Salsa and scalawags: local events for late summer fun

Max (front) and Rex Cordell dress as pirates at the 2013 Pirate Party at the Library. Again this year, prizes go to the best costumes.

Max (front) and Rex Cordell dress as pirates at the 2013 Pirate Party at the Library. Again this year, prizes go to the best costumes.

Want to have some fun in these last days of summer? Here’s a selection of things to do in the Gorge in the next week or so. (See Happenings for plenty more ideas.)

Families in the Park – Aug. 28: It’s the final show of the year, featuring the ever-popular Hit Machine (“Dance ‘til your socks drop off”) Thursday at 7 p.m. This band provides a two-hour party. Food is available or purchase, or bring your picnic. Kid Fit 2 Go/Gorge Gymnastics get things warmed up starting at 6 p.m.

Pirate Party Picnic — The Hood River Library brings back the popular event, Aug. 29, at 5:30 p.m. Bring your picnic dinner and celebrate a summer of reading at the library. Enjoy rollicking pirate tunes from The BildgeRats and the Pyrettes, meet real parrots, watch some scalawags’ sword fights and enjoy a free scoop of Mike’s Ice Cream. Everyone is encouraged to come dressed as a pirate; prizes will be awarded for best costumes. The event is sponsored by Hood River Hobbies.

Salsa Sizzle — Rasmussen Farms’ annual event returns Sept. 6-7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the farm, 3020 Thomsen Road, in Pine Grove south of Hood River.

Salsa is America’s favorite condiment…perhaps because there are so many variations. The huge u-pick Rasmussen Farms gardens are rich with all the ingredients for salsa, and there are plenty of ready-picked choices, too. Find big, juicy slicing-style tomatoes, meaty Roma-style tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, and a plethora of peppers—from sweet, thick-walled green peppers to spicy jalapenos. Additional salsa ingredients are available, too. There’ll be a selection of tasty salsas to try, recipes, and much more. Food, entertainment, and other fun is planned, too.

Hood River Fly-In — Sept. 6-7 at Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum and Ken Jernstedt Airfield. The annual event brings in planes from all over the Northwest, with special rollouts and rides of historic cars and planes, and demonstrations and displays of restoration projects at WAAAM.

Plein Air Reading — A variety of writers will debut their freshly-written works at the Columbia Center for the Arts’ Plein Air Literary Reading on Sunday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m.

Inspired by various Columbia Gorge locations, writers could choose any format – such as poetry, memoir, essay or flash fiction – but were limited to 500 words or less.

“The chance to experience an audience’s reaction is priceless for writers,” said coordinator Julie Hatfield. “Plus, audience members get the rare opportunity to hear the work as the writer intended. The energy between the reader and the audience can be electric.”

The free event will be at the Columbia Center for the Arts CAST Theatre in Hood River.

Selections from the writers, as well as participating painters’ artwork, will be displayed at the Columbia Center for the Arts through September.

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