Try This: Apples aplenty

By Ashley Swanson September 21, 2013 6 a.m.

The apple festival is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

STEM Fest unites businesses, training programs kids in name of math, science

By Ashley Swanson September 20, 2013 6 a.m.

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics--better known as the amalgamation STEM--has been a growing drumbeat in the education and career worlds. But what does a STEM-based job actually look like?

Try This: Woodcarvers shape wildlife

By Ashley Swanson September 14, 2013 6 a.m.

Discover the art of decoys as they float in the fountain at the Columbia Flyway Wildlife Show. Ninety artists from around the country will show their art during the 26th annual juried woodcarving competition and display. You can meet the carvers and their realistic wildlife sculptures and bird decoys. Children's activities include painting a songbird from 1 to 3 p.m. today.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Ridgefield garden club marks 75 years

By Ashley Swanson September 14, 2013 6 a.m.

Unexpected beauty has been the driving force behind the Ridgefield Garden Club's 75 years of helping its community.

Re-enactors shed light on life at the fort

By Ashley Swanson September 13, 2013 6 a.m.

As the sun sets to the west of Fort Vancouver, the glow of campfires will light a path through camps of pioneers, Army men, Russian pilots and Hudson’s Bay employees. Think of it as a stroll through time, illuminated by candlelight instead of cool sci-fi effects.

Try This: Symphony concert outdoors

By Ashley Swanson September 7, 2013 6 a.m.

You can spend a Sunday with the sounds of Verdi, Copland, Dvorak and Beethoven as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra revives its outdoor concert event. Warming up for its 35th season, the orchestra will be led by guest conductor Awadagin Pratt, a renowned conductor, pianist and violinist who has performed from the White House to "Sesame Street." Baritone singer Stephen Salters will join in on the performance, and Beacock Music will provide a musical instrument "petting zoo" for children to try out instruments themselves.

Try This: 12th Hands Across the Bridge

By Ashley Swanson August 31, 2013 6 a.m.

The 12th annual Hands Across the Bridge will kick off the day's celebration of recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. Families and supporters will hold hands across the Interstate 5 Bridge, walking to and from Esther Short Park. The ceremony will be followed by Oxfest, featuring area bands, along with family activities, games, vendors and speakers sharing their personal stories. The event is sponsored by the Oxford Houses of Oregon and Washington.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Blind painter's watercolor vision rewarded

By Ashley Swanson August 30, 2013 10 a.m.

Vancouver watercolor artist Susan Gustafson paints the world as she sees it, as her sight shrinks and dims.

Bits 'n' Pieces: 'Steel' roles for stage women

By Ashley Swanson August 17, 2013 6 a.m.

Vancouver's Patty Price-Yates has been inspiring both on and off the stage, as she takes on the role of mother M'Lynn in Circle Theatre Project's current production of "Steel Magnolias."

Try This: 'Music' and more this weekend

By Ashley Swanson August 17, 2013 6 a.m.

Clark County-based Journey Theater Arts Group will finish up a Broadway classic. "The Music Man" follows Harold Hill, a slick traveling salesman who convinces the small town of River City, Iowa, to buy instruments and uniforms for a boys' band that he says he'll organize. But when Harold falls for Marian the librarian, his plan to skip town is put in jeopardy by his heart.

Try This: Truck on over to fair

By Ashley Swanson August 10, 2013 6 a.m.

Fairgoers can catch one last carnival ride, explore Rock U's musical maze or participate in a FairCon video game tournament to wrap up this year's Clark County Fair. The Tuff Trucks will show their dirt-flying power at the grandstand arena at 2 and 7 p.m. today, with the Monster Trucks ending Sunday with a roar. Today, you can also see the junior livestock auction and the hot dog- and watermelon-eating contests. On Sunday, the Dock Dog competition finals happen as well as the pie-eating contest and llama demonstrations.

Try This: Step up to the challenge

By Ashley Swanson August 3, 2013 6 a.m.

