Astoria Brings Raucous Frivolity to North Coast
(Astoria, Oregon) - The north Oregon coast town of Astoria is not holding back a thing this season, with large festivals of varying kinds, family programs, unusual Valentine's gifts and music shows left and right.
Much is brewing at the very northwestern edge of Oregon in winter and spring.
Museum Mates Preschool Program at Columbia River Maritime Museum. It happens every Monday morning from 9:30 – 10:30 a.m., and allows young children and their parents or grandparents to enjoy stories, songs, exhibit hunts and hand-made crafts, along with the museum and its exhibits - for just the museum’s admission price (members are free). All preschoolers must be accompanied by an adult. 1792 Marine Drive, Astoria. 503-325-2323.
Intriguing Valentine Gifts – with a Twist. Lunar Boy Gallery in Astoria has come up with some beautifully twisted little ways to Valentine someone. The Love Bunny or the Honey Bunny allows you to fake nothing. They will say "I Love You," "I Like You," "I Think you Are a Cutie" or "I Am Required to Provide a Valentine to You." These handmade handmade Valentine mementos go for only $10, while supplies last. Order something truly cool from a local Oregon coast artisan at www.lunarboygallery.com.
Lunar Boy Gallery. 866.395.1566.
Monthly Gay Night Out. North coast gay folk can enjoy a little camaraderie at various locations around Astoria, as the Gay Night Out moves from venue to venue each month. It’s a bar atmosphere, but dinner can be ordered from each venue.
Thursday, February 26 it will be held at The Crab Pot in Long Beach, Washington. Thursday, March 26 it shows up at Silver Salmon Grille in Astoria. Call (503) 440-7168 or see www.TheColumbiaBar.net.
Fisher Poets Gathering, February 27 – March 1. The large festival of lilting literature is returning to the north Oregon coast town. The Fisher Poets Gathering has been an annual event in Astoria the last full weekend of February since 1998. It offers a program of readings and music from fishing industry people bringing their original poems, stories and songs to the stage. The 2008 event gathered near 70 presenters, along with several local music groups, all with fishing industry ties and added a fourth venue to the event.
Buttons are $10 for the weekend, or $5 for one day or event. They are available at the Columbian Theater Box Office, 1102 Marine Dr., Astoria, Oregon.
The audience includes a growing number of aficionados who come from the Astoria area and points around the country for original writing about the hard-working vocation of fishing and to be part of the lively ambiance of the event.
This popular event has grown in audience and fame over the years. It has been designated a Library of Congress Local Legacies project, and been the subject of many local, regional and national news articles and productions, including NBC’s Today Show and the Smithsonian magazine. It is the subject of a documentary filmed over several years of the gathering by New York documentary filmmaker Jen Winston, called “Fisher Poets,” which has shown by invitation at several film festivals. See www.oldoregon.com for more.
Folk Artist Dougie MacLean, March 25. He’s beloved around the world, with a gift for touching one’s life and deepest feelings with his gentle music and lyrics. The immensely popular folk artist from Scotland performs at Astoria’s Liberty Theater on Wednesday, March 25. Doors open at 6:45 PM and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m.
MacLean is a performer of extraordinary warmth and ease, with a knack for turning the experiences of his own life into something universally understood. After a performance at Carnegie Hall, the Wall Street Journal hailed MacLean as “A Musical Hero.” MacLean’s music is for thinking people of all ages.
Dougie drew an audience of more than 400 on a Tuesday night when he performed in Astoria at the Liberty in September, 2006.
Tickets are $25 general, $23 seniors, and $17 students. They are available at the Liberty Theater Box Office, 1203 Commercial. Astoria, Oregon. (503) 325-5922 Ext. 55.
Astoria Warrenton Crab and Seafood Festival, April 24 – 26. The Astoria Warrenton Crab and Seafood Festival will celebrate its 27th anniversary this year, and again, as always, it happens on the last full weekend in April.
Festivalgoers can enjoy live music from northwest Bands, an enormous selection of seafood and other culinary delights (including the Rotary club’s traditional crab dinner), almost 50 Oregon Wineries and about 100 booths filled with handmade arts and crafts from Pacific Northwest artisans.
Friday, April 24 4 – 9 p.m. $8 general admission
A weekend pass may be purchased for $18. It all happens at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds, 92937 Walluski Loop, Astoria, Oregon.