Sunday, July 31, 2011

Adventures of August

This is my monthly list of free and low cost events around the greater Portland area for August 2011.  I compile these lists for the homeschool group I belong to, which includes kids 9ish and under.  So if the event has some educational or cultural value and doesn't specifically exclude this age group, I include it.  Although my guest proofreader Toonces the Cat worked hard on this,  (Thanks, Toonces! Here's the car keys!)  mistakes, typos, and cancellations do happen, so please doublecheck anything you'd like to attend.

Berries are still big news at the pick-your-own farms, and many farms are just opening their blueberries for picking. Stone fruit, including peaches, plums, apricots, and nectarines will follow. Check or to find a farm near you! 

Portland Parks and Recreation continues their annual party in the parks, “Summer Free For All”, including free open swim times, and tons of movies and concerts in parks. This will include the Washington Park Summer Festival, August 4-13. There are some real gems on their list, and far too many to list here. For all the details, check out

The Reptile Man”, Monday, August 1, 12:30PM, and 2PM, Beaverton City Library Meeting Rooms A and B; Monday, August 1, 5PM, Beaverton Library at Murray Scholls; Wednesday, August 3. 2PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA; Thursday, August 4, 6:30PM, La Center Community Library, La Center, WA; Saturday, August 13, 2:30PM, Hillsboro Main Library; Thursday, August 18, 2PM, Scio Library, Scio, OR; Monday, August 22, 7PM, Albany Library, Albany, OR, and Wednesday, August 24, PM, Albany Library. “The Reptile Man has an extraordinary and outstanding array of snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises that have won the rapt attention of enthralled audiences throughout the Pacific Northwest for 20 years. Featuring 15-20 reptiles from diverse habitats at each presentation, these dynamic predators capture hearts of both young and old.” We think he’s got a really fantastic show. Get there early! 

Mr. Ben,” performing Thursday, August 4, 6PM, Couch Park, and Sunday August 7, 21, and 28 at 10AM in Kenton Park (donations requested). He also has regular gigs around town. They are Mondays at 5PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N. Mississippi Ave, Pdx., Tuesdays at 9:30 at Woodlawn Swap N Play, 704 NE Dekum St., Pdx ($5 for nonmembers); Tuesdays at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Avenue, Pdx, $3 per walking human, and Wednesdays at 10AM at Eco Baby Gear, 2122 SE Division Street, Pdx, $5 suggested donation. He introduces playing the ukulele to kids as young as 3. “Though most people know me as a performer, I think of myself first and foremost as an educator. Music education is the real motivation for why I do what I do. I believe that music should be and can be more accessible to all people. My primary goal is to eradicate the myth that some people are simply “non-musical.” We are all musical, and anybody can learn to play music. Yes, even you.”

Champoeg Old Townsite Tour”, Monday, August 1, 1PM. This park requires a $5 day use fee per vehicle. “Meet at the Townsite Trailhead near the Pioneer Mother's Memorial Cabin. In 1861, the town of Champoeg disappeared. Find out what happened.”

Magical Roosters and Sneaky Bats”, Monday, August 1, 11:15AM, Troutdale Library; Wednesday, August 3, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Wednesday, August 3, 1:30PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out at 1PM); Wednesday, August 3, 4PM, Midland Library; Friday, August 5, 3PM, Belmont Library; Saturday, August 6, 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); and Saturday, August 6, 3PM, Northwest Library. “Hear world traveler and author Dr. Margaret Read MacDonald share her favorite folktales from the lively spots she has visited. Margaret breathes life into traditional folktales, sharing them in exciting performances, using them to enable beginning storytellers, and publishing them in picture books and folktale collections.”

Let’s Read Math”, Tuesday August 2, 9, 16, and 23 , 1PM-3PM, Hillsboro Main Library, for grades 2 and 3. Preregistration required; from the library calendar page click on the specific session you’d like to register for. “Children entering grades 2 and 3 and their parent or guardian are invited to attend this 4-session series featuring books and math activities. Children and parents will read good children's books with math themes and then do fun math activities related to each book. Presented by the Hillsboro Chapter of the American Association of University Women. Registration is required on line or at the Library.” 

Van Oodles”, Tuesdays August 2, 9, and 16 at 10AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx, $5 suggested donation per person; Tuesdays August 2,9,and 16 at 12PM at Mississippi Treehouse, 3742 N Mississippi Ave., Pdx; Wednesdays August 3, 10, and 17 at 11AM and 1PM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx, $3 per walking human; Thursdays August 4, 11, and 18 at 10:30AM at The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx;, and Fridays August 5, 12, and 19 at 10AM at Café Au Play, 5633 SE Division St., Pdx. “From beat-boxing and acappella to funny accents and pitch-shifting, Van Oodles uses a range of vocal techniques and effects to bring his quirky cast of characters to life. More than just having fun, kids learn from Van Oodles songs because they can understand and visualize the lyrics: a bee stuck in the house, washing clothes on a Sunday, a ladybug taking flight.”

Leapin’ Louie Lichtenstein”, Tuesday, August 2, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA; “David Lichtenstein specializes in western comedy shows featuring his comedy cowboy character, Leapin’ Louie. He is a master of physical comedy, trick roping, fancy whip cracking, juggling, unicycling; a virtuoso of new vaudeville and alternative circus.”

Puckett Family Magic”, Tuesday, August 2, 11AM, Hoodland Library, Welches, OR; Thursday, August 4, 11AM, Meinig Park, 17670 Meinig Ave., Sandy, OR; Wednesday, August 10, 2PM, Woodland Library, Woodland, WA; “Puckett Family Magic provides a dynamic family illusion show for multigenerational audiences. Working together as a family, the Puckett’s award-winning talent combines flashy illusion, classy effects, humor, and an inspirational message into an unforgettable event. They have been featured on three continents and across the United States providing fun, family-friendly entertainment.”

More Than Just A Bee Movie”, Tuesday, August 2, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. “Are you afraid of bees? You won’t bee after learning about their magical ways with Brian Lacy, apiarist and bee enthusiast since the age of 14. This visual presentation is filled with filmed clips and stills that surround children with the sights and sounds of bees and explores the important relationship between humans and bees. After the presentation, children can taste honeycomb, look into a real hive (no bees) and handle equipment that beekeepers use in the field.”

Bike Trike Spoketacular”, Tuesday, August 2, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM). “Air-Rick, the inflatable car salesman, dreams of a Spoketacular bicycle that can take him far away from his dreary drudgery. Unfortunately, bikes these days do not quite fit his plastic body! Therefore, he embarks on a perilous quest to seek Bikey Spikey, the bike-building, half-unicorn, half-Pegasus Unisus! Join Air-Rick on his mission as he meets a cast of colorful characters in this interactive, all-ages musical puppet performance. The story includes important lessons about creative reuse and bicycling. Stick around after the show to meet Air-Rick, Bikey Spikey and many other Mudeye Puppet Company characters, all of which are made entirely out of recycled materials.” Mudeye has been a local treasure, but will be relocating to Boston at the end of the summer. You won’t want to miss their final shows! 

Jugglemania”, Tuesday, August 2, 7PM, Tigard Public Library Community Room; “Hilarity and dexterity collide as comedic juggler Rhys Thomas shares the books and tricks that have taken him to 17 countries. Warning: JuggleMania is catching!”

BJ’s Big Backyard Clown Show”, Tuesday, August 2, 10:15AM, Forest Grove Library; Wednesday, August 3, 3PM, Lake Oswego Library; Thursday, August 4, 11AM, Garden Home Community Library; Tuesday, August 9, 2PM, Sherwood Library; Tuesday, August 16, 7PM, Tigard Public Library; “Enjoy this fast paced comedy-variety-clown show with an exciting mix of magic, juggling, puppets, music, physical comedy and audience participation! BJ the Clown has performed over 1,500 comedy shows in public libraries for nearly 20 years. Nobody knows more than BJ about what makes children laugh!”

Seed Saving Workshop”, Tuesday, August 2, 6PM, Albina Library; Saturday, August 6, 10:30AM, Troutdale Library; Saturday, August 6, 3PM, Fairview-Columbia Library; Sunday, August 7, 2PM, Hollywood Library; Wednesday, August 10, 6:30PM, Kenton Library; Sunday, August 14, 12:15PM, Woodstock Library; Sunday, August 14, 3PM, St. Johns Library; and Wednesday, August 24, 6PM, Belmont Library. For adults, but useful for families who garden. “Saving seeds encourages diversity of plant species, preserves a tradition of cultivating heirloom gardens and allows you to share your garden legacy with your community. Join horticulturist Melissa Richmond, aka “The Garden Lady,” as she teaches this relatively easy and satisfying process! This program will cover topics including edible crops, beneficial garden flowers, proper germination techniques, and how to save seeds using items found in your own kitchen.”!vstc1=melissa-info/vstc0=about

Mid-City Breakers’”, Tuesday, August 2, 2PM, Sherwood Public Library. “Washington County's premier break dance crew specializes in blowing up the dance floor.” We checked them out, and they were great! Kids of all ages enjoy their show, but only if they don’t mind really loud music. 

