Celebrating fall, family & fun

Local events kick off the autumn season

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Camas Farmer's Market Harvest Festival:

Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 3 to 7 p.m., in front of the Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave.

The third annual Camas Farmer's Market Harvest Festival is a celebration of autumn and the bountiful harvest that is available in the market. The event will include food and baked goods, live music, family games, knife sharpening, and a cookbook and gardening book exchange. Families will have the opportunity to participate in pumpkin bowling and face painting, and look for treasures in a "hay hunt." There will also be a picture with a scarecrow fundraiser. For more information, visit www.camasfarmersmarket.org.

Camas First Friday:

Oct. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., in downtown Camas

The event will include a "Pumpkin Pageant" - downtown merchants have carved pumpkins and attendees will get to vote for their favorite. There will also be crafts for kids and a performance by the Rockaroos children's band at Journey Community Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave., at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.downtowncamas.com.

Spooky Harvest at the Ranch:

Saturday, Oct. 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at Camas Camp-n-Ranch

Entry to the annual event is free. Horseback riding is $2 per person, and there will be baked goods and "campfire" food available for purchase. Proceeds benefit youth programs at the farm. Due to limited parking, it is recommended that attendees park at Grove Field Airport, 632 N.E. 267th Ave., and take a free "hay ride" shuttle to the farm. Those with infants or small children in car seats may park at the ranch, 27312 N.E. Hathaway Road. For more information, visit www.camascampnranch.com.

Riverside Christian School Apple Festival:

Sunday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 463 N. Shepherd Road, in Washougal

The event offers "everything apple." This includes the chance to purchase apples by the pound, as well as goodies of all kinds -- from apple pies and apple dumplings to apple nachos. There will also be several local vendors, children's games and pony rides, along with other food and treats for sale. Proceeds benefit the school. For more information, call 835-5600.

Camas Farmer’s Market Harvest Festival:

Wednesday, Oct. 1, from 3 to 7 p.m., in front of the Camas Public Library, 625 N.E. Fourth Ave.

The third annual Camas Farmer’s Market Harvest Festival is a celebration of autumn and the bountiful harvest that is available in the market. The event will include food and baked goods, live music, family games, knife sharpening, and a cookbook and gardening book exchange. Families will have the opportunity to participate in pumpkin bowling and face painting, and look for treasures in a “hay hunt.” There will also be a picture with a scarecrow fundraiser. For more information, visit www.camasfarmersmarket.org.

Camas First Friday:

Oct. 3, from 5 to 8 p.m., in downtown Camas

The event will include a “Pumpkin Pageant” – downtown merchants have carved pumpkins and attendees will get to vote for their favorite. There will also be crafts for kids and a performance by the Rockaroos children’s band at Journey Community Church, 304 N.E. Fourth Ave., at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.downtowncamas.com.

Spooky Harvest at the Ranch:

Saturday, Oct. 11, from noon to 4 p.m. at Camas Camp-n-Ranch

Entry to the annual event is free. Horseback riding is $2 per person, and there will be baked goods and “campfire” food available for purchase. Proceeds benefit youth programs at the farm. Due to limited parking, it is recommended that attendees park at Grove Field Airport, 632 N.E. 267th Ave., and take a free “hay ride” shuttle to the farm. Those with infants or small children in car seats may park at the ranch, 27312 N.E. Hathaway Road. For more information, visit www.camascampnranch.com.

Riverside Christian School Apple Festival:

Sunday, Oct. 12, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 463 N. Shepherd Road, in Washougal

The event offers “everything apple.” This includes the chance to purchase apples by the pound, as well as goodies of all kinds — from apple pies and apple dumplings to apple nachos. There will also be several local vendors, children’s games and pony rides, along with other food and treats for sale. Proceeds benefit the school. For more information, call 835-5600.

With the season changing from summer to fall, there are several happenings in the Camas-Washougal area that will usher in cold, crisp mornings and falling leaves.

It kicks off with the autumn-themed Camas First Friday, Oct. 3, in downtown Camas. The event includes the Pumpkin Pageant, kids crafts, a raffle drawing to win a basket of treasures from downtown merchants and a performance by popular kids band the Rockaroos.

Carrie Schulstad, executive director of the Downtown Camas Association, describes the annual event as “festive.”

“It’s the first First Friday of the year that has the wonderful fall feeling in the air,” she said. “It’s cooler outside, so people enjoy cozying up in the shops and restaurants. This is our ninth annual Pumpkin Pageant.”

The Rockaroos are a special addition this year. Their annual Camas Days performance in July was canceled due to rain.

“It is so nice that the city is bringing them back,” she said. “The DCA will also host cute fall kids’ activities at Journey Church, such as toilet paper roll mummies, pipe cleaner spiders and pumpkin headbands.”

Schulstad added that the fall merchandise has arrived in local stores as well.

“It is a feast for the eyes and senses,” she said. “Gather with friends and family for a fun night out together. Strolling from store to store seeing the artfully carved pumpkins is charming and you get a chance to win a prize for participating. Bring the kids down for a fun Rockaroos show and crafts. There are cool memories and you can enjoy the feel of our weather changing to cool and crisp in our beautiful downtown.”

Another popular fall event is the annual Spooky Harvest at the Ranch Saturday, Oct. 11. There, sounds of excited children intermix with the aroma of Dutch oven crisp and fresh air at Camas Camp-n-Ranch.

This will be the sixth year the ranch will be offering hayrides, horse rides, pumpkin bowling, crafts, a forest walk, homemade apple cider, camp fire, face painting, bake sale, and other events to celebrate the season.

“We plan as much as a year in advance,” noted ranch owner Tina Goodnight. “My favorite aspects are [that it is] a chance for our farm youth to exhibit what they’ve learned in the public relations aspect, as the last chance [of the season] to show folks what we do and plug spring events. Fall is cool and folks love to dress up, too.”

Over the years, Goodnight has noticed that children who attend love to interact with the goats.

“They can walk amongst them and be loved in return,” she said.

The unique event also provides the opportunity to ride a horse.

“More than 100 folks rode a horse last year,” Goodnight said. “The general public just doesn’t have enough access to horses in a casual way, so we love to fill that gap. This is a ranch event and anyone who signs the offered waiver can ride. Folks have said over and over how much fun they had.”

Goodnight noted that in the technology age, it has become increasingly difficult to get ‘hands on’ and up-close farm experiences.

“Everything is ‘sterilized’ via internet and pictures whereas we offer the real deal, including a chance to milk a goat, sample real fireside cooking as settlers did, cook over a fire as grandparents did, and feel the sights and smells of small farm agritourism aimed at families.

“Last year, a mom sat down at the fire, stick with hot dog in hand, and said, ‘It’s been 10 years since I did this. There’s nothing like a hot dog roasted over a fire.'”

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