Save the Date: Events will help you savor the season

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian Features News Coordinator



Savor the fall season with a steam train ride through the forests of north Clark County, highlighting the autumn foliage. The trip leaves at noon and 2:30 p.m. today and Sunday from Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, 207 N. Railroad Ave., Yacolt. The ride includes stops to visit the local waterfalls. Tickets are $20, $19 for seniors, $15 for ages 5 to 12, $13 for ages 2 to 4. Reservations recommended. Call 360-686-3559 or visit

Fall drink enthusiasts have two chances to quaff something delightful. The Hop Harvest Beer Days Festival runs noon to 9 p.m. today, with fresh hop beers from Washington and Oregon breweries at Turtle Place Park, Seventh and Main streets, Vancouver. Proceeds will benefit the Metropolitan Performing Arts Academy, and tickets are $15 to $20 for those 21 and older. 503-395-8197,

Across the river, NW Ciderfest will feature more than 20 local cideries celebrating the apple with tastings, a mixology showcase and an apple pie-eating contest. It includes an all-ages area with nonalcoholic cider, pony rides, crafts and carnival games at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 S.W. Sixth Ave., Portland. Proceeds benefit the local chapter of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Tickets are $25 for those 21 and older; $75 for VIP; $10 for a Family Pass.

If you linger in Portland, you can catch the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra performing with the Oregon Repertory Singers. The choir’s 90 voices will take on Beethoven’s “Missa Solemnis,” considered a demanding choral masterpiece, in their collaboration with our local symphony. The concerts begin at 4 p.m. today and Sunday at the First United Methodist Church, 1838 S.W. Jefferson St., Portland. Tickets are $15 to $35. 800-836-3006,

Words are what to watch for, with these local literary events around the corner.

The Vancouver Community Library will host Imagined Ink Awards with author Blythe Woolston Oct. 17. Woolston is the author of the young adult novel “Black Helicopters.” At the event, the winners of the library’s Imagined Ink Teen Writing Contest will be announced. 360-906-5106,

Find a new book to curl up with this winter at Story Con, featuring more than 30 local and regional authors who will share their passion for books with readers Oct. 18 at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C. St., Vancouver.

The Columbia Writers Series returns Oct. 21 with author Benjamin Percy, who will read and discuss his work “Red Moon” and “The Wilding,” along with his upcoming novel “The Dead Lands.” His work has earned him the Plimpton Prize, Pushcart Prizes and inclusion in “Best American Short Stories” and “Best American Comics.”

The series continues on Nov. 3 with author Wells Tower, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, GQ, The Paris Review and others. He will be discussing his short story collection, “Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned.” Both are free events that take place at Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver.

And New York Times bestselling author Diana Gabaldon, of the “Outlander” series, will be the featured speaker at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation’s annual Authors and Illustrators dinner Nov. 12 at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St., Vancouver. Tickets are $75. 360-906-4704,