbashaw@cityofcamas.us.

Taekwondo Classes for Kids & Adults

Taekwondo is a non-aggressive and ethical system of self-defense and one of the country’s most popular martial arts. It’s also a great opportunity for families to get into fitness together, since this class is available to anyone over the age of seven—adults included!

Vancouver Parks and Recreation is offering beginner Taekwondo classes from 6 to 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday, and intermediate Taekwondo classes from 7 to 8 p.m., also on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both classes meet at the Firstenburg Community Center, located at 700 N.E. 136th Ave. in East Vancouver. (…and after you get all sweaty doing your high kicks, you can cool off in Firstenburg’s lovely indoor pool; there’s a public swim Mondays through Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 p.m.)

The first class meets on Tuesday, May 30. The cost is $92 to $106 per person. Register online for Taekwondo classes by clicking here or call Vancouver Parks & Rec at 360-487-8600

Audition for the STAR Talent Competition

Update: the dates of this event have been postponed until the fall. Auditions—originally scheduled for June—are now in September, and the show—originally scheduled for July—is on Oct. 18. The article below reflects the new, revised dates.

Got talent? Bring it on! Audition for STAR, Southwest Washington’s Premiere Talent Competition. The Kiggins Theater, in partnership with Metropolitan Performing Arts (MPA), is hosting an open call audition for entertainers of all ages. Singers, musicians, dancers, comedians and more will have two opportunities to impress judges. Auditions will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23, at Metropolitan Performing Arts in Hazel Dell. Performers should prepare an act that’s three minutes or less. A piano will be provided, if needed.

Semifinals will be by invitation at MPA. Fifteen acts will be selected from the semifinalists to participate in the finals, to be held at the Kiggins Theater on Oct. 18. Winners will receive cash and local prizes. Judging the finales include Corey Brunish (Tony Award-winning producer), Dan Wyatt (owner of the Kiggins), Barbara Richardson (Executive Director of MPA) and others.

To schedule an audition, call the Barbara Richardson at the MPA office at 360-975-1585. You may also find the event on the MPA Facebook page and sign up online. There is a $15 entry fee for individuals and small group, or $30 for groups of four or more. For more information about this and other MPA classes, events, and theatrical productions, visit www.metropaa.org.

Bread & Butter Day at Cedar Creek Grist Mill

Freshly baked bread is always a cause for celebration at our house…the rising dough, the waiting while it bakes, and the mouthwatering fragrance as it comes out of the oven. We slice it while it’s still warm and slather plenty of butter on it. Although it may have taken all day to make, it lasts only a few minutes. What if you could make that moment last all day long?

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill—a working museum listed on the National Register of Historic Places, one of only a few remaining 1800’s-era grist mills in the world—is offering just such an event, “Bread and Butter Day,” on Saturday, May 27, starting around noon. But wait, there’s more: they are upping the ante and also providing gallons of freshly churned, sweet cream butter. (Editor’s note: drool.)

From around noon to 4 p.m., families and especially kids will get the chance to churn cream into butter and spread it on freshly baked bread, baked from flour ground right on the premises, using the creek-powered mill wheel and state-of-the-art 1876 technology. Guests are invited to take home free samples of flour (although donations are appreciated, as the mill is a non-profit operation) as well as Cedar Creek Grist Mill recipes so you can recreate Bread and Butter Day at home.

The Cedar Creek Grist Mill is located deep in the woods east of Woodland, at 43907 N.E. Grist Mill Road. (Visit the Grist Mill’s website at www.cedarcreekgristmill.org for directions.) The mill is open on weekends from 1 to 4 p.m., showing guests the inner workings of an old-time grist mill with huge pulleys and spinning belts turning the heavy grindstones, all powered by the mill wheel. No gas or electricity are used—just the water in swift-running Cedar Creek. The mill produces flour, corn meal, and even apple cider. The mill hosts family-friendly events all year long, like Strawberry Shortcake Day, Cornbread Day, Blueberry Pancake Day, and the incredibly popular Cider Press in October. To learn more, visit www.cedarcreekgristmill.org.

Open Cockpit Day

Aviation lovers and aspiring pilots of all ages are invited to the Fort Vancouver National Trust‘s annual Open Cockpit Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, May 27, at the Pearson Field Education Center. The event and all activities are free, allowing visitors the opportunity to climb into the cockpits of vintage aircraft and experience the planes from a pilot’s perspective.

Pearson Field pilots and owners of aircraft stored at Pearson Field will bring out their planes and invite the public to sit inside and get a pilot’s-eye view of the controls. View historic planes up close and take a turn “flying” the Real Flight 7.5 simulator program on a large-screen TV. Additional activities will include the popular vertical wind table, glider-building station, the flight simulator lab, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) activities. Bonus: the Young Eagles Program of EAA Chapter 105 will sponsor free airplane rides for youth, ages eight through 17, with written permission from parents or guardians. Rides will be given on a first-come, first-served basis, weather permitting. Come early to claim your child’s spot!

Representatives from Aviation Explorer Post 1905 and the Civil Air Patrol will be on hand to talk to young people about becoming involved in youth aviation programs. Pearson Field Education Center is located at 201A E. Reserve Street. Parking for Open Cockpit Day will be in the field northeast of the airport along E. 5th St. between S and U Streets. The Civil Air Patrol will be on hand to direct parking. For more information about Open Cockpit Day and other Fort Vancouver National Trust Aviation Education Programs, visit www.fortvan.org/AviationEducation—and check out this year’s week-long summer aviation camps for kids, the first of which starts on June 27.

The Pearson Field Education Center is a program of the Fort Vancouver National Trust, a 501c3 nonprofit since 1998. Pearson Field Education Center delivers experiential, aviation-based STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs for youth. It is open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for youth and families to enjoy free activities.

Scenic Spring Train Rides

The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad is offering scenic spring train rides on Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, May 28, departing on both days at noon and 2:30 p.m. All trains leave from the Chelatchie Prairie Train Station at 207 N.E. Railroad Ave. in Yacolt, just south of Yacolt Rd. The excursion trains run to the Heisson area, through the tunnel, across the East Fork of the Lewis River with a stop at Moulton Station to visit the beautiful Yacolt Falls.

Tickets are $16 per person, $15 for seniors, $11 for kids ages five to 12, and $9 for little ones ages two to four. Babies up to age two are free! To buy your tickets and reserve your spot on these popular and scenic train rides, visit www.bycx.com or call 360-686-3559. Passengers should plan to arrive at the station at least 30 minutes prior to departure.