Presto the Magician Presents, “Magic from Around the World”, Tuesday, August 2, 2PM and 4PM, West Linn Library; Wednesday, August 3, 10AM, St. Pius X Community Center, 1280 NW Saltzman Rd., Pdx; Saturday, August 20, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Community Room; Join Presto on an adventure as he travels the seven continents performing magic from around the world! Presto shares how books can take us from the Australian outback, to an Italian street café, and even on an African safari! You’ll laugh as Presto’s props play tricks on him, members of the audience are transformed into international characters, and objects disappear and reappear! This high-energy show is loaded with comedy and amazing international illusions!

Ballet Folklorico”, Tuesday, August 2, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin, OR. “The fluid movements and enchanting costumes of 22 dancers from Oregon will mesmerize you as they perform a variety of native dances from different regions of Mexico.” 

Steve’s Creature Feature”, Wednesday, August 3, 7PM, Vancouver Mall Library, Vancouver, WA; Tuesday, August 9, 7PM, Tualatin Lake Commons, 8325 SW Nyberg St., Tualatin, OR; and Wednesday, August 17, 11:30AM, Atkinson Church, 710 6th St., Oregon City (please use parking lot entrance); “Explore the amazing world of reptiles with Steve! If you want to experience reptiles up close and personal, this program is for you. From geckos that defy gravity, to snakes that are longer than your dad's truck, Steve's amazing creatures will fascinate and thrill you.” This is definitely well worth your time. Steve is wonderful! 

West Coast Estonian Days”, Wednesday, August 3-Sunday, August 7, various locations. Music, dance, and a Rahvapidu (folk picnic) are some highlights.

Watermelon Seed Spittin’ Contest”, Wednesday, August 3, 3PM, Cornelius Library. "Free, open to all ages. Prizes! Fun!"  Too ridiculous not to include.

Mr. Lizard”, Wednesday, August 3, 3PM, Hillsdale Library; Thursday, August 11, 1PM, St. Johns Library; and Saturday, August 20, 3PM, Midland Library. “Entertaining children and adults alike with his mobile reptile zoo, Mr. Lizard provides an interactive, hands-on experience like no other. He shares fun, fascinating information on these amazing, though often misunderstood, animals. Mr. Lizard and his animals have appeared in various TV shows, movies and in print including The Late Late Show, CMT, Animal Planet and Harper's Bazaar.”

Music on Main Street”, Wednesdays through August 31, 5-7PM, outside at Portland Center for the Performing Arts, 1111 SW Broadway, Pdx. “Music on Main Street is your FREE outdoor concert series in the heart of downtown Portland- located between Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall and Antoinette Hatfield Hall, on Main Street (at Broadway). The outdoor concert venue will be decked out for summer enjoyment, including a full bar and food menu. Restaurant and bar open at 4:30PM. All shows are free and open to the public- tickets are not needed.” See their website for complete details on each performer:

Storytime on the Farm”, Wednesdays through August 31, 10AM-11AM, Luscher Farm, 125 Rosemont Rd., Lake Oswego, OR, free, no preregistration required, suggested for ages 3-8. “Join Luscher Farm staff for a weekly story time on the farm, followed by a short tour of the Children’s Garden. Parents must accompany children. Bring a picnic and enjoy some time with your children at the farm after story time.”

Evening Guided Walks”, Wednesdays in August, 7PM-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free. “Evenings are a great time to explore Tryon Creek State Park. Explore the park with a Friends of Tryon Creek Naturalist as the sun is going down and observe the changes that come with nightfall. Each week we will focus on a different topic. These walks are free and appropriate for all ages.” August 3: Batty About Bats; August 10: Owls of Tryon Creek: August 17: Insects of the Night; August 24: Night Creatures; and August 31: Frogs and Salamanders.

Bat Chat Night Hike”, Wednesday, August 3, 7:30PM-9:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. Free, preregistration required. “Signup for a free, night hike led by trained naturalists to experience the bats of Tryon Creek up close and personal. We will talk about the amazing adaptations that allow bats to survive. We will be walking in groups to the creek and the meadow to listen to echo locating bats with the Bat Detector. Parents must accompany children on all hikes.” 

Comic Book Workshop”, Wednesday, August 3, 1PM, Jessie Mays Community Center, 30975 NW Hillcrest St., North Plains, OR, suggested for 3rd through 8th grades. “Want to learn how to draw your own comics? This workshop is for you! Come expand your artistic skills in this workshop with tips and How To's!!” 

Vel-Crow and Hazel’s Wacky World Tour”, Wednesday, August 3, 3PM, Holgate Library, and Friday, August 5, 10AM, Lot 13, N. Mississippi Ave. and N. Shaver St., Pdx, $5 per person. “Vel-Crow and Hazel set out on an exciting world tour to sing the praises of creative reuse and learn about other cultures. Their journey is full of imaginative characters, lively sing-a-longs and some interesting facts about how to make things from recycled materials, like toys! Join Hazel and Vel in their homemade flying machine for the ultimate puppet adventure. This puppet show is appropriate for all ages. It runs 25 minutes with an additional 25 minutes of meeting Mudeye's unique puppets up close.” Mudeye is moving to Boston in the fall, so don’t miss one of their final shows! 

Mo Philips”, Mo has regular gigs every Thursday at 10:30AM at Milagros Boutique, 5433 NE 30th Ave, Pdx, $3 per walking human; Friday at 10 AM at Sound Roots, 3954 N Williams Ave., Pdx, $5 suggested donation per person; and Thursday, August 11, at 6PM at Mississippi Pizza, 3552 N Mississippi Ave, $5 per family, as well as Sunday, August 14, and Sunday, August 28, 10AM at Flying Cat Coffee, 3041 SE Division St. “Mo performs interactive shows that respect the intelligence of young people with wit and irreverence, without being strictly scatological. This is music built for kids and parents alike! Mo does not dumb down lyrics or melodies for kids to "understand", and therefore sings about things whole families can appreciate. A fine, distilled blend of Americana, Soul and Blues, while not being afraid of a poppy hook or straight rockin' out.”

Mad Science Presents, “What Do You Know About H2O?”, Thursday, August 4, 3PM, Belmont Library; and Tuesday, August 9, 2:30Pm, Capitol Hill Library. “Did you know that of the vast amount of water on our planet, only 1% is fresh and drinkable? Did you know that a silent toilet leak can waste up to 7,000 gallons of water per month? Come and shake it up with the Mad Scientist as you learn all about the amazing attributes of water while focusing on the importance of conserving this precious resource!” We love Mad Science, and this is actually one of their more entertaining shows. Two words…dry ice!!! 

Tom Question Show”, Thursday, August 4, 11AM, Three Creeks Library, Vancouver, WA. “Family style comedy, juggling, and stilt-walking with audience participation.” 

Curtis Carlyle: Seriously Funny Juggling”, Thursday, August 4, 4PM, Washougal Library, Washougal, WA; “With a style all his own, Curtis fuses world class juggling skills and fresh, innovative comedy. Curtis offers 10 to 60 minutes of side-splitting comedy, juggling, and audience participation.”

Jay Frasier”, Thursday, August 4, 2PM, Ledding Library of Milwaukie. Jay Frasier is “comedian, magician, and balloon storyteller.” 

Rhythmic Opera Worldbeat Percussion”, Thursday, August 4, 1:30PM, Estacada Library, Flora Community Room. “Thomas Shroyer entertains his audience by weaving musical performance with stories, myths, humor, and history of rhythm. From world percussion instruments to household found objects, Thomas colorfully demonstrates the unlimited possibilities of rhythm. In his travels through many rhythmically rich cultures such as Cuba, India, Morocco, and Spain, Thomas gained first hand musical experience playing and collecting his instruments. After many years of learning various rhythms and techniques, Thomas discovered that many of the same rhythmic ideas can be applied to playing a water bottle or a mason jar or even a hubcap. Thomas playfully and humorously integrates these various techniques into his performance.”