Waves of participants will take on the Spartan Sprint, a 4-mile course of challenging obstacles that range from giant mud pits covered with barbed wire to hurdles of flame. Spectators are invited to cheer on the athletes at the gladiator pit finish line while enjoying the festival area, music and fitness challenges. There will be Spartan Races for kids starting at noon, featuring a 1/2- and 1-mile courses.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Island stay inspires art exhibition

By Ashley Swanson August 3, 2013 6 a.m.

On the small Caribbean island of Guanaja, Battle Ground High School student Deja Rupp did not let her first trip out of the country slip by her.

Try This: Taste of islands in Esther Short

By Ashley Swanson July 27, 2013 6 a.m.

The Ho'ike and Hawaiian Festival is one of the biggest summer events in Esther Short Park as it brings the cultures and flavors of the Pacific Islands to Vancouver. The event will kick off with the 5K Aloha Fun Run at 8 a.m., and the festival begins at 10 a.m. with hula dancers and Polynesian singers. There will be the Ke Kukui Cultural Corner which will offer traditional games such as`ulu maika (bowling) and konane (checkers). Or, learn to make a lei. Visitors can enjoy island food, arts and crafts vendors and children's activities.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Vancouver designer to showcase her eco-clothing

By Ashley Swanson July 27, 2013 6 a.m.

Vancouver's Caryn Stockwell thinks clothing should be something you look forward to wearing.

Try This: Hot time in the city

By Ashley Swanson July 20, 2013 6 a.m.

Visitors can test their taste buds during Fire in the Park as local restaurants, organizations and firefighters showcase their secret chili recipes while raising money for the nonprofit Share. The best dish awards will be named by judges and the public. Local crew members will race in the Firefighters Competition, with participants completing different training obstacles. There will also be live music by High Point and One of a Kind Drumline, children's activities and fire apparatus displays.

Try This: Get rollin' in Amboy

By Ashley Swanson July 13, 2013 6 a.m.

Amboy Territorial Days features a variety of timber sports as competitors vie in skills from ax throwing to pole climbing. The logging show begins at 1 p.m. today. There will also be a carnival, craft booths, live music and activities. Sunday will begin with Mount Tum Tum Fun Run, featuring a Little Logger Lap at 8:30 a.m., and 5K and 10K courses at 9 a.m., followed by the popular lawn-mower races beginning at 1 p.m.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Sindicate to reveal 'Sasquatch'

By Ashley Swanson July 6, 2013 6 a.m.

Dominic Bianchini of Vancouver's The Sindicate recognizes the band has reached a new stage, as they prepare to kick off a summer tour and release their second album.

Try This: Out of the Chute

By Ashley Swanson July 6, 2013 6 a.m.

Catch the last night of the annual Vancouver Rodeo as it completes its 43rd year. The night will be filled with crowd favorites such as steer wrestling, bull riding, team roping, barrel racing and bronco riding. Kids ages 8 and younger will test their sheep-riding skills during the mutton bustin' event. There will be a free dance following the rodeo with DJ Glenn.

Try This: Hot rods & cool art

By Ashley Swanson June 29, 2013 6 a.m.

Northwest Street Rod Nationals Plus will present more than 1,600 striking automobiles. There will be a variety of vintage street rods, custom-built cars, restored muscle cars and classic touring cars. There will be a vintage parts swap meet, musical performances, model car display, arts and crafts, kids activities and automotive vendors.

Trash gets a makeover at annual Recycled Arts Festival

By Ashley Swanson June 28, 2013 6 a.m.

The genre of recycled or found art could be defined by the prompt, "This looks like a…" And thanks to the Recycled Arts Festival, 120 artists can showcase their talents for transforming rusty refuse into objects that delight or challenge viewers to see trash differently.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Vancouver schools' TV show scores Emmy gold

By Ashley Swanson June 22, 2013 6 a.m.

Leonardo da Vinci propelled Vancouver Public Schools to local Emmy gold.

Try This: Let's do the time warp, again

By Ashley Swanson June 22, 2013 6 a.m.

The 1975 midnight movie classic, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show," returns to the Kiggins Theatre. Part movie-screening and part live-action theater, attendees are encouraged to dress up and act along with the film with the provided prop kits. The movie is rated R.

Try This: Drink in healthy activities

By Ashley Swanson June 15, 2013 6 a.m.

