A celebration of summer

Camas Days, annual car show and Spartan Race are just a few activities happening in the C-W area

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"We couldn't be more delighted to have a Keys to the City piano in downtown Camas this year."

-- Carrie Schulstad, Downtown Camas Association executive director

We couldn’t be more delighted to have a Keys to the City piano in downtown Camas this year.”

— Carrie Schulstad, Downtown Camas Association executive director

Summer often brings an opportunity to slow down and enjoy life a little more, whether it’s picnicking in a local park, cooling off in one of the waterways, hiking or just having some down time.

In the Camas-Washougal area and beyond, the summer is also full of activities to enjoy, several of them free. There are many time-honored traditions, such as Camas Days and Washougal Motocross, as well as new adventures like the SUP Salmon Classic, which takes place Sunday, Aug. 30.

“Last year’s (inaugural) event was a success drawing high caliber SUP athletes from throughout the nation as well as recreational boarders who just wanted to give it a try,” said organizer Rene Carroll. “Athletes had a great time at the beach and in Washougal, and many vowed to come back calling the event ‘not to be missed.'”

Approximately 100 boarders are expected to participate and spectators are welcome.

Carroll noted that a few new features would be added to this year’s event, including a category to the novice race for paddlers with canine companions.

“Nationally ranked women’s SUP competitor Fiona Wylde of Hood River will offer a free boarding clinic around 1 p.m.,” she said. “Also planned are some fun relay races and games on boards after the racing ends.”

Booties BBQ of Washougal will sell food and a beer garden is in the works.

Another new event coming to the area will give people a chance to “tickle the ivories.”

The annual Keys to the City program, a fundraiser for the School of Piano Technology for the Blind, will be bringing a piano to Camas starting Aug. 7. This coincides with First Friday in downtown Camas and will run through Aug. 16. It will be the first appearance in Camas for one of these artistically painted public pianos.

“We couldn’t be more delighted to have a Keys to the City piano in Downtown Camas this year,” said Carrie Schulstad, executive director for the Downtown Camas Association. “We are hoping that new people taking tours to play or see each of these pianos will discover downtown Camas and all it has to offer as well. We have some accomplished pianists and students in the Camas area and we are all anticipating some amazing music being played during the piano’s stay with us.”

Each year Keys to the City pianos, all hand-painted by local artists, are placed in public spaces for a 10-day celebration of music and art. The pianos are first tuned by the students of the school, which was started in 1949 and provides career skills to the blind. The artful pianos on display are for all to play.

The following is a sampling of several upcoming local events:

o Weird Beer on the River: 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, July 10 and noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 11 at Marina Park, 24 S. “A” St., Washougal.

The cost is $20 per day for tasting glass and tokens for tastings. There will also be food vendors, local artisans and live bands. Visit www.visitwashougal.com/featured-events/.

o Camas Car Show: The 10th annual show, hosted by the Downtown Camas Association, will run from 4 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 11 on the streets of downtown Camas. Admission is free. The event also includes live music, dance performances, balloon art, food vendors and raffles. Downtown businesses will be open late for shopping and dining. Visit www.downtowncamas.com for more information.

o Concerts for a Cause: Remaining shows on Tuesday evenings from 6:30 to 9 p.m. include Flexor T July 14, Hit Machine July 21, Stone in Love Journey Tribute Band July 28, Radical Revolution Aug. 4, Petty Fever Aug. 11 and Patrick Lamb Aug. 18. Proceeds from the shows, which take place at Camas Meadows Golf Club, 4105 N.W. Camas Meadows Drive, benefit area charitable organizations. Cost is a $5 suggested donation. For more information, visit www.concertsforacausenw.com.

o Concerts in the Park: The free concerts take place from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Crown Park, located at Northeast 17th Avenue and Everett Street, in Camas. Performances include Trash Can Joe, Wednesday, July 22; Sabroso, Thursday, July 30; Portland Soul All-Stars, Wednesday, Aug. 5; 234th Army Band, Thursday, Aug. 6; and Hit Machine, Thursday, Aug. 13. For more information, visit www.cityofcamas.us/parks.