Scrap Heap Puppet Laboratory”, Thursday, August 4. 10:30AM, Sellwood-Moreland Library. “Join the Mudeye Puppet Company in their never-ending mission to make puppets out of salvaged materials. In this workshop, you will bring your own creatures to life from cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls and bike tubes. Make them walk, talk and fly under the master tutelage of Mudeye Director Bruce Orr. All materials provided.” Mudeye is pretty amazing, and moving to Boston at the end of the summer. Don’t miss them! 

Kids in Nature”, always the 3rd Sunday of every month (August 21) and now offered Thursdays in August, 10AM to 11:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park, $10 per child, suggested for ages 4-7. Preregistration required: August 11: Water Striders; August 18: Banana Slugs; August 21: Meadow Dwellers; and August 25: Rabbits. Tryon Creek has some of the best nature education programs around, and their Kids in Nature program is excellent!

komedy 4 da kids”, Thursday, August 4, 11AM, Forest Grove Library; Thursday, August 18, 9:30AM, Gladstone Center for Children and Families, 18905 Portland Ave., Gladstone, OR. “Angel Ocasio presents a bilingual and interactive performance combining physical comedy, juggling, balancing and magic.”

Be Creative With Origami”, Thursday, August 4, 2PM, Hillsboro Main Library. Suggested for ages 5-12. “It's the year of the rabbit! Learn to make paper creatures using origami paper folding techniques.” 

Tikki Tikki Tembo”, Friday, August 5, 11AM, Canby Library; ““Don’t go near the well, you will surely fall in,” warned the mother of two young boys. The two brothers played near the well, they walked on the well and Chang fell into the well. Oh no! Can his big brother get help in time to save him? Whew! Yes, the old man with the ladder got there in time. But what happened when Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo, with his great long name, fell into the well? Don’t miss the fun as Tears of Joy Theatre puppeteer Emily Alexander performs this beloved story by Arlene Mosel.”

Gem Faire”, Friday, August 5, 10PM-6PM, Saturday, August 6, 12PM-6PM, and Sunday, August 7, 10AM-5PM, Washington County Fairgrounds, $7 per adult, kids 12 and under free. The Gem Faire is more focused on beads, but rock hounds will find much to delight in, including fossils.

Clark County Fair”, August 5-14, Clark County Fairgrounds, 17402 NE Delfel Rd., Ridgefield, WA. 

Water Wonders at Blue Lake”, Friday, August 5, Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, 20500 NE Marine Dr., Fairview, OR, next to the water spray area. Parking $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Explore how precious water helps plants and creatures thrive, and how to protect it from pollution. Discover exciting activities such as lake creature explorations, water critter origami, water cycle card making or fishy potato stamp printing. Ages three and up. Adult supervision required.”

Around the Campfire at Oxbow’, Fridays and Saturdays at 8:30PM, Oxbow Regional Park. Every summer, Oxbow has a series of wonderful nature-themed talks and performances at the campground. They say unequivocally on their website that the gates are shut and that non campers are not welcome to join. However, last year I doublechecked with Metro staff, who checked with the park rangers, and was told that this was a mistake. They said that non-campers are welcome as long as they make absolutely sure to inform the ranger at the gate, upon arrival, and the rangers at the performance that they will be leaving afterward, so that the gate can be opened when it’s time to drive home. Check out their list of presentations here: I recommend bringing a flashlight to help you find your way back to your car after the performance. 

Itty Bitty Beach Buddies”, Friday, August 5, 3PM, Gregory Heights Library (Registration required, register online here.) “Local artist Dawn Grunwald will teach you how to reuse wool sweaters to create tiny stuffed sea creatures. Brightly colored fish, smiling seas stars and silk jellyfish will emerge from fabric scraps, buttons and beads. All materials provided, but please bring a pair of sharp sewing scissors if you have them. Hand sewing experience helpful but not required.” This is suggested for all age groups, but bear in mind that completing a project mostly requires hand sewing. 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Friday and Saturday evenings, August 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7PM, and Sunday August 7 and 14 at 2:30PM, Theatre In The Grove, 2028 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove, OR. All tickets $3. These productions have adult directors, but all the rest of the talent, onstage and off, is supplied by kids. “Theatre in the Grove’s CAST Playhouse is proud to present a special one hour long family version of William Shakespeare’s comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Directed by TITG veteran John Anderberg, this delightful version of Shakespeare’s play has been specially adapted for families. The enchanting story of magic and mix-ups, fairies and fools is retold with young actors from TITG’s CAST Playhouse.”

Zoo Animal Presenters”, Friday, August 5, 1PM, Hillsboro Shute Park Branch, and Thursday, August 11, 2PM, Scott Park next to the Ledding Library of Milwaukie (weather permitting). “Reptile? Mammal? Bug? Meet some surprise visitors from the OR Zoo! Get a close-up look at these animal ambassadors and learn about adaptations that help them survive in the wild.” 

Rice NW Museum Summer Festival”, Saturday, August 6, 9AM-6PM, and Sunday, August 7, 9AM-4PM, Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland Drive, Hillsboro, OR. Free with admission, which is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids 5-17, and free for ages 4 and under. “Great family activity! Dealers (jewelry, petrified wood, fossils, crystals, minerals, etc.), demonstrations (faceting, geode cracking, thunderegg cutting), silent auctions, kid’s activities (bingo, ball toss, coloring, sand sifting for treasures, rock wall, prizes!), free hot dogs for kids 17 and under, hourly drawings!”

Family Bug Class and Hunt at Graham Oaks”, Saturday, August 6, 10AM, Graham Oaks Nature Park, 11825 SW Wilsonville Rd., Wilsonville, OR. $6 per adult, $11 per family, kids under 18 free. Preregistration required, you can register here: or call 503-797-1650 option 2. “Summer time is bug time. Insects and other arthropods are busy everywhere, which is why Bug Fest is every August. This program for all “bugsters” ages 6 and up introduces ways to make sense out of the vast diversity of arthropods – insects, spiders, crustaceans, millipedes and centipedes. Then it’s time to go hunt for them. Carefully and humanely catch live bugs at Graham Oaks, and then bring them to Arthropod Headquarters and try to figure out what they all are. Can you do it? Metro naturalist and Bug Fest creator James Davis heads up Metro’s volunteer bugster team. All specimens returned to their habitat. Meet under the picnic shelter at the Gateway Plaza Trailhead.” 

Obonfest”, Saturday, August 6, 3PM-9PM, Oregon Buddhist Temple, 3720 SE 34th Ave (at Powell), Pdx. Free. “Obon is an annual Japanese festival commemorating one's ancestors. Join us for food, gifts, entertainment and dancing. This year's Obonfest features -- Food items: yakisoba, yakiniku, yakitori, shave ice, manju, chirashi sushi, beer garden, soft drinks, Spam musubi
. Program: Tanuki Taiko, Portland Taiko, Martial Arts Demonstration, Temple Talks, Bon Odori (public dance)
Vendors: Michiko Selby (Oshie art using chiyogami paper), Miwa McCree (massage), Kaori Oya (Shiatsu massage), Hiroshi Ogawa (Japanese Pottery), Margie Yap from Sweet Persimmon (handmade purses and meditation products), Karen Fullerton (notecards and art), Kinokuniya Bookstore (Japanese books, music, misc items) Others: Omiyage shop, T-shirt sale, children's corner, raffle.”

The Great Oregon Steam-Up”, Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 7AM-6PM, 3995 Brookdale Rd. NE, Salem, OR. Admission $10, seniors $8, children under 12 free. “The Great Oregon Steam-Up is the largest event at Antique Powerland during the year and involves all of the museums and many other participants. One of the unique aspects of the event is that most of the equipment is operating. A parade takes place each day at 1:30PM and includes vintage tractors, trucks, and automobiles. The steam powered sawmill operates twice a day and the trolley tours the site perimeter all four days of the show. Learn about the early machinery that made Oregon work. Hear about innovators and manufacturers of the past. Machines include farm tractors and implements, early engines, crawlers, fire apparatus, vintage trucks and cars, logging gear, an early Oregon flour mill, and an authentic steam sawmill. Rides include an historic trolley and a miniature railroad. Scheduled activities: Machinery demos, sawmilling, flour milling, fire apparatus demos, harvesting, kids pedal tractor pulling, traditional tractor pulling, and a Big Parade! Blacksmithing, a country store, models, early electricity exhibit, miniature farm display, children's passport program, swap meet and flea market sales, country music, and great food!” The sheer magnificence of this event is hard to overstate. It’s very easy to get there, as it’s practically next to I-5. It does get quite hot, so bring water bottles for everyone, sunhats, and sunscreen, and plan to arrive early before the hottest part of the day. 