Enjoy a local brew while cheering runners or take in the sports and fitness expo. It's all in celebration of the Vancouver USA Marathon. Active Sports and Fitness Expo, offered today, will feature demonstrations, a casual 5K run, a kids marathon and Freedom 5K and presentations by Bart Yasso, author of "My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon."

Options aplenty for a special Father’s Day

By Ashley Swanson June 14, 2013 6 a.m.

Father’s Day gifts don’t always need to be a ‘World’s Greatest Dad’ mug or a fabulously comical necktie. Celebrate dads, father figures and grandfathers of all kinds by doing something together this weekend. Time well spent on memories, from seeing a movie to playing a round of disc golf, can be worth more than any gift card.

Try this: Log in some time in great outdoors

By Ashley Swanson June 8, 2013 6 a.m.

This weekend's Steam Logging Show will be the final year for this event at the Pomeroy Living History Farm. Visitors can experience the sights, sounds and smells of a 1920s logging camp, with two steam donkeys, period saws, trucks and other equipment.

Maintaining the Flame at Firehouse Glass

By Ashley Swanson June 2, 2013 6 a.m.

The heart of Firehouse Glass is a 14-year-old furnace and 600 pounds of molten glass. Two thousand degrees of heat emanates from the furnace, keeping artists warm in the winter and boiling in the summer.

Try This: Run, paddle, hike & march

By Ashley Swanson June 1, 2013 6 a.m.

During Family Field Trip Day at the Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center, families are encouraged to explore the 100-acre urban natural area while visiting hands-on learning stations and creating nature crafts. Visitors can hike the nature trails, observe birds and wildlife, and visit a working hatchery.

Try This: Soldiers front and center

By Ashley Swanson May 25, 2013 6 a.m.

Journey Theatre Arts Group presents two shows this weekend. "A Little Princess" is the stage adaptation of the novel about young Sara Crewe, who is sent to a boarding school in England while her father heads back to India. When she is mistakenly believed to have been orphaned and made to work at the school, she uses her imagination to triumph.

Try This: Dig into parade, more

By Ashley Swanson May 18, 2013 6 a.m.

The 49th annual Hazel Dell Parade of Bands will feature 22 marching bands from around Clark County. The theme is Super Heroes, with participants encouraged to dress up as fictional or real heroes. Jim Sork will be the grand marshal. Community organizations, clubs, businesses and students will be participating in the parade with floats, cars and more.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Woman's special dress transformed for show

By Ashley Swanson May 18, 2013 6 a.m.

When the Couve Couture Spring Fashion Show was held in April, it evoked memories of a special dress for Doris Sutton.

Try This: All aboard for mothers

By Ashley Swanson May 11, 2013 6 a.m.

Chelatchie Prairie Railroad will offer a special trip for Mother's Day, and visitors can ride on the newly restored steam engine. The historic railroad ride travels through the forests of north Clark County on a 12-mile round-trip that includes Moulton Falls and a 330-foot rock tunnel.

Try This: 'Iron man 3' a charm

By Ashley Swanson May 4, 2013 6 a.m.

The movie blockbuster is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend, including a fundraiser for animals and theater productions.

Try This: Pick up paddle, join party

By Ashley Swanson April 27, 2013 6 a.m.

The paddle festival is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Making a fashion statement at Spring Couve Couture

By Ashley Swanson April 21, 2013 6 a.m.

Like spring in the Pacific Northwest, the growth of Couve Couture could be measured by the colorful Vancouver crowd of 575 filling the unfinished ground floor of Gravitate Design's building at 1012 Washington St.

This Try: EcoFair fetes Earth Day

By Ashley Swanson April 20, 2013 6 a.m.

Clark Public Utilities' StreamTeam will host the 14th annual Earth Day Celebration with an EcoFair. The fair will feature hands-on activities, a live birds of prey show by the Portland Audubon Society, nature talks and walks, children's programs by OMSI, and booths from more than 40 organizations and businesses.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Area winery looks back on 110 years

By Ashley Swanson April 19, 2013 6:01 a.m.

