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Save the Date: Spooky stories, nature’s bounty, more dot calendar

By , Columbian staff writer
4 Photos
Historian Jeff Davis tells a tale about spending the night in the haunted Post Hospital at Fort Vancouver during the Spirit Tales Walking Tour in October. He’s back with more spooky stories this season.
Historian Jeff Davis tells a tale about spending the night in the haunted Post Hospital at Fort Vancouver during the Spirit Tales Walking Tour in October. He’s back with more spooky stories this season. Photos from The Columbian files Photo Gallery

Just how weird is Vancouver? Autumn is the best time to find out. Jeff Davis, the author of “Weird Washington,” offers strangely spirited walking tours of the Vancouver Barracks, which were established in 1849 — the first U.S. Army base north of California. The 90-minute tours begin at 7 p.m. Fridays, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, now through October. They’re limited to 20 patrons each, and the price of admission is $15, or $12 for youth and seniors. Tours begin across the street from the Grant House, 1101 Officers Row. Learn more, download a tour map, and register online at

Before it started coming from laboratories and assembly lines, food used to come from nature. You knew that, right? We tend to forget that a bounty of fruits, nuts, greens and roots can all be found in our native forests — and sometimes even in our own backyards. Explore the wide variety of wild, edible plants our area has to offer during a “Forest Feast” guided walk at Columbia Springs Environmental Education Center. It’s set for 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, rain or shine, starting from the SWIFT classroom at 12208 S.E. Evergreen Highway, Vancouver. A $5 donation is suggested. Please register via or call 360-882-0936 x224. Visit

“When the lights come on, everybody’s screaming. Lighters in the sky, yeah, everybody’s singing.” That’s how the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater will be when country star and two-time Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year Jason Aldean takes the stage. He’ll perform music from his latest album, “They Don’t Know,” which features that song about lit-up audiences at rock concerts; this one also features special guests Chris Young, Kane Brown and Dee Jay Silver. Tickets are $34 to $71. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at 17200 N.E. Delfel Road, Ridgefield. Visit

Enjoy the fascination of a miniature scale-model world that’s pretty huge (14 feet by 35 feet) and inhabited by an operating model railroad. The Southwest Washington Model Railroaders are holding their annual open house — the final one at in their current central-city location before they go hunting for a new one — featuring their very detailed layout full of realistic sound and lights. It looks even more real when you watch through the “engineer cam.” The open house is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 23. Admission is $2 or free for under 12, with canned food donations encouraged for the food panty at the host site, the Safe Harbor Church at 8100 East Mill Plain Blvd. (The railroad is in a building behind.) Call 360-921-5780.

The Golden Age of Radio may be long gone, but it’s still hilarious — and now, you can watch as well as listen. The Willamette Radio Workshop, a Portland group that performs old-time radio scripts live on stage — complete with special audio effects and other theatrical magic — will bring a comedy showcase called “Laugh Your Dial Off” to downtown Vancouver’s Kiggins Theatre at 7 p.m. Sept. 27. In addition to snappy, silly material from the likes of Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, Abbot and Costello and W.C. Fields, there’ll be genuine radio commercials of the day — “so true and yet so funny,” according to Re-Imagined Radio, a project at Washington State University Vancouver that brings these performances to the Kiggins. Doors open at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at 1101 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggestion donation is $5. Visit

There’s no better word than “inspiration” for what you’ll find at the massive 17th annual Northwest Quilting Expo that’s headed for the Portland Expo Center. Lectures and classes, instructors and vendors, gorgeous quilts and exhibits, judged competitions, much more. The event is set for 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 28-29 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland. Admission is $10 per day or $27 for a three-day pass. Call 503-736-5200 or visit

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