Iranian Festival”, Saturday, August 6, 10AM-5PM, South Park Blocks, Portland State University (next to the farmer’s market). “This is a great opportunity to spend a few hours together, enjoy a beautiful summer day with friends and family, listen to live music, dance, play games, taste delicious Iranian cuisines, and more. As always we have special activities for kids, book fair, local business exhibits and nonprofit tents.”

Living History Village”, Saturday, August 6, and Sunday, August 7, 12PM-5PM, Oregon Country Settlement, 73370 East Buggy Trail Drive, Rhododendron, OR, behind the Still Creek Inn. Free admission and parking. "Take a journey back into time with Cascade Geographic Society in their special living history village known as the “Oregon Country Settlement”. Here, on beautiful Mount Hood and located along the Oregon Trail, the sights, sounds, and smells of frontier life can be revisited once more as interpreters in period clothing takes you on a unique journey of history and wonderment. Amongst this cluster of protected historic buildings and wilderness shelters, the 1840’s is alive and well. View life as it once was as you visit the “Wilderness House”, the “Trading Post”, the “Blacksmith Shop”, the “Wash House”, the “Spirits House”, the “Parlour”, the “Community House” (school and church), the “Cook’s Shack”, the “Pantry Building”, the “Mess Hall”, the “Carpenter’s Shop”, the “Stables”, the “Hermit’s Shack”, the “Tyee Bear Lodge”, the “Smoke House”, the “Bell Tower”, the “Native American Storytelling Lodge”, and other unique structures. Purchase pioneer foods like Oregon Trail Buffalo Stew and Frontier Biscuits, fire-brewed Barlow Trail Coffee, and hot Mount Hood Apple Cider, listen to great traditional Native American flute and old-time music, Oregon Trail and Native American storytelling, try your skill at throwing knives and tomahawks, and take advantage of our gift shop where Huckleberry Jam and other goodies awaits you along with history and nature books, nickel postcards, and a whole lot more. A great family experience!” (Click on “Tour Schedule”, then click on “Living History Village”). 

Original Practice Shakespeare Festival presents, “Twelfe Night". Free. Saturday, August 6, 2PM, George Rogers Park, Lake Oswego; Sunday, August 14, 1PM, Gresham Arts Plaza, Gresham, OR; Saturday, August 20, 2PM, Esther Short Park, Vancouver, WA; and Sunday, August 28, 1PM, Laurelhurst Park, Pdx. "We perform the way Shakespeare's own actors did, in the open air, in natural light, with minimal sets, and with great, fast-paced, energetic acting and lots of audience interaction!" Complete schedule of shows and a fascinating explanation of their methods on their website:

“Home Skills Day”, Saturday, August 6, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.”

“Dawson Creek Bird Walk”, Saturday, August 6, free, preregistration required. “Who knew, an industrial park near the Hillsboro Airport is a bird-watching hot spot? Wildlife expert and naturalist Elaine Murphy knew! The ponds, streams, and native plantings in this park abut crops and grassland and create attractive habitat for birds and easy-to-access sites for birders. Songbirds, waterfowl, and raptors are likely sightings on this free bird walk. We’ll meet at the Beaverton Backyard Bird Shop (11429 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, Beaverton) at 8:00 a.m. on August 6, and then carpool to the start of the walk. The walk will last 2 - 3 hours. Advance reservations are required—we limit the number of participants to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and educational experience. Some of our walks do fill up, so phone the shop (503-626-0949) to reserve your spot as soon as you can! Dress for the weather! And, please, no pets!” 

Guided Walks at Leach Botanical Garden”, Every Saturday, 11AM-12PM, meeting in front of the manor house at 6704 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx. Check out what's blooming and explore different sections of the Garden with your volunteer guide. For the walk on August 13, our gardener, Courtney Vengarick, will be leading the tour. These seasonal walks are free and appropriate for all ages.

Tour of Hoyt Arboretum”, Saturdays in August, 10AM, at Hoyt Arboretum, 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Pdx. $3 per person. Meet at the visitor’s center, no registration required. “Come learn about the rich history of Hoyt Arboretum and collection specimens, and get up close and personal with the trees. Proceeds from the tours go to support collections activities and tree maintenance. The purchase price of a tour can be applied to the purchase of a Hoyt Arboretum membership.”

Portland Actors Ensemble presents, Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, all shows free. Saturday, August 6, 7PM, Maryhill Museum, 35 Maryhill Museum Dr., Goldendale, WA, (near the sculpture garden); Sunday, August 7, 3PM, Lynchwood Park, SE Haig and SE 174th Ave. between Division and Powell; Saturday August 13 and Sunday, August 14, 3PM, Washington Park, SW Washington Way, in the lower park, just north of the Holocaust Memorial (not in the amphitheater); Saturday and Sunday, August 20 and 21, 3PM, Gabriel Park, SW 45th Ave and SW Nevada Ct., past the tennis courts; Saturday, August 27, 3PM, Marylhurst University, 17600 Pacific Hwy (99W in Lake Oswego) on the Knight’s Green in front of the BP John Administration Bldg.; and Sunday, August 28, 3PM, Concordia University, at the amphitheater near NE 28th Ave. and NE Holman.

Guided Nature Walks”, Saturdays, 10AM-11:30AM, Tryon Creek State Park. “Join a park ranger for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at Tryon Creek State Natural Area. Topics will vary from week to week but will be appropriate for all ages. Parents must accompany kids on all hikes.” August 6: Wildflower Walk; August 13: Creek Critters; August 20: Tryon Tour of the Bridges Part 3; August 27: Our Feathered Friends.

Junior Ranger Program”, Saturdays and Sundays in August, 1-2PM, Tryon Creek State Park, free. For ages 6-12. “Join a park ranger and learn how you can help protect our natural resources, plants and animals. Participating in nature games, nature crafts and park explorations will help junior rangers earn their badge. Parents MUST sign a permission slip before children participate. We strongly encourage you to participate with your children.” Each day features a different topic. August 6: Map and Compass; August 7: H2O Quality Control; August 13: Crayfish; August 14: Ladybugs; August 20: Ethnobotany- Plants for Medicine; August 21: Ethnobotany-Plants for Fiber; August 27: Composting; August 28: Banana Slugs and Sundaes- Junior Ranger Celebration!

Around the World in Song!”, Saturday, August 6, 10:30AM, Albina Library. “From Mexico to West Africa, Austria to Japan and beyond, we celebrate similarities and differences with people through their traditional music. Join songwriter Greta Pedersen as she explores the music of different cultures by playing her guitar and amazing percussion instruments from around the world including Thai frogs, a Guatemalan bamboo drum, an African gourd shaker and South American goat toenails!”

Beaverton Modular Railroad Club”, Saturday, August 6, 10AM- 4:30PM, and Sunday, August 7, 1PM- 4:30PM, Beaverton Library Meeting Rooms A and B. “Drop by this weekend and visit with members of the Beaverton Modular Railroad Club. The club will have models set up for viewing and be available to answer questions about this fascinating hobby.” 

Native American Art”, Saturday, August 6, 1:30PM, Tigard Library Puett Room. Suggested for ages 5-11. Preregistration required. Please stop by the Children's Desk or call 503-718-2656 for details. “Explore the beautiful art of Northwest Native American jewelry make a "choker necklace" with instructor Cece Whitewolf.” 

The Alphabeticians Play the ABCs!”, Saturday, August 6, 2PM, Fairview Park Bandstand, south end of NE Village St. near Fairview City Hall; Sunday, August 7, 10AM, Flying Cat, 3041 SE Division, Pdx, Wednesday, August 10, 10:30AM, Hollywood Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM); Tuesday, August 9, 11AM, Garden Home Community Library; Wednesday, August 10, 3PM, Kenton Library; Saturday, August 13, 2:30PM, Capitol Hill Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM); and Sunday, August 21, 10AM, Flying Cat, 3041 SE Division, Pdx. Mr. Hoo, half the duo, will also play regular gigs every Thursday at 10AM at Flying Cat 3041 SE Division, Pdx, and Friday, August 5, 12, and 19th at 10:30AM at Milagros, 5433 NE 30th Ave., Pdx ($3 suggested donation per person). “The Alphabeticians play "Kindie Rock" music that is fun for the whole family! They combine humor, clever (mostly original) songs, and interactive elements in their shows as they sing about numbers, sizes, dads, metaphors, bags, monsters, extinct fish and the alphabet. Adults will have as much fun as the kids!”

Story Stew”, Tuesday, August 9, 10:30, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 10AM). “Master storyteller Courtney Campbell performs stories and songs from around the world. This program shares the story of a beloved queen who has become ill. No one has been able to heal her until two children come along and offer her some story stew. The ingredients? Funny and inspiring stories from around the world!”

