Independent artists and musicians celebrate Independence Day for First Friday, sponsored by the Hood River Downtown Business Association and GorgeArts.

On Friday from 5-8 p.m., downtown businesses host local artists and performers for the monthly event.

Enhanced by live music and entertainment, First Friday is among the Columbia River Gorge’s top cultural events. Artists working in diverse media are on hand to showcase and sell their art, and a variety of performers entertain throughout the downtown area. Each participating business extends its hours until 8 p.m.

The Columbia Center for the Arts located at 215 Cascade, will host an open house from 2 to 8 p.m. for tours. Visitors will have an opportunity to see the vision for the new center, including potential renovation plans and artists concepts for the design of the exterior.

This month’s show at the Columbia Art Gallery will be Art and Politics — Open Invitational mixed media.

Highlighted artists for the July event include Evlory Dearing, Ruth Reflexions and Mary Eberle at A Salon Day Spa Boutique, Cheryl Hall, Cathleen Rehfeld and Kathryn Snyder at Doug’s Sports, Elizabeth Anderson at Gorge Dog, Susan Kline at Gorge Surf Shop, Richard Hallman of Freelance Imaging at Holstein’s Coffee Company, Sally Bailey at Hood River Stationers, Dyann Andresen of Sunrise Inspirations at Kerrits, Maren McGowan at Visitors Information Center, Sasha Decker at Waucoma Bookstore, John Mayo at Yum Gallery and Carousel Art Historians at International Museum of Carousel Art.

Highlighted musicians include Mark Pearce at Hood River Wine Bar, Wild River at Discover Bicycles, Charles Crosman at At Home on Oak Street, Henry and John at Hood River Hotel, DjangoÆs Cadillac at 6th Street Bistro & Loft and Swing Time at Hood River Bagel Co.

The evening fireworks display, put on by the Eyeopeners Lions, will begin at dusk and is launched from the Hood River waterfront.

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