Cowlitz County Gateway to Mount St. Helens
Cowlitz County is home to approximately 101,996 residents, roughly 56 percent of whom live in the incorporated cities of Castle Rock, Kelso, Longview, Kalama, and Woodland. The remaining 44 percent live in rural, unincorporated communities such as Ryderwood, Toutle, Yale, Silver Lake, Lexington, Ariel and Cougar.
The county covers 1,144 square miles within the southwestern region of Washington. Once known as the “Timber Capital of the World,” Cowlitz County is home to Douglas fir, hemlock and western cedar trees that cover much of its rugged terrain.
Adjacent transportation corridors – including Interstate 5, the Columbia River and a major rail line – have allowed area businesses to access markets throughout the world. Following the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens, tourism expanded rapidly and is now a major industry in Cowlitz County.
The historic Columbia Theatre opened as a vaudeville venue and movie house in 1925, declined during the mid-20th century and escaped what would have been a tragic ending in 1980 when excavation and demolition equipment heading toward the theater was diverted to help with the cleanup following the eruption of Mount St. Helens. Subsequently, a group of visionaries got together and saved the building. Today, the vibrant 1,000-seat theatre hosts nearly a dozen shows each year, ranging from musicals to comedy to children’s theatre.
At Mint Valley you will find one of the finest public golf courses in the state of Washington. The well-bunkered greens, water hazards, and tall trees will test every skill level. This par 71 championship course plays 6,432 yards from the back tees and 5,230 yards from the forward tees. The greens are always fast and in excellent condition. The course also features practice putting and chipping greens as well as a covered driving range. The course is easy to walk, but if you prefer to ride just call ahead and reserve a cart.
Mint Valley also has a six-hole, par 3 course with holes ranging in distance from 50 to 90 yards. This is a great place to fine tune your short game and introduce the game to beginning players.
Mint Valley Golf Course…it’s beautiful, friendly and affordable. Come out and play!
Triangle Center - Triangle Center is located at the corner of Ocean Beach Hwy. & 15th Ave., Longview. It is a Community Center which opened in 1964 and was last renovated in 2005. It is an Open shopping mall with 1,635 parking spaces. It covers an area of 253,064 sqft.
The Triangle Center offers numerous stores and restaurants, including:
Ross, Petco, Bed Bath & Beyond, Michael’s, Applebee’s, Winco, Starbucks, Big 5 Sports, Ace Hardware, Office Depot, US Cellular, Ultra, Chase Bank, Rite - Aid,
Longview, WA 98632
The Rose Center for the Arts is the most elegant public building in Cowlitz County, with sweeping expanses of wood paneling and a mural by a nationally recognized painter in the lobby.
The state-of-the-art building defines the edge of the campus and provides not only classrooms and offices, but rehearsal, performance and exhibit spaces designed to showcase a variety of arts and cultural events.
Features include a glass enclosed lobby, 525-seat performance auditorum, 125-seat thrust theatre, art gallery, rehearsal rooms, costume shops, dressing rooms, classrooms, music practice rooms and offices.
Extensive use of timber, made possible by a donation from the Rose family, establishes a bond with the region's history of lumber production. Fir and cherry wood paneling enhance the aesthetics, along with state-of-the-art variable acoustics, sound systems and lighting.
The Rose Center for the Arts at the Lower Columbia College opened in June of 2008 and offers a full program of events. In addition to the theatre, the facility includes an art gallery on two levels and an art walk around the campus
Longview, WA 98632
July 26, 27 & 28 at 7:00 pm
The History of the Rodeo
The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo originated as a PRCA rodeo in 1975 under the direction of rodeo committee members Ron McCoy, Mel Boultinghouse, Cal Christensen, Vern Eaton, Wayne Gossett, Bill Merz, George Moore, Les Nelson, and Jan Searing. The rodeo was originally called The Cowlitz County Fair & Rodeo, but after Mount Saint Helens spewed its fire and thunder upon this area in 1980, committeeman George Moore suggested in 1981 that the rodeo’s name be changed to The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo.
Since 1981, the rodeo has been known by this memorable name, which though was derived from a volcanic eruption, it also aptly denotes the thundering hooves and energy, which this rodeo brings to town.
When the rodeo began in 1975 we used a borrowed, portable arena that was erected just before the Cowlitz County Fair opened, and had to dismantle it after the fair ended. In 1979, we established a permanent arena. Although this arena was a vast improvement over a portable arena, we now have a state of the art arena, which we are proud to state was entirely constructed by committee members. Cowlitz County Fair Grounds 1970's Our present committee is comprised of 12 committee members, whereas we had 8 committee members when the rodeo originated.
Christensen Brothers was our original stock contractor. Gold Buckle Rodeo Company is our present stock contractor. We began with $300.00 per added event, and now we add $3,000.00 per event, including barrel racing. Since this rodeo’s origination we have consistently drawn top cowboy and cowgirl contestants to the competition. The Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo committee believes that the keys to success in having a great rodeo consist of having excellent stock, quality contestants, talented bullfighters, funny clowns, and exciting half-time entertainment. Each year we strive to make the rodeo the most successful rodeo competition we can bring to the Lower Columbia region. We hope that you have the opportunity to experience the Thunder Mountain Pro Rodeo!