Oxbow Adventures: Junior Ranger Day”, Tuesday, August 9, 10:30AM-12PM, Oxbow Regional Park, 3010 SE Oxbow Pkwy, Gresham, OR. $2 per participating child plus $5 day use fee per vehicle (bring exact change if possible). Suggested for ages 5-10. “Become a Junior Ranger by learning how to protect and preserve Oxbow Regional Park. Learn to share important information about wildlife, plants and the river with friends and family. Earn your Junior Ranger badge and take part in a project working to help real park rangers. Suitable for ages 5 to 10. Meet at the Alder Shelter (group picnic area A); arrive at the park entrance by 10:15 a.m. to get to the area on time.” 

Animal Adaptations”, Tuesday, August 9, 1PM, Troutdale Library. “Join a naturalist from the Columbia Slough Watershed Council to learn about how various birds, animals and fish have adapted to live in some of our local environments. Take a close-up look at some real specimens, pelts and skulls of local animals!” 

Marcy Houle”, Tuesday, August 9, 7PM, Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, Pdx. “Marcy Cottrell Houle presents from the latest edition of her guide to Portland's Forest Park, One City's Wilderness. Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world and the only city wilderness in the United States. The park is home to hundreds of native plants and animals and offers more than eighty miles of trails -- all within minutes of downtown Portland. In her updated and expanded book, Houle shares the history of the park, introduces people who fought to preserve it, explores the role stewards play today, and presents twenty-nine hikes with full-color trail maps. The book includes a fold-out color map of the entire park and more than eighty color photos of native plants, birds, and more.” This is an indispensible book for anyone wanting to explore Forest Park. 

Build Your Own Terrarium”, Wednesday, August 10, 3PM, Troutdale Library (registration required, register online here); and Thursday, August 18, 2PM, Midland Library (registration required, register here). Suggested for grades K-5. “What is a terrarium? It is a miniature garden that you can grow inside of a glass container. Join professional gardener Ruth Hampton in building your own terrarium with the beautiful sedum flower. You will learn all about taking care of your plants and watching them grown inside. Each family will have their own terrarium to take home after class.” 

The Art of Anime and Manga: Japanese Style Animation and Cartoon Drawing”, Wednesday, August 10, 3PM, Holgate Library (free tickets will be given out at 2:30PM). Suggested for grades 3 and up. “Artist Yuki Martin will show you how to draw your favorite Japanese anime characters, such as Pikachu, Totoro, and more. This introductory class will teach participants to sketch manga-style illustration as well as to create your own Japanese-style cartoon characters.”

Magician Bob Eaton”, Wednesday, August 10, 11:30AM, Pioneer Community Center, 615 5th St, Oregon City, OR (in the basement-please use Washington St. entrance). Bob Eaton puts on a good show! 

Around the World in Search of Stories”, Wednesday, August 10, 2:30PM, Woodstock Library (free tickets will be given out at 2PM). “Put on your helmets and climb aboard your imagination-cycles as you head off on a trek around the world in search of stories. Pedal across the Pacific on the way to Asia, travel through the Middle East en route to Africa, then across the Atlantic to South America. Along the way, professional storyteller Alton Chung will share stories and legends of sharks and volcanoes, folktales of mischievous rabbits and clever children, and tales of folly and wisdom. After a fun-filled journey, you will come pedaling home with lots of adventures to share with your friends and family.”

Bethany Let’s Go Legos!”, Wednesday, August 10, 1PM-2PM, and 2PM-3PM. Terrace Plaza Community Room, 15220 NW Laidlaw Road, Pdx. Suggested for ages 5-8, attend only one session, please. “A drop-in program for kids ages 5 to 8 who enjoy building with Legos, playing games and having fun!”

Pink Pig Puppet Theatre”, Wednesday, August 10, 3PM, Lake Oswego Library, and Thursday, August 11, 9:30AM, Gladstone Library. "Trickster Tales from Around the World, three tales of trickery you won't want to miss!” Steven Engelfried, the performer, is a local children’s librarian of note who is currently heading the 2012 Newberry Award committee for the best children’s book award. More about him here. So we can clearly tell he knows a good story when he hears one- I have high hopes for the show! 

Tie-Dye Blast!”, Thursday, August 11, 2PM, West Slope Community Library. “Express your inner flower child! Transform your plain whites into something unique. Bring something white and 100% cotton, such as: a pillowcase; socks; underwear; a t-shirt.” 

Fools in Paradise”, Thursday, August 11, 7PM, Cedar Mill Community Library (Weather permitting, the concert will be held outside, across the library's parking lot, in the plaza next to Walgreen's and The Libertine Deli and Cafe.) “Fools in Paradise is an eclectic 6-person group performing a variety of music on African instruments. Our traditional Zimbabwean mbira (kalimba) songs will transport you to another time and place. Our rousing marimba music from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana and Guinea creates an energetic, danceable sound. Our original material combines African melodies with moving and thought-provoking lyrics. Saxophone, congas, djembe, electric bass kalimba, shakers and vocal harmonies round out the sound. Joyful, upbeat music!”

An Evening of Irish Music with Innisfree”, Thursday, August 11, 7PM, Hillsboro Main Library. “The musical duo of Brenda Searcy and Jim Lowenhertz present a variety of Irish songs, including jigs, reels and ballads, played and sung. Show includes some historical background about each song. All ages welcome.”

Animals Around the World”, Thursday, August 11, 3PM, on the lawn in front of the Beaverton City Library. Tualatin Hills Parks and Recreation District Mobile Nature Park. 

Sreevidya Chandramouli and Family - A South Indian Musical Legacy”, Friday, August 12, 7PM, Tigard Public Library Community Room. “Explore the classical sounds of the veena, a stringed instrument from South India with roots dating back more than 3,000 years. Sreevidya Chandramouli, a tenth-generation veena player, and her family ensemble will perform classical music from the region accompanied by the two-headed traditional drum called mridangam.”

Animal Activities at Blue Lake”, Friday, August 12, Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, near the water spray ground, 20500 NE Marine Drive, Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Come see what creatures visit a garden and how they help it grow. Find animal footprints, see what brings butterflies and how to help birds eat better. Enjoy fun activities such as critter rock painting, animal origami, potato stamp footprinting and wildlife journaling.”

Perseid Meteor Shower Star Party”, Friday, August 12, 9PM-‘til ?- Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park, $5 parking per vehicle or a State Park pass. “The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is getting ready for its largest star party of the year on August 12, the Perseid Meteor Shower Watch! Stargazers will be meeting at both Rooster Rock State Park and Stub Stewart State Park at 9 p.m. to watch and enjoy the wonder of the Perseid Meteor Shower. The event is sponsored by OMSI, the Rose City Astronomers, the Vancouver Sidewalk Astronomers and Oregon Parks and Recreations. Timing is not precise, but according to the American Meteor Society, the 2011 peak is expected on August 12th at around 9:00 p.m. PDT (0400 hours UT on August 13). There is some uncertainty, so it’s very worthwhile to observe on either side of this time. The OMSI Star Parties will be held on the night of August 12 and into the early morning of August 13. Estimate peak rates for this year's Perseid is near 60 for those under transparent rural skies. Those under dark but hazy skies should still be able to see 30-40 Perseids per hour. Those under urban skies will be lucky to exceed 20 per hour. Unfortunately, this year will have the full moon on August 12 and will be a factor for viewing the fainter meteors of the Perseids. While viewing the Perseids, we will look at the Moon, Saturn and later Jupiter. As a bonus, the International Space Station will be visible on the same night. There is no formal registration for the event itself, just show up and enjoy the evening. You don’t even need a telescope to participate; other members are enthusiastic to share their views. This is a good opportunity for beginners to get acquainted. Come and observe your favorite objects and spend a wonderful evening with friends, and friends you haven’t met yet.” If you are planning to go, be sure to call 503-797-4610 #2 after 3PM on the day of the Star Party to make sure they’ve determined that the skies are clear enough for this event to happen. Lots more info here: This is simply magical! It will likely be quite crowded, so I highly recommend getting to your park of choice hours ahead of time and enjoying a lovely stroll and a picnic before the meteor shower begins. 

Brick Builders”, Saturday, August 13, 10:30AM, Beaverton City Library. “Come and make a monthly connection as we create, build and challenge with all things LEGO. Registration is required. Please phone (503)350-3600 to register or sign-up in person at the Children's Desk on the first floor of the library. Registration begins one month before the session.” 

