Things to do
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
For more than two decades, the Broadway Gallery has been a staple in the local art scene. A collaborative effort by 50 area artists,
the Broadway Gallery hosts ongoing classes and special events.
Kalama, WA 98625
Marina & Recreational Area
The Port of Kalama offers stellar riverfront recreational facilities, including walking and biking paths, playgrounds, covered picnic shelters and the tallest totem pole in the Pacific Northwest! The Port operates a 222-slip marina, and its public beaches are a southwest Washington destination for swimming, windsurfing, fishing and just relaxing.
Mt St Helens Cellars Winery is nestled in the hills of Silverlake, Washington. The view of Mount St. Helens provides a picturesque backdrop for the winery. We offer an array of red and white wines made from grapes grown in Washington State, each of which is sure to please the palette as well as the senses. Even though we are a new winery, making wine is not new to us.
Our winemaker, Gary has been making wine for over 20 years, the first eight years in the Santa Clara Valley of California. About ten years ago Gary and his wife June moved back to southwest Washington where they grew up. Gary continued making wine here in Washington, travelling each year to eastern Washington to purchase grapes for his hobby. As time passed and the hobby grew into a passion Mount St. Helens Cellars erupted onto the landscape in the shadows of the mountain.
Wine Tasting Room is located at 1254 Mt St Helens Way at Exit 49 and I-5 – Castle Rock, WA 98611
Wine Tasting Room Hours:
Friday 12 to 6
Saturday 12 to 5
Sunday 1 to 4
Woodland, WA 98674
Located 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon, and just a few minutes (5 miles)east of I-5 at exit 21 (Woodland, WA.), the Lewis River Golf Course is tucked between the North Fork of the beautiful Lewis River and the evergreen foothills of the Cascade mountains. The golf course environment contains numerous species of shrubs and trees, framing the beautiful Pacific Northwest valley and the scenic Cascade foothills. The tree-lined fairways require accuracy to score well, and the greens, with challenging contours, are some of the finest you’ll putt on in the northwest. Also home to North Fork Bar & Grill.
Woodland, WA 98674
Each year, thousands of visitors step back in time to discover the 1880’s Victorian Farmhouse and country gardens that comprise the Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens.
To showcase the site, the Gardens and historic buildings have been lovingly maintained by the Hulda Klager Lilac Society, a nonprofit volunteer organization. The Society fully funds the care and upkeep of the historical site from the proceeds of Lilac Days, dues and donations. With the help of our volunteers and members, the Society continues to carry on the work of growing and showing the beautiful lilacs including those hybridized by Hulda Klager many decades ago.
Lilac Days 2018
April 21 – Mothers Day – May 13th
History of Hulda Klager Lilac Gardens
Woodland is perhaps best known as the home of Hulda Klager (1863–1960), who was a prolific breeder of lilacs. The “Lilac Lady” Hulda Klager née Thiel, was long the pride of Woodland. She immigrated from Germany to Wisconsin in 1865, when she was just two years old, and came West when her family bought a farm in Woodland. Later she married and settled down on the family farm. When a friend gave her a book about Luther Burbank, she began creating flowers, hybridizing new varieties of roses, dahlias, even apples, and lilacs in particular. By 1920 she had created such a magnificent array of new hand-pollinated lilacs that she opened her garden on Lilac Week every spring for visitors. The floodwaters of 1948 rolled over her garden, destroying every shrub and hand-pollinated lilac. The loss grieved those who visited her garden or who had purchased her lilacs. From all over the Northwest, people sent starts of her lilacs from their own gardens. By 1950, at the age of eighty-seven, Klager, who loved flowers and who had been honored by the state of Washington as well as such organizations as the nationally famous arboretum at Cambridge, Massachusetts, again opened her home for Lilac Week. After her death in 1960, the Woodland Federated Garden Club, shocked that the garden might be bulldozed for industry, succeeded in raising money to buy it and have it declared a state and national historic site.
Kalama, WA 98625
McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge opens Friday, April 20. We welcome you to the newest McMenamins property, Kalama Harbor Lodge – a tropical-inspired oasis along the Columbia River – nestled between Kalama’s landmark totem poles and the marina at the Port of the Kalama. Inspired by the Hawaiian heritage of John Kalama, the property is reminiscent of the Pioneer Inn in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii. You’re sure to feel the relaxation of an island vibe while taking in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
The new hotel will include 40 guestrooms with private bathrooms and individual lanais, most with a view of the river. The property will include a restaurant & lounge with wood stoves and a bar made of salvaged radio telegraph poles, as well as a wrap-around outdoor patio with views of the river and four fire pits for which to gather ‘round. Watch our brewers through the large front window as they make the newest selection of handcrafted ales in the seven-barrel brewery just inside the main door. Step inside the gift shop to find McMenamins gear and handcrafted beverages, including growler fills and bottles to-go. Take the elevator to the fourth floor, where you’ll find the Rooftop Bar with the best views of the river. Watch the boats come and go, handcrafted ale in hand.
Let us be the location for your next meeting and event or upcoming wedding. We have room for up to 120 people (standing). For more information and to inquire about booking private events, please go to our website.
Meander along the path that leads from the hotel past the totem poles and Marine Park to Ahles Point, where you’ll find a small log-cabin style shack built by Kalama manufacturer Mountain Log Homes. The Shack will be warmed by fireplaces inside and out, with a patio and views of the Columbia River.
McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge will honor the town’s roots and historical significance with its unique architecture, commissioned art and visual touches. Similar architecture can be found today in Kalama in an 1870s structure that was the Northern Pacific Railway’s hospital. John Kalama — originally of Kula, Maui — lived in the area as an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Kalama River and the city both bear his name. Descendants of John Kalama are members of the Nisqually and Warm Springs Tribes.