Lake Oswego Summer Concert Series Kicks Off This Week

summer concert series 4Lake Oswego’s beautiful summer evenings provide a perfect backdrop for the town’s Summer Concert Series. Performances rotate among three different parks: Millennium Plaza (MPP), Foothills (FP) and Westlake (WP). Each has its own personality so try them all!

Remember: admission is free and low sand chairs are recommended. Pack a picnic or take advantage of the food and beverage offerings available on site.

Here’s the schedule:


Sun., 7/5 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Skybound Blue Americana
Wed., 7/8 7-9:00 p.m. FP Cloverdale Country
Sun., 7/12 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Paul Creighton Project R&B/Soul/Jazz/Pop
Wed., 7/15 7-9:00 p.m. FP Barracuda Rock
Sun., 7/19 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Lino Guitarist: Jazz/New Age/Latin/Rock
Wed., 7/22 7-9:00 p.m. FP Curtis Salgado R&B
Sun., 7/26 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Midnight Serenaders Guitarist: Retro Swing/Jazz
Wed., 7/29 7-9:00 p.m. FP Jilt Rock
Sun., 8/2 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Joe Powers Trio Harmonica Virtuoso
Wed., 8/5 6:30-8:30 p.m. WP Quarterflash Rock
Sun., 8/9 6-7:30 p.m. MPP The Dan Balmer Group Jazz
Wed., 8/12 6:30-8:30 p.m. WP Paperback Writer Beatles Hits
Sun., 8/16 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Al Scott Band Folksy Pop, Celtic
Wed., 8/19 6:30-8:30 p.m. WP Conjunto Alegre Salsa
Sun., 8/23 6-7:30 p.m. MPP Sabroso Latin to Funk
Wed., 8/26 6:30-8:30 p.m. WP Radical Revolution 80’s Tribute

*MPP – Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street
FP – Foothills Park, 199 Foothills Drive
WP – Westlake Park, 14164 Bunick Drive

Summertime is Lake Oswego at its best so don’t miss a thing. Subscribe to my blog by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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How to Enjoy the 4th of July in Lake Oswego Oregon

2014 4th of July family 3

Here’s my family sporting our 4th of July wardrobe. As you can see, we’ve lost one of the t-shirts over the years. If you ever come across one that matches, let me know.

It only took me one summer to realize that the 4th of July ranks up there with Christmas and New Year’s among Lake Oswegans. It’s a holiday you definitely want to be in town for because the festivities are endless. Here’s a game plan for how to enjoy it.

1. Start shopping early for red, white and blue décor. We have about three plastic bins that are stocked with everything from flag inspired tablecloths to a life-size stuffed Uncle Sam. In Lake Oswego we decorate for the holidays…. and one of them is in July.

2. Plan your wardrobe. Flag t-shirts are also stored in those plastic bins I mentioned…outfits that my teenage kids lamented having to wear which my now young adult children can hardly wait to put on.

3. Made up your guest beds. You’ll probably have company. This year our son and four of his friends are flying in…and the guest list isn’t finalized yet.

4. Kick off things early. The Millennium Band cranks out the patriotic favorites on July 3, beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Millennium Plaza Park.

5. Get to bed early so you can hit the pancake breakfast. The Lions Club starts flipping hot cakes at 7:00 a.m. at George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street and the line continues to grow until closing time at 12:00 noon. Early birds make sure they get the marionberry syrup. Gluten-free eaters can indulge too.

6. Catch the Star Spangled Parade. What kid doesn’t love a parade? Apparently none in Lake Oswego as it seems every child under the age of 10 is either walking down A Avenue or cheering those on who are. Parade begins at 10:00 a.m. and finishes at Millennium Plaza Park with a Star Spangled Celebration…and pie eating contest (oh, and this year, the Farmer’s Market will be going on too so it will be a happening place).

7. Reserve your spot at the Lake Grove Swim Park. If you plan on viewing the fireworks from the Lake Grove Swim Park, you might want to get there early (it opens at 12:00 noon) and set out your picnic blanket to reserve your spot.

8. Look to the lake for the boat parade. While you’re at the swim park, you can also catch the Lake Corporation Boat Parade as boats wind their way around the lake decked out in their red, white and blue. The swim park is a prime viewing spot, as is Sundeleaf Plaza. Parade begins at 1:00 p.m.

9. Park yourself somewhere for fireworks on the lake. The show begins around 9:45 p.m. on the west end of Oswego Lake so best to be at the Lake Grove Swim Park, on the Oswego Canal bridge, in a boat on