Go: Ride the rails, Bark Rangers, Juneteenth

By Ashley Swanson, Columbian Features News Coordinator



1. Choo choo

Travel on the rails of history with Chelatchie Prairie Railroad as it brings out the 1929 steam locomotive for Father’s Day weekend. Passengers will take a 13-mile round trip through the Heisson area in north Clark County, including crossing the Lewis River, a stop to see Yacolt Falls and traveling through a 330-foot tunnel. It all begins at noon and 2:30 p.m. June 17 and 18 from the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad station, 207 N. Railroad Ave., Yacolt. The train tickets are $20, $19 for seniors, $15 for ages 5 to 12, $14 for ages 2 to 4, free for ages two and younger. 360-686-3559 or www.bycx.com

2. Historic pooches

The Bark Ranger Walking Tour is designed for visitors and their dogs (or people who enjoy dogs and history). Rangers will highlight history at Fort Vancouver and Vancouver Barracks, as well as some historic doggy connections. The tour at 10 a.m. June 17 will explore the World War I history of the site on the Spruce Mill Trail along with the history of indigenous dogs in the Northwest and the historical garden. The tour begins outside Pearson Air Museum, 1001 E. Fifth St., Vancouver. Admission is free, participating dogs should be friendly to other dogs, up-to-date on vaccines and on a leash shorter than 6 feet. Arrive early to meet other dogs and chat with dog-related vendors. 360-816-6255 or www.nps.gov/fova/planyourvisit/pets.htm

3. Empowerment

The Vancouver branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People will host its annual Juneteenth Celebration, complete with Grandma’s Best Pie Contest. This year’s Juneteenth celebration will feature the theme “Education is Empowerment,” with presentations and performances of spoke word and hip hop, African dancing, vendors, food and more from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 17 at Clark College’s Foster Auditorium, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Admission is free. www.facebook.com/VancouverNAACP

4. Shine on

The 10th annual Touchmark Car Show will draw many car enthusiasts for a showcase of cars from 1905 to the current year from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 17 at Touchmark at Fairway Village, 2911 S.E. Village Loop, Vancouver. A full barbecue will be served, with music by DJ Craig Brown, and the Little Ricky VW Photo Booth Bus will be taking photos. Admission is free, with donations encouraged to benefit local charities supporting seniors and veterans, including Meals on Wheels People, Alzheimer’s Association, Parkinson’s Association and other organizations. 360-254-2866 or www.touchmark.com

5. Stars on stars

All astronomers, from beginners to experts, are welcome to Summer Solstice Celebration, a star party hosted by Oregon Museum of Science and Industry starting at sunset, (around 9:02 p.m.) June 17. Attendees can view the stars and other objects through a variety of telescopes, viewing highlights include Jupiter, Saturn and more at Rooster Rock State Park, Exit 25, Highway 84, Corbett, Ore. Warm clothing and a flashlight with a red light are recommended. Personal telescopes and binoculars are welcome. Be sure to check the website for any weather-related cancellations. The event is free, with $5 per vehicle to park.

The star exploration continues with an appearance of NASA’s Driven to Explore mobile exhibit from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 20 in front of the entry to OMSI, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland. This multimedia experience lets visitors explore in the story of NASA and the International Space Station, learn about what astronauts are doing, and see one of eight touchable moon rocks in the world. NASA Astronaut Don Pettit will give a free presentation in the auditorium at 2 p.m. Advanced seat reservations are recommended. Admission to the exhibit is free. 503-797-4000 or www.omsi.edu/starparties