July 25, 26, 27 & 28
The History of the Cowlitz County Fair~
On September 3rd and 4th 1937 the Cowlitz Valley Fair was held for the first time in Catlin Park, beginning a tradition that has lasted seventy-five years and continues on to this day as the Cowlitz County Fair. With the exception of the four years during World War II, the annual fair has provided such stimulating and amusing entertainment as a milking contest between civic leaders from Longview and Kelso held the very first day of that very first fair. Contestants included Kelso Mayor W.E. Chinn, Kelso Kiwanis President Thomas H. Van Noy, President E.G. Ditlersen and Secretary Eugene Crumb of the Kelso Chamber of Commerce VS Longview Mayor John P. Bell, Longview Kiwanis President Verne DeVilbiss, President J.L. Norris and Secretary L.K. Martini of the Longview Chamber of Commerce. The winner was Dr. J.L. Norris of Longview.
Other events of the day included the livestock judging contest and the Home Economics judging event. There were fair exhibits on clean easy milkers, grange feeds, grange flour, international trucks, batteries, tires, and J.I. Case Farm Machinery. The first day centered on farms and gardens. The Rose Valley Grange won first in the Grange exhibit division with a variety of farm produce. Pleasant Hill was 2nd and Kalama 3rd. The Judges were Mr.& Mrs. Heye Meyers of Vancouver.
COWLITZ COUNTY FAIR FOR THE 1st TWENTY-FIVE YEARS 1937 - 1962
Our fair began as The Cowlitz Valley Fair held at Catlin Park. But it didn’t stay put. The location moved to 15th Avenue and Ocean Beach Hwy in 1941, next to 7th Avenue and the old LP&N railway in 1942, then to Saddle Club Park in Longview at 14th and Baltimore in 1946, back to 7th Avenue in 1947, and finally to the present location in 1950. During this time the fair underwent two additional name changes: The Cowlitz County Fair in 1946 and The Columbia Empire Fair in 1949. There were no fairs nationwide from 1941 -1945 by government order due to WWII.
Right from the beginning the fair was a family friendly event. Admission increases reflected this, starting from only .25 to .50 cents for adults and from .10 to .25 cents for children under the age of 15. By 1962 admission was .75 cents for adults and the .25 cents for kids stayed the same and the age requirement was dropped to under 12 years of age and covered all of the events. The attendance grew from approximately 3,000 in 1946 to 23,302 in 1962.
From the beginning, the fair has had a western flare throughout, with many Country Western singers, comedians, and various other western themed performers. Events and entertainment included horse shows, juvenile rodeos, Sheriff’s Posse horse shows, many dog & chimp acrobatic performers, and jalopy races. Also in attendance were governors, noted political leaders, and T.V. & movie personality guest appearances. One of the exciting attractions was seeing who would win the crown for “Queen of the Fair.” Many of the young ladies who won the title of Queen had also first won a Rodeo title, demonstrating how hard working these youths were in the early days of the fair.
New building additions to the fair began with the construction of the automobile building in 1947 and went on to include the floral building, modern restrooms, model milk parlor and office building in 1948. Also added was a new horse show arena in 1952, a dormitory for youngsters who stay overnight for livestock exhibits in 1953, a caretaker’s house in 1954, and lastly in this time period, a 40’X120’ livestock building.
Longview, WA 98632
Located in historic downtown Longview, Washington, represents representational and abstract styles of fine art. We seek to promote the rich variety of local talent found in Southwest Washington and Oregon. We also seek to promote the visual art in our community by contributing to local educational efforts through our First Thursday art demonstrations and art talks.
McThread's Wearable Art Boutique (an extension of Lord & McCords Artworks) represents one of a kind designer style wearable art and jewelry. Our designers specialize in knitted, crocheted and felted items, beaded scarves and purses, wooden collage purses, hand painted and batik silk and fabric art. We offer services in combining wearable art accessories and jewelry to make a fashion statement. We seek to promote women's fashion in our community, not only by offering designer fashions, but by having fashion shows and First Thursday demonstrations.
Bob's Sporting Goods
Full-time Pro Shop employees
Archery Lessons, Seminars
11-lane air conditioned range
Full service repair shop
Offering Hoyt, Mathews, Mission Bows
Parts and Accessories
The Longview Squirrel Fest is the first of its kind on the West Coast and in the Mount St. Helens region! We're nuts over this one-day festival in honor or our furry friends. Launching the first Longview Squirrel Fest was a dream of a local group, The idea came from the Sandbaggers who helped build and maintains the Nutty Narrows Bridge on the Civic Circle in Longview, they wanted a fun event that would be nutty enough for everyone from age 2 to 102.
The Civic Circle is transformed into an all day venue of fun, games, and music for the whole family to enjoy.
Kids 5 k Run
Go Nutty Squirrel Fest Parade
Kids Games & Activities
Beer & Wine Garden
Main Stage - Musical Entertainment