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Celebration to feature expanded Kids Zone, Columbia Arts Guild show, book sales, car show, more

COURTESY PHOTO: STACEY TINNEY WITH IRIS POETRY PHOTOGRAPHY - The Columbia City Celebration is an annual event that brings community members together for a day of family-friendly activities. The celebration will be held at Columbia City Elementary School on Saturday, Sept. 14. With a variety of activities for all ages planned for the annual Columbia City Celebration this Saturday, organizers are pitching the tradition as a family-friendly event to bring community members together.

The Columbia City Celebration will take place Saturday, Sept. 14, with events running from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

One of the longest-running traditions at the celebration is also one of the earliest in the day. From 7 to 10 a.m., visitors can purchase a strawberry pancake breakfast for $10 a plate, complete with pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham and toppings.

The pancake breakfast has been served every year at the city celebration for the past 25 years and is one of the event's longest running traditions, said celebration volunteer Chip Gardes.

After the breakfast, visitors can head over to the Columbia City Elementary School campus to take part in dozens of other planned activities.

For the first time, the Columbia Arts Guild will be hosting its own artist showcase at the school, highlighting the work of close to 20 Columbia County-based artists.

Guild member Dana Belisle said she was excited by the number of local artists who expressed interest in showing their work at the event.

"I'm just really glad to see the public will get to see what's happening locally here in Columbia County," Belisle said. "We've got some really fun artists and I'm happy their artwork will be shown."

She expects more than 60 pieces to be on display and most of it will be for sale. The arts guild will also be selling photo prints and cards as a fundraiser.

For the second year in a row, the Society for Creative Anachronism will also be attending the event, Gardes said. The Middle Ages reenactment group's members will be dressed in full costume, complete with some in handmade chainmail.

The Kid Zone, a free area for children to enjoy activities, will also be greatly expanded this year with opportunities for children to create jewelry, wooden cars that they can keep, and face-painting.

The celebration also brings together a variety of educational resources like the annual Prepare Fair, as well as health resources like a free vision screening clinic for

preschool and young chil-

dren hosted by the St. Helens Elks.

For the seventh year in a row, classic car enthusiasts will host the "Show and Shine" car show in conjunction with the celebration. Anyone wanting to enter their own wheels into the show can register the day of the event by paying $20 on site. Organizers are anticipating close to 200 vehicles.

The annual Columbia City Celebration serves not only as a way to bring the community together, but also as a fundraiser for the volunteer-run Columbia City Community Library.

"Every cent we raise goes to support the library," Gardes said.

During the celebration, volunteers will be hosting a huge book sale with thousands of books available for visitors to purchase.

"Come buy some books, because if they don't sell I gotta move them," Gardes joked.

Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the library will also be hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the building to celebrate the recent installation of a new sidewalk and fencing, which will allow the library to expand its hours of operation as volunteers are available.

While many activities will be offered for free, a number of craft vendors will be on site selling wares. Organizers will also be hosting a silent auction and several raffles.

CELEBRATION AT A GLANCE

? Pancake Breakfast, a tradition since 1994

? Book Sale with thousands of books looking for a new home

? 7th annual "Show and Shine" car show

? Live music by The Decades and St. Helens Library Ukulele Band

? Kids Craft Area, sponsored by Resonate Church

? Society for Creative Anachronism, a Middle Ages reenactment group to demonstrate martial arts, science, games, painting; photo opportunities

? Food vendors and bake sales

? Silent auction with hundreds of donations

? Emergency Preparedness Fair with Columbia County first responders

? Free vision screenings by the Elks Children's Eye Clinic

? Art Show featuring local artists presented by the Columbia Arts Guild

? Quilt show by members of the "Novel Quilters" (quilts depicting images from a chosen novel)

? Raffle for a queen-sized quilt designed by Cathy Lundberg, made by members of the Columbia River Piece Makers Quilt Guild

? Raffle for three day, two night stay at Long Beach Peninsula

? Craft show with more than 20 local vendors

? Booths set up by the St. Helens School District, City Hall, more


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