Save the Date: A month of history, whiskey, ‘Homeward’ and holiday fun

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer



This old house must have some good bones. And some equally good stories.

Hear those stories from 1 to 4 p.m. Nov. 12 at the 150th anniversary celebration for the Historic Stanger House. Built in 1867 by John Stanger, a former millwright for the Hudson’s Bay Company, it’s Clark County’s oldest privately built residence still at its original location, 9215 S.E. Evergreen Highway, Vancouver. In 1990, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The free celebration includes refreshments and a message from Mayor-elect Anne McEnerny-Ogle. Brad Richardson, director of the Clark County Historical Society, will present a historical perspective.

What are the best food combinations? Peanut butter and jelly? Red beans and rice? Add pie and whiskey to the list, at least this weekend. Pie and Whiskey: Writers under the Influence of Butter & Booze gives book-lovers a chance to extend Portland’s Wordstock, as it runs 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 12, a day after Wordstock concludes. The event doubles as a fundraiser for the Independent Publishing Resource Center, 318 S.E. Main St., Portland, which will host a plethora of authors — Alexandra Teague, Ed Skoog, Joe Wilkins, Robert Lashley, Jess Walter, Shawn Vestal, Kate Lebo and Samuel Ligon — for readings. And enjoy some whiskey and pie. There is a $5 to $15 suggested donation for nonmembers, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds. The event is 21 and older only.

Former Portlander and National Public Radio star Ari Shapiro returns to his Northwest roots for “Homeward,” a performance that follows Shapiro’s reporting experiences around the globe. Shapiro, recognizable for his work on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” croons tunes about upheaval, patriotism and hope in a musical showcase that begins at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Portland World Trade Center, 121 S.W. Salmon St., Portland; $60. 503-464-7527 or

Younger artists such as rapper Kendrick Lamar have woven jazz into their music, and David Bowie featured jazz elites on his 2016 “Blackstar” album. All of this fuels a rejuvenation of a genre of music that some critics in recent years said was dying. Be a part of the jazz renaissance at the local level at the Clark College Fall Jazz Concert at 7 p.m. Nov. 17. The Clark College Jazz Ensemble performs with special guest the Prairie High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Ryan Messing. The concert will be in Clark College’s Gaiser Student Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver; free. 360-699-6398 or see the online events calendar at

A life fully lived is worth celebrating. At 2 p.m. Nov. 18 in the Columbia Room at the Vancouver Community Library, 901 C. St., in Vancouver, learn more about Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Enjoy live music, activities and entertainment, including traditional Mexican dancing, and crafts for all ages. Free. 360-906-5000 or

Tired of the same old Christmas tree-lighting celebrations? The Skamania Lodge Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony & Village Fair packs some oomph. From 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 22, enjoy music from Steve Hale in the Gorge Room and Ballroom, as well as hot chocolate and snacks. After the tree lighting, visitors can continue the celebration in the Stevenson Ballroom with the Lodge’s inaugural Village Fair. Nellie’s Pies, Wind Mountain Metal Works, Lori’s Essential Oils, Waterleaf Spa, Garnier, Backwoods Brewing, Michael Peterson and metal artist Megan Allaway will participate in the fair, which is free to enter. Skamania Lodge, 1131 S.W. Skamania Lodge Way, Stevenson, 844-432-4748 or

Exotic animals and Christmas lights have made an entertaining combination at the Oregon Zoo for years, so imagine what it would be like with adult beverages. The zoo, 4001 S.W. Canyon Road, Portland, will host its inaugural BrewLights, which is ZooLights with alcohol from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 29. Sample local beers, wines and ciders while walking through brightly lit trees and 3-D light sculptures. BrewLights admission, $24.95, includes a souvenir light-up cup and complimentary tastings throughout the zoo. Food is available for purchase from local food trucks, such as Verde Cocina. 503-226-1561 or