Save the Date: Harvest some fun, raise some funds as fall kicks off

By Wyatt Stayner, Columbian staff writer



Ever wondered how to forage for and prepare mushrooms?

Learn the hows and whys at Harvest Festival, which starts at 10 a.m. Sunday at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, 1945 S.E. Water Ave., Portland. This free fall festival is packed with entertaining, family-friendly activities such as arm-painting and other crafts. Featuring more than 35 local vendors, you’ll feel at home with any of the beer, snacks, sweets or produce. Kit Zhu, executive chef at OMSI’s Theory restaurant, will lead demonstrations on finding and cooking mushrooms at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. At 1 p.m., you can take in the “Chopped”-style cook off, where chefs will compete to make the best harvest feast using Oregon speciality crops. Admission to the event is free; parking is $5. 503-797-4675 or

As the hurricane season continues to take a toll on the Southeast, aid in the relief efforts and knock out some holiday shopping. At Mom’s Market and Auction at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 7, browse a variety of vendors while in search of the perfect gifts. The market includes a silent auction aimed at fundraising. Each vendor donates an item to the auction, and the proceeds from that auction will benefit the MOMS Club Mother-to-Mother fund, which provides grants for emergency expenses for mothers who are struggling financially or need help recovering after a natural disaster. The market will be at Keller Williams Premier Partners, 2211 E. Mill Plain Blvd. in Vancouver; admission is free. 907-723-6460 or

With 191 years of life in the rear-view, the oldest apple tree in Washington dates back to Thomas Jefferson’s presidency — and 1826. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 7 at Old Apple Tree Park, 112 S.E. Columbia Way in Vancouver, celebrate another year at the Old Apple Tree Festival as this forefather of Washington apple trees slowly creeps up on its bicentennial. The festival features arts and crafts, tree-care workshops, live music and free apple-cider pressing. Bring your own clean apples and a container for cider. Admission is free. 360-487-8308 or

There’s a regular old haunted house — and then there’s FrightTown, which operates more like a massive haunted apartment complex. These three different haunted houses, all in one location, total 40,000 square feet on one city block, beneath Veterans Memorial Coliseum at 300 N. Winning Way in Portland. Jump once or twice visiting “Baron Von Goolo’s Museum of Horrors,” an occult museum that features evil clowns and sea monkeys. Or test the thrills at “Fear the Dark,” FrighTown’s new pitch-black maze. And if you’d rather not bounce back in horror, try “Buried Alive,” a live burial simulator, where participants experience the sounds, smells and sensations of being dumped in an unmarked grave. The haunted houses run Oct. 7-31 from 7 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 7 to 10 p.m. Sundays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Oct. 31; and 6 to 11 p.m. Oct. 21 and 28. Admission is $25. 503-963-4400 or

You’ve probably seen them in movies or television shows, but barbershop quartets exist in real life, and the Evergreen District Barbershop Harmony Convention and Contest is where the best Northwest quartets slug it out for bragging rights. Ensembles from Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington, plus Alberta and British Columbia, Canada, will strike up a tune this year beginning at 6 p.m. Oct. 13. The choral contest begins at 10 a.m. Oct. 14, with finals and a Show of Champions at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 14, all at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, 301 W. Sixth St. Tickets are $36, $18 for ages 14 to 26, and free for 13 and younger. 971-238-7664 or

It turns out Mickey Mouse can ice skate. And so can Cinderella. And so can Buzz Lightyear. See for yourself at Disney on Ice Presents: “Follow Your Heart,” the latest ice-skating spectacle to feature favorite cartoon characters gliding around the Moda Center, 1 N. Center Court, Portland. This incarnation features modern stories and characters from “Finding Dory” and “Inside Out,” as well as guest appearances from classic Disney friends. Shows are 7 p.m. Oct. 19 and 20; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 and 7 p.m. Oct. 21; and 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. Oct. 22. Tickets range from $23 to $102. 503-235-8771 or

Experience the internationally renowned Brigham Young University Ballroom Dance, as they bring their unique dance ensemble to Skyview High School, 1300 N.W. 139th St., Vancouver, at 7 p.m. Oct. 21. The production, “Swing ‘n’ Sway” presents ballroom dance in a theatrical manner with a modern perspective. Tickets range from $12 to $30. 360-910-1419 or,%202017&time=7:00%20PM