o Camas Days: Each year downtown Camas plays host to an array of arts and craft vendors the last weekend in July. This year, it will run from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, July 24 and 25. The wine and beer street will be open from 5 to 11 p.m. There is also a food street, kids parade, main parade, kids street activities and bathtub races. Visit www.cwchamber.com for more information.

o Washougal Motocross: The Lucas Pro Oil Motocross Championship National will come to the MX park on Saturday, July 25. Known as America’s most scenic raceway, Washougal MX Park is set to host Rounds 9 and 10 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motorcross Championship sanctioned by AMA Pro Racing. Amateur races begin on Wednesday, July 22. Gates open at 7 a.m. Visit www.washougalmxpk.com/mxntl.html for more information.

o Lacamas Lake 1/2 Marathon: 7:30 a.m. Sunday, July 26, beginning and ending in downtown Camas. A 5K will be at 8 a.m., and the 1K Kids Dash is at 10. The cost is $75 for the half marathon, $40 for the 5K and $10 for the 1K. For more information or to register, visit www.fleetfeetpdx.com/races/lacamas-lake.

o Columbia Gorge International Film Festival: The eighth annual festival will come to Main Street in Washougal. It will run Thursday, Aug. 6 through Sunday, Aug. 16. Attendees can view movie screenings, listen to live entertainment and meet directors from around the world. For more information, visit www.angaelica.com/.

o Clark County Fair: Held from Aug. 7 to 16 at the Clark County fairgrounds, this year’s fair will include the traditional rides, games, exhibits, food and entertainment, as well as a “Sea Lion Splash,” “Superhero Adventure” and more. For details, visit www.clarkcofair.com.

o Keys to the City Piano: This coincides with First Friday in downtown Camas and will run through Aug. 7 through Aug. 16. Visit www.downtowncamas.com for more information.

o Spartan Race: Saturday, Aug. 8. Participants can choose races ranging from 3 to 5 miles, featuring 20 to 23 obstacles at Washougal Motocross Park. Elite racing begins at 7:30 a.m. The last wave for amateurs begins at 5 p.m. Entry fees range from $90 to $115. Visit www.spartan.com/en/race/detail/831/overview for more information.

o Square Rig Shindig: Saturday, Aug. 22 at Doomsday Brewing in Washougal, 421 “C” St., in celebration of the return of the Portland Pirate Festival. For details, visit www.portlandpiratefestival.com.

o Tall Ships: On Aug. 22 and 23, The Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain will include the Port of Camas-Washougal, 24 S. “A” St., in an eight-week tour of Washington ports. Self-guided tours will be available. Two- and three-hour excursions can be booked at www.historicalseaport.org.

o Downtown Camas Vintage Art Faire: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29. The event features more than 60 vintage and antique vendors, as well as local artists. Visit www.downtowncamas.com for more information.

o SUP Salmon Classic: Races begin at 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 30 at Captain William Clark Park in Washougal. Professional and recreational Standup Paddleboard (SUP) athletes from around the region will take to the waters of the Columbia River for the SUP Salmon Classic Paddleboard Race. Food and vendor booths will be on hand from 10:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free for spectators. There will also be a beer garden. For much information or to register, visit www.supsalmonclassic.com.

o Plein Air Art Event: The fine art competition will take place in downtown Camas Friday, Sept. 4, from 5 to 8 p.m. Artists will line the streets and paint in the “open air.” Spectators will have the opportunity to vote for their favorites. The event will coincide with first Friday. Visit www.downtowncamas.com for more information.

o Dinner in White on the Columbia: This event, in support of the The Camas-Washougal Mural Project, will take place from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at Marina Park, 24 S. “A” St.

Guests must wear white and bring a picnic dinner. For more information, visit www.eventbrite.com/e/dinner-in-white-on-the-columbia-tickets-16045039144.