Northwest Fossil Fest”, Saturday, August 13, 10AM-4PM, Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Minerals, 26385 NW Groveland Drive, Hillsboro, OR. Free with admission, which is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for kids 5-17, and free for ages 4 and under. “View local area fossils, learn how to collect them yourself, kid’s activities, fossil identification, and more!” 

Oregon Miniature Aircraft Squadron RC Air Show”, Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, 9:30AM-4PM, OMAS Flying Field, Banks, OR, $5 parking. “Join the hundreds of visitors and aviators for an exciting weekend of amateur to expert demonstrations of aircraft and watercraft. It’s a great time to get a close and personal insight into the sport of radio control model aircraft. Bring the whole family. Enjoy the day with selections from the picnic menu at the snack shack. Shaded area and seating provided.”

Grain Harvest Day”, Saturday, August 13, 1:30PM-3:30PM, Champoeg State Park. Free with $5 day use fee per vehicle. “Come explore the sights and sounds, smells and flavors of 19th-century French Prairie life, and experience the history and spirit of Champoeg with the help of our volunteer costumed interpreters.”

Reptile Expo”, Saturday, August 13, 10AM-4PM, Holiday Inn, 25425 SW 95th Ave., Wilsonville, OR. Admission $7 adults, $3 kids 6-12, 5 and under free. $1 off coupon here: This is a really great way to see hundreds of amazing reptiles and amphibians up close! 

PDX Adult Soapbox Derby”, Saturday, August 13, 10AM, Mt. Tabor Park. A free physics lesson?

Big Truck Day”, Saturday, August 13, 10AM-2PM, Conestoga Recreation Center, 9985 SW 125th Ave., Beaverton, OR. Free. “It's a great hands-on experience for the entire family. Come and sit in the monster trucks, game truck or ride the lift into the McDonald's truck for toys (limited supply) admire many types of trucks and vehicles up close. Learn about safety, win prizes, hang out with Geoffrey, Chuck E. Cheese, and Sassy Suds mascots. Many vendors will participate!”

Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway”, Saturday, August 13 8AM-10AM, 19101 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Pdx, free. “Join a Park Naturalist for Morning Bird Walks at Wapato Access Greenway on Sauvie Island. These informal walks will focus on bird identification, behavior, and exploring resident bird populations. They will occur the second Saturday of each month. This event is free to the public and pre-registration is not necessary. Bring your binoculars, a water bottle, and expect to have a great time!”

Arts Festival In The Forest”, Saturday, August 13, and Sunday, August 14, Mary S. Young Park, 19900 Willamette Dr., West Linn, OR. This is a delightful arts festival in a gorgeous setting. A big highlight is four free performances by A-WOL Dance Collective, doing acrobatics in the trees. A-WOL offers classes in aerial arts to adults and kids beginning at age 2!

"Sand Castle Contest", Saturday, August 13, Taft Beach at the end of SW 51st. St., Lincoln City, “Registration begins at 12PM on the dock. Food donations will again be accepted for the Lincoln City Food Bank.” You need one or more nonperishable food items as your entry fee to participate, and it’s free to watch.

Lone Fir Cemetery Guided Walking Tour”, Saturday, August 13, 10AM-12PM, entrance at SE 26th Street between Stark and Morrison Sts, Pdx. $10 suggested donation. “Come for an informal history lesson while enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery in SE Portland. Friends of Lone Fir Cemetery conducts monthly tours, highlighting Portland’s founders, pioneers, its famous and infamous alike, as well as interesting headstones and monuments. Come visit this hidden jewel! Explore 30 acres of mature trees, a very special rose garden and fascinating architecture in this unique place, the only cemetery in Portland listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Suitable for all ages. No advance registration required. Meet in the center of the cemetery, at the soldiers’ monument.” Lone Fir was the first public cemetery in Portland, and a tour is a must for anyone learning about local history.

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge Bird Walk”, Saturday, August 14. Free. Preregistration required. “Portland is known as a livable city but did you know fish and wildlife find it livable too thanks to places like Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. Join expert naturalist Elaine Murphy as she takes you on a free bird walk through Portland’s own urban wildlife refuge. Its location at the base of Oaks Bluff and next to the Willamette River’s Holgate Slough and Ross Island result in rich and varied habitat: uplands, wetland, riparian, and open water. And that means great bird watching! We’ll meet at the Lower Boones Ferry Backyard Bird Shop (16949 SW 65th Ave, Lake Oswego) on August 14, at 8 a.m. Advance reservations are required—we limit the number of participants to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and educational experience. Some of our walks do fill up, so phone the shop (503-635-2044) to reserve your spot as soon as you can! Dress for the weather! And, please, no pets!” 

"Cathlapolte Second Sunday Series: Traditional Technology Day", Sunday, August 14, 12PM-3:30PM, Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, Cathlapotle Plankhouse, Carty Unit, 28098 NW Main Ave., Ridgefield, WA. Free with $3 day use fee per vehicle. Demonstrations will include ravenstail weaving with John Beard, Chinookan style carving with Greg Robinson, Chinookan lifeways with Greg Archuleta, flintknapping with Dennis Torresdal, and mat-making with plankhouse volunteers. Children's activities will be included.

Knights of Veritas”, Tuesday, August 16, 12PM, Estacada Library, Flora Community Room; Tuesday, August 16, 3PM, Troutdale Library; Wednesday, August 17, 12PM, Lake Oswego Library; Wednesday, August 17, 3PM, DeWitt Park, 1805 SW DeWitt St.; Thursday, August 18, 1PM, St. Johns Library; Thursday, August 18, 4PM, Sellwood Community Center, 1436 SE Spokane St.; Saturday, August 20, 1PM, Central Library (free tickets will be given out at 12:30PM); and Saturday, August 20, 3:30PM, Capitol Hill Library. “Knights of Veritas performs interactive shows using medieval arms, armor, combat, knighthood and chivalry. Through thrilling demonstrations of historical combat techniques, they will introduce the code of chivalry and demystify common fanciful misrepresentations of the Middle Ages. The program includes authentically weighted and detailed steel swords and armor to provide an eye-opening experience for the audience. Exciting hands-on sharing allows participants the rare opportunity to handle the weapons and try on the armor!” These are seriously cool shows. A must for learning about medieval history, with an emphasis on strict historical accuracy. 

Clackamas County Fair and Rodeo”, Tuesday, August 16- Sunday, August 21, 694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, OR.

Bubble Painting”, Tuesday, August 16, 12PM, Rockwood Library. “Bubble, sprinkle, splatter! Learn strange new painting techniques to create your own underwater pictures with artist Addie Boswell. Draw with water-soluble crayons and pencils and try blowing bubbles, rolling marbles, and shaking salt for different effects. These washable experiments are perfect for ages 4-8.”

Family Campfire Adventure”, Tuesday, August 16, 6:30PM-8:30PM, Tryon Creek State Park. $10 per family, preregistration required. “Join park naturalists as we learn about the adaptations of nocturnal animals. We’ll challenge ourselves to hike without our flashlights as we rely on our night vision. After our hike we’ll sing some fun camp tunes, and enjoy the campfire with smores for dessert.”

Who’s In Hare’s House?”, Wednesday, August 17, 3PM, Holgate Library. “This enchanting play, performed by Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre, is based on a Bantu folktale from East Africa about Sungura the hare. Upon arriving home, Sungura finds there is an unwelcomed visitor in his house. Find out how he and his animal friends help him drive this 'monster' out!”

Japanese Origami Demonstration”, Thursday, August 18, 2PM, Canby Library. “Presented by Okinawa exchange students.” 

John Bell”, Thursday, August 18, 7PM, Annie Bloom’s Books, 7834 SW Capitol Hwy., Pdx. “‘On Mount Hood: A Biography of Oregon’s Perilous Peak’ is Jon Bell's contemporary, first-person narrative biography of Oregon's greatest mountain, featuring stories full of adventure and tragedy, history and geology, people and places, trivia and lore. The mountain itself helps create the notorious Oregon rains and deep alpine snows, and paved the way for snowboarding in the mid 1980s. Its forests provide some of the purest drinking water in the world, and its snowy peak captures the attention of the nation almost every time it wreaks fatal havoc on climbers seeking the summit. On Mount Hood builds a compelling story of a legendary mountain and its impact on the people who live in its shadow, and includes interviews with a forest activist, a volcanologist, and a para-rescue jumper.”