The English Estate Winery is celebrating 110 years of tending the earth and its evolution into one of Clark County's oldest wineries with an anniversary event April on Saturday.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Designer sews up deal with REI

By Ashley Swanson April 13, 2013 6 a.m.

The dream of many clothing designers is to walk into a store and see their design hanging on the rack. For Stephanie Lynn, owner and designer of Vancouver's Sweet Spot Skirts, that dream is now a reality, and it's another milestone in her mission to vanquish boring athletic apparel.

Try This: Keeping count of critters

By Ashley Swanson April 13, 2013 6 a.m.

The Critter Count is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Tulip festival in full bloom

By Ashley Swanson April 12, 2013 6 a.m.

This is your year, tulip fans. The Woodland Tulip Festival will open up a new “you pick” field on weekends, so visitors can bring home their own bouquets of the signature spring beauty.

Try This: Fun at farmers market

By Ashley Swanson April 6, 2013 6 a.m.

Vancouver Farmers Market gets into the swing of spring with vendors from around the region. Visitors can find locally grown produce, baked goods, flowers, food and crafts at the downtown market.

Try This: Hopping to the hunt

By Ashley Swanson March 30, 2013 6 a.m.

You don't have to go far to find an Easter egg hunt this weekend. Here are a few happening across Clark County. All of the hunts are free, and it is recommended that you bring a bag or basket to collect eggs.

Easter egg hunts easy to find

By Ashley Swanson March 29, 2013 6 a.m.

The Easter Bunny will be hopping across Clark County this weekend, with a variety of public Easter egg hunts for children to enjoy. From downtown Vancouver’s Esther Short Park to Battle Ground’s Kiwanis Park, there’s a community event for every kind of egg hunter. Autism Empowerment and the Miracle League of Vancouver will be hosting an Easter egg hunt for all abilities, open to families and individuals of all ages with any special needs.

Try This: Dancing into spring

By Ashley Swanson March 23, 2013 6 a.m.

The performance is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: Plenty o'fun, no blarney

By Ashley Swanson March 16, 2013 6 a.m.

For St. Patrick's Day weekend the Liberty Theatre presents the classic 1952 film directed by John Ford, "The Quiet Man." The film stars John Wayne as Irish-born American Sean Thornton who travels to Ireland to reclaim his family's farm. Sean falls in love with his fiery neighbor, Mary Kate Danagher (Maureen O'Hara), but her brother refuses to let the couple marry in the Irish tradition. The film won Oscars for Best Directing and Cinematography. "The Quiet Man" is rated G.

Bits 'n' Pieces: Harmony unites young local rock band Foreign Talks

By Ashley Swanson March 16, 2013 6 a.m.

For a young band, releasing its first album would be a huge milestone to savor. For Marcus Fischer of the Vancouver band Foreign Talks, he's already prepped to make a second.

Try This: Kids in the spotlight

By Ashley Swanson March 9, 2013 6 a.m.

The seventh annual Children's Festival, hosted by Vancouver Family Magazine, will feature face painting, balloon art, dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, games, and educational information. Children can meet and take pictures with llamas Rojo and Smokey, as well as Napoleon the alpaca of the Mountain Peaks Therapy Llamas. In conjunction with the festival, the Matsiko World Orphan Choir will perform at 11 a.m. and 1 and 2 p.m. Sunday. The choir is made up of 18 orphaned children from Peru and Liberia.

Try This: Pow-wow presented

By Ashley Swanson March 2, 2013 6 a.m.

The pow-wow is one of many options for getting out and about this weekend.

Try This: Chamber music fills air

By Ashley Swanson February 23, 2013 6 a.m.

Three classical concerts offer an array of chamber music this weekend.

Try This: Riding into romance

By Ashley Swanson February 16, 2013 6 a.m.

The third annual Washington State Horse Expo will feature clinics, fashion shows, demonstrations and performances by horses. With an emphasis on equine education, the event will feature national experts, trainers, health and wellness resources, vendors and activities. Show highlights include the Extreme Cowboy Race, as well as musical performances by Carrie Cunningham and the Six Shooters, the BlackPearl Friesian Dance Troupe and presenter Julie Goodnight.