Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival

2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the Columbia Gorge Bluegrass Festival, and the celebration boasts some of the biggest stars in bluegrass —Jim Lauderdale, the James King Band, Town Mountain and the SteelDrivers.

They join Rural Delivery, Jim Faddis and the Rocky Butte Wranglers July 25-28 when the event hits the Skamania County Fairgrounds in scenic Stevenson, Wash.

Look for the 2013 show to carry on the traditions that make this festival one of the best bluegrass events in the Northwest. The festival officially kicks off with the fan-favorite Jammers Jamboree on Thursday night.

The good times continue with nightly dances featuring the Hamdogs on Friday and The Rocky Butte Wranglers on Saturday.

The show concludes with a stellar gospel show featuring the James King Band on Sunday. Festival guests have the opportunity to participate in the annual instrument contest, band scramble, workshops for all ages including the Chick Rose Kid’s Academy, and plenty of jamming throughout.

Visitors will be treated to an assortment of fine craft and music related booths, delicious food, coffee and espresso, and micro brew beers presented by Laginitas Brewing Company.

The festival is sponsored by Skamania County, the City of Stevenson, Skamania Lodge, Subway, RV Northwest and Lagunitas Brewing. As the event is underwritten by the Skamania County Fair Board, and held on the Skamania County Fairgrounds, Skamania County residents are invited to purchase a “Gorge Special” pass at the Skamania County Chamber of Commerce commencing July 1.

Tickets and camping are on sale now at

For more information e-mail: and visit: for Festival updates. Vendor and sponsorship opportunities are available. We look forward to seeing you at the Festival!

Please let me know if you have questions. Thank you for your consideration, and have a wonderful day!

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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