RiverFest”, Friday, August 19, Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, various locations on the glorious Willamette. “RiverFest offers a family-friendly chance to come down by the riverside, get out on the water, take river tours, enjoy live music, learn first-hand about the river's history and environment, clean-up the riverbank, and view river spectacles. Popular attractions from last year return, including The Freshwater Trust Portland Triathlon, Portland Audubon events, the Festival at South Waterfront, Kayak Tours, and the SOLV Cleanup. We have also added many new and exciting events for the whole family to enjoy. Join us this summer to celebrate the river on the river.” A detailed calendar of events here: 

Charles the Clown”, Friday, August 19, 4PM, Midland Library; and Thursday, August 25, 1PM, St. Johns Library. “Charles and his puppet side-kick, Biscuit the Dog, plan a visit to three cities around the globe. As they travel from place to place, Charles and Biscuit tell stories and recite poems about the places they see and the people they meet. This hilarious routine is performed entirely in the funniest comic rhyme; each story includes fun magic tricks, physical comedy and lots of laughs!”

Heartstrings- Civil War in Story and Song”, Friday, August 19, 7PM, Tigard Library Community Room. “Help commemorate our nation's Civil War Sesquicentennial year. Through the music and stories of the late 1800s, Nancy and Rob Downie will provide a glimpse of our nation 150 years ago.”

Oregon International Air Show”, August 19- 21, Hillsboro Airport. This is really something special! I highly recommend getting advance tickets to avoid long, long delays at the gate (although, since it is an air show, you can still see the acts while waiting in line…). Last year we went to the evening show, and we really thought that having the acts follow one another in quick succession, rather than having them spaced out throughout the day, was much more kid-friendly, plus the fireworks and pyrotechnics were excellent!

Soil Superheroes at Blue Lake”, Friday, August 19, Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, near the water spray ground, 20500 NE Marine Drive, Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per vehicle, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Discover how worms help plants, beetles beat bad bugs, fungi fertilize soil and how other wild creatures can help your garden grow. Dig in to an active worm bin, find “fossils” in the ground, make clay beads or create other cool soil crafts.”

Community Music Center Open House”, Saturday, August 20, 12PM-5PM, Community Music Center, 3350 SE Francis St., Pdx. Free. “You are invited to our Community Open House! Stop by CMC for an afternoon of fun-filled, engaging, and free activities! Try a new instrument; sample a new class in early childhood, piano, and strings; hear students, faculty, and alumni perform; meet our faculty and staff; create your own instrument; scale the rock climbing wall.”;jsessionid=5526EBF604223AF491024EA4613D6794?event=147 

Hood River Gravenstein Apple Celebration”, Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21. “Gravenstein season is short and we celebrate the harvest with a weekend full of special activities. Enjoy family fun including BBQs, u-pick, baby alpacas, apple dumplings, apple jam and more.”

Meet Scouter Mountain”, Saturday, August 20, 10AM-1PM, Happy Valley. Suggested for ages 8 and up. Free. Preregistration required, call 503-797-1650 option 2 or register online here: “Rising 700 feet above the valley floor, the new Scouter Mountain Natural Area provides a forested oasis and an interesting vantage point on the surrounding community of Happy Valley. Someday soon, the property will feature new trails, restrooms and a picnic shelter. For now, a sneak preview gives you insight into the birds, blooms and volcanic inspiration that made the mountain what it is today. Bring binoculars or borrow a pair onsite. Suitable for ages 8 and up. Directions provided with registration.” 

Johanna Wright”, Saturday, August 20, 2PM, Green Bean Books, 1600 NE Alberta St., Pdx. “Beloved, local author and artist, Johanna Wright will visit Green Bean Books on Saturday, August 20th at 2pm to share her new book, Bandits! It's a charmingly artful story about a family of mischievous raccoons. You will not want to miss this one!!!”

India Festival”, Sunday, August 21, 11AM-9PM, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Pdx, free. "India Festival is filled with tastes, sounds and sights of India. Come down and enjoy live music, dancing, food and entertainment throughout the day. Get a glimpse of India and its subcontinent’s culture, history and people. Whatever your vision of India is you will be pleasantly surprised to discover the real India at this festival. Attend with your family and friends to get a taste of Indian Culture for FREE and get a glimpse of this growing, warm and welcoming community."  

Sauvie Island Bird Walk (Oak Island Trail)”, Sunday, August 21, free, preregistration required. “Stroll the Oak Island trail on a free expert-guided walk with naturalist Elaine Murphy. Situated between Sturgeon and Steelman Lakes on Sauvie Island, this grassy peninsula and its towering oaks offer stellar birding opportunities. Expect to see grassland, upland, and riparian species. We’ll meet at the Northeast Portland Backyard Bird Shop (1419 N.E. Fremont Ave.) at 8:00 a.m. on August 21, and then carpool to the start of the walk. The walk will last 2 - 3 hours. Advance reservations are required—we limit the number of participants to ensure that everyone has an enjoyable and educational experience. Some of our walks do fill up, so phone the shop (503-445-2699) to reserve your spot as soon as you can! Dress for the weather! And, please, no pets!” 

The Land That Rock Forgot”, Tuesday, August 23, 2:30PM, Northwest Library, and Wednesday, August 24, 1PM, Gresham Library. “The ultra high-tech Brian Waite band is on their way to a gig in Silly-con Valley, when their plane crashes on a remote island. Their high-tech musical instruments now useless, the band begins a quest to rebuild their sound. Along the way, they meet other castaways from around the globe who teach them about their native music and instruments. Armed with this knowledge, the band creates a new “back-to-earth” sound, which quickly wins the heart of the king, who offers them a home. But will the band return to their high-tech world or remain on the island? See for yourself during this rock and roll adventure!”

Ventriloquist Steve Taylor and Rudy”, Tuesday, August 23, 2PM, Vancouver Community Library (new location at 901 C Street). “Come in and see this wonderful ventriloquist, comedy show. For all ages.”

Earthquake and Tsunami Threats in Oregon”, Thursday, August 25, 7PM, Hillsboro Main Library. An adult program that may fascinate your kids- you will know if it would be too scary. “Oregon is as much at risk for catastrophic earthquakes and tsunamis as Japan. Join geologist James Roddey from the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries as he explains why Oregon is in jeopardy and what we can do to prepare.” Mr. Roddey was the subject of a recent story in the Willamette Week:

Festa Italiana”, Thursday, August 25, Friday, August 26, and Saturday, August 27, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Pdx. “The celebration is held in the later part of August beginning, like all Italian festivals, with a celebratory Mass at Saint Mary's Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, located at 1716 NW Davis St, Portland. The mass is celebrated in Italian on the Saturday night preceding the week of activities in Pioneer Courthouse Square. A reception with authentic Italian desserts follows in the church hall. The next day, Sunday, is the Invitational Bocce Tournament, located at Cedarville Park (home of Club Paesano) 3800 W Powell Loop in Gresham, Oregon. Bocce is played in the authentic Italian way with all its color and excitement. Admission is free with food and beverages available for purchase on the grounds. On Thursday night, Pioneer Courthouse Square becomes "Piazza Italia" throughout the weekend and culminating on Saturday evening. A piazza is the focus of every Italian village, and such will be the case at Festa Italiana. "A Concert in the Piazza" comes alive on Thursday night with local opera musicians performing arias and ensembles from Italian operas. The food court and wine gardens are open on this evening. Opening ceremonies are at Friday noon followed by a grape stomp competition and pizza toss. An array of Italian entertainment from the United States, Canada and sometimes Italy perform non-stop for the three day event. Providing Italian food at modest prices are several fine Portland Italian restaurants, along with a wine garden featuring Italian wines, beer and San Pellegrino Waters. Several participating Italian-American organizations, which make up the Festa Italiana Association, have merchandise booths featuring an assortment of Italian products. A raffle for valuable prizes, including a trip to Italy, will take place on Saturday evening. Admissions to all Festa events are free.” There will also be puppet shows for kids.

Snail People!”, Thursday, August 25, 6:30PM, Canby Library. They will also be performing on Saturday, August 27, 10:30AM, at The Warehouse, 3434 SE Milwaukie Ave., Pdx. Tickets are $3, best purchased in advance, and each ticket includes a coffee/tea/hot chocolate at the show. They will be filming a promotional DVD at this show. “As a duo, Snail People play a wide variety of instruments and combine musical sophistication, harmony vocals, and an exuberant sense of fun. They will inspire with their mixture of electric energy, welcoming presence and originality.”

Plant Explorations at Blue Lake”, Friday, August 26, Saturday, August 27, and Sunday, August 28, 1PM-5PM, Blue Lake Regional Park, 20500 NE Marine Dr., Fairview, OR. Parking fee $5 per car, program free. Suggested for ages 3 and up. “Learn how seeds travel, stems sprout, plants grow, or how flowers make fruit in a beautiful children's garden. Enjoy fun activities such as potato printing, bookmark making, flower origami or leaf rubbings.”

