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Outdoor festivals set in 3 south county cities

Still time to enjoy summer in Columbia City, Scappoose, St. Helens


Festival season is not quite over yet. In fact, St. Helens is hoping a brand-new festival this weekend takes flight — quite literally.

The Wind and Water Festival will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31, at Columbia View Park.

Wind and Water is intended to be a “festival of colors,” according to organizer Tina Curry of Discover Columbia County. Main attractions will include professional kite-flying teams and an assortment of quilts from as far away as Florida and Nova Scotia, she says.

“Hopefully, we’ll have nice weather and it will be a relaxing day for people, before people go back to work, and the kids go back to school,” Curry says.

If wind conditions allow, Curry also expects there to be a kiteboarding event on the Columbia River itself.

Bratwurst and snack food will be available from vendors, as will beer, wine, cocktails and other beverages, although Curry recommends that people bring a picnic lunch if they want to eat a full meal.

The parking lot next to the old Columbia County Courthouse will be closed for the event, but other street parking throughout Old Town will be available, according to Curry. She has high hopes for attendance, as long as weather conditions are nice.

“We don’t know the weather forecast or anything like that, but I would say a couple thousand people would be great,” says Curry.

Two more annual outdoor events are coming up next month, on Saturday, Sept. 20: the Columbia City Celebration and the Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival.

Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Books will be sold at the Columbia City Celebration, which - in addition to being a community festival featuring attractions like a strawberry pancake breakfast and a classic car and motorcycle show - is a fundraiser for the volunteer-run library.Celebration is a yearly event to benefit the Columbia City Community Library. The library, which is based in a portable building next to the old Columbia City School, located at 2000 Second Street, is a volunteer-run operation that provides free library services to all Columbia County residents.

“We have 11,000 books in the library — and people don’t realize how big it’s become over the years,” says Cathy Lundberg, head librarian. “Our primary purpose is to provide a library who don’t live within city limits or within a library district.”

Lundberg is one of the chief organizers of Celebration, which she hopes will generate $7,000 to support the community library this year.

Attractions at the event will include a strawberry pancake breakfast, a quilt show, and sales of baked goods, plants and books.

A returning favorite from last year is the Show & Shine Car Show, which will display classic cars along Second Street from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“We started it last year to try and bring more people into the Columbia City Celebration, and it was very successful,” Lundberg explains. “So we expect it to be expanded this year.”

There will also be a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which Lundberg says will likely be spread out between the Columbia City Community Hall and the Columbia City School.

Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Sauerkraut, the fermented cabbage condiment with a love-it-or-hate-it reputation, is the star of the annual Scappoose Sauerkraut Festival. Organizers say they plan to discontinue the festival after this year.Meanwhile, the Scappoose Community Club will stage the Sauerkraut Festival in Heritage Park. The theme of the festival is sauerkraut, the pickled cabbage condiment that is a staple of Austrian, German and Eastern European cuisine.

Beth Pulito, the festival’s organizer, says she will be demonstrating how to make sauerkraut at the festival — a process that involves slicing cabbage into thin strips and muddling it with salt to begin the fermentation process.

Taste tests of sauerkraut will also be conducted at the festival, and the public will have the opportunity to crown a winning batch.

The Sauerkraut Festival has achieved enough notoriety that it was featured last year on the nationally syndicated “Better Show.” This year will mark its 25th anniversary — but it is expected to be its final year, as Pulito says the Community Club is unable to continue putting it on every year.

Lundberg says she hopes people are able to attend both the Sauerkraut Festival and the Columbia City Celebration.

“[Celebration] starts a lot earlier in the morning, and we end at 3 p.m,” Lundberg notes. “And I know the Sauerkraut Festival goes a lot later than we do.”

The Sauerkraut Festival will begin at 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.