Oregon State Fair”, Friday, August 26- Sunday, Sept. 5. At the state fairgrounds in Salem. All the details here:

Annual Mt. Hood Huckleberry Festival and Barlow Trail Days”, Friday, August 26, 8AM-7PM, concert 7PM-10PM; Saturday, August 27, 8AM-7PM, concert 7PM-10PM; and Sunday, August 28, 8AM to 5PM, Mt. Hood Village, 65000 E. Route 26, near the village of Brightwood. Free admission and free parking. “The Mount Hood Huckleberry Festival and Barlow Trail Days celebrates 
the rich bounty of natural resources found in the Northwest and on Mt. Hood. 
It is also a celebration of Native American and Oregon Trail history. 1840's Oregon Trail emigrant Samuel Welch founded the Village of Welches in the western foothills of Mount Hood in 1880. By 1890 he had modified his two-story farmhouse into a hotel to go along with the campground he had built two years earlier. To celebrate, he decided to hold an annual festival to celebrate the birth of tourism on this Mountain that the Native Americans called Wy’East. This pioneer celebration survived up until the realities of the Great Depression in the 1930's forced it to come to an abrupt halt. Then 27 years ago the Cascade Geographic Society revived it and started out with a table in a parking lot trying to get people to remember this Mountain's great heritage. Today, we are celebrating our Twenty-Seventh Anniversary. The festivities include free historical tours of the Oregon Trail, original and traditional Folk music, arts and crafts, antiques and collectables, historical and natural resource exhibits, and more. One of the highlights is the World’s Record-Breaking Watermelon Launch (Saturday afternoon), where catapults and other uniquely-designed contraptions launch watermelons and other produce into outer space. There are lots of delicious Huckleberry Pies and Tarts, Huckleberry jams and sauces and a selection of other Wild Berry jams, even fresh Huckleberries. There's a Native American Salmon bake, Native American storytelling, flute music and drumming, a "Huckleberry Ceremony", and much, much more, including "Great Northwest Music" featuring incredible singer-songwriters all day long, with a "Huckleberry Friday Evening Concert" between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., a "Huckleberry Saturday Evening Concert" between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. There will be something for the whole family!

Cornbread Day”, Saturday, August 27, 1PM-4PM, Cedar Creek Grist Mill, Woodland, WA. Donations accepted. “Taste samples of the best cornbread in the world. Take home the recipe and the cornmeal and make your own. Visitors will be greeted and given a "Working Tour" of how this mill still works today. Huge pulleys and belts spinning above and below are turning and churning to produce flour, corn meal and even apple cider (the last Saturday in October). These samples are given to the visitors for take home and a first hand experience of the products. No gas or electricity are used, simply mother nature's water power. All that work here are volunteers and are more than happy to explain how this process works to any and all.”

Know Your Place: Oregon Humanities Event at Scouter Mountain”, Saturday, August 27, 3PM-5PM, Happy Valley. Free. Advance registration required; call 503-797-1650 option 2 or register online here: “Oregon Humanities and the Metro Natural Areas Program are bringing provocative people and ideas together on a few of the 11,000 acres that voters have protected across the Portland metropolitan area. Performance artist Linda K. Johnson leads participants in engaging with the natural environment through walking, stillness, writing and observation. Working both individually and in small groups, participants bring their deep attention to various elements of Scouter Mountain, with the intention of coming to know it kinesthetically, intellectually and aesthetically. Location provided with registration. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring water and a picnic, if you’d like.” 

International Bat Night”, Saturday, August 27, 7:30PM-9PM, Audubon Society of Portland,5151 NW Cornell Rd., Pdx. “Please join us at the Audubon Society of Portland to celebrate International Bat Night, a global event highlighting these fascinating animals. Cris Hein, from Bat Conservation International, will present slides of dozens of bats from Oregon and across the world, and discuss topics such as: where bats live, what they eat, and why they are important. Following the presentation, Cris will lead an outdoor “bat walk” into Audubon’s Pittock Sanctuary and use an acoustic detector to listen for Oregon bats. The walk involves a downhill dirt trail with uneven footing. Bring your flashlight. RSVP required. Call Audubon Nature Store between 10am and 6pm at 503-292-9453 and leave your name and phone number.”

Silver Falls Star Party”, Saturday, August 27, 9PM-12AM, Silver Falls State Park’s Old Ranch, free with $5 per vehicle day use fee. “Join park staff and astronomy club members for a night of stargazing. Learn about constellations, nebuli, and other heavenly sights. View them through many different sizes and styles of telescopes.”

Bug Fest 2011”, Saturday, August 27, 11AM-4PM, Tualatin Hills Nature Park, 15655 SW Milikan Way, Beaverton, OR. “Buzz on into Bug Fest where there are exciting opportunities to learn about bugs of all shapes and sizes. Activities and educational displays at this year’s event will highlight bugs that drive humans buggy. Discover how mosquitoes, wasps, and flies contribute to the ecosystem and ways that humans and bugs can get along. Bring a bug to be identified by an expert!”

Annual Dahlia Festival”, August 27, 28, 29th, and September 3, 4, and 5, indoor Display Hours 10 am to 6 pm, field Hours 8am to 6pm, Swan Island Dahlias, 995 NW 22nd Ave., Canby, OR. Free admission and parking. “A must see for the dahlia lover, or if you just love flowers. View over 400 floral arrangements of dahlias in our two indoor display rooms. These displays vary in size from teacup to floor to ceiling extravaganzas!! This is the largest display put on by one grower anywhere in the United States! Floral arranging demonstrations and talk on dahlia culture, take place, twice daily during the show at 12 noon and 3:00 pm. Questions are answered from guests in the audience during this demonstration as they fashion colorful dahlias into elegant table arrangements or wedding baskets. Live dahlia tuber dividing demonstration 12noon to 5pm each day during the festival. You can also take a stroll through and view over 40 acres of dahlias in full bloom during the show. Be sure to take some cut flowers home with you to extend your visit and remember the beauty.”

Forage Feast Sundays- Hood River and Mt. Hood”, Sunday, August 28, Free. Advance registration required. “Join fellow foragers in a monthly gathering of foraging and feasting together. Forage for wild edibles in the mornings at a local natural area, then head to the kitchen in the afternoon to take on the Iron Chef challenge of concocting amazing culinary delights with the day’s findings. Harvest plan: blue elderberries, manzanita berries in Hood River. Then we’ll return to Portland, via Mt Hood, stopping to harvest huckleberries. 
Dinner Plan: Elderberry soup. Elderberry savory sauce over wild rice. Manzanita 'lemonade'. Huckleberry cocktails. Lots of details here:

Carter Niemeyer”, Monday, August 29, 7:30PM, Powell’s, 1005 W. Burnside, Pdx. “His plan was to stay in Iowa, maybe get a job counting ducks or do a little farming. But events conspired to fling Carter Niemeyer westward — and straight into the jaws of wolves. From his early years wrangling ornery federal trappers, eagles, and grizzlies to winning a skinning contest that paved the way for wolf reintroduction in the Northern Rockies, Carter Niemeyer's memoir 'Wolfer' reveals the wild and bumpy ride that turned a trapper into a champion of wolves.”

Wildwood Chronicles Book Release Party”, Tuesday, August 30, 7PM, Bagdad Theater, 3702 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Pdx. Tickets, $17.99, include admission and a copy of Wildwood and are available at the Bagdad Theater, the Crystal Ballroom,, or by phone at 855-227-8499. Books distributed at event. “Created by Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and illustrator Carson Ellis, 'Wildwood' is the first book in an epic middle-grade fantasy series. Set in Portland, this spellbinding tale features a secret world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with dark intentions. What begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of the wilderness the locals call Wildwood.” Meloy and Ellis are husband and wife, and the illustrations are a key part of the tale. They were inspired by Forest Park. This looks really cool!

Audubon Society Lecture on the Fall Migration of the Vaux’s Swifts”, Wednesday, August 31, 7PM, Leach Botanical Garden Manor House, 6550 SE 122nd Ave, Pdx. Free. “Come and learn more about the amazing gathering of Vaux's Swifts at various sites around Portland during the fall migration. The swifts are heading south and each evening tens of thousands seek a communal roost site in the Portland-Vancouver area as well as north and south of here. There are several sites in Portland, Chapman School in N.W. Portland being the most well-known. Steve Engel, Adult Education Programs Manager at the Audubon Society of Portland will inform you about the swifts biology, habits and things to keep in mind when viewing them.” Watching the swifts come to roost in chimneys in the evening is one of Portland’s most amazing spectacles. Here’s a great chance to learn something about these fascinating birds. More about witnessing this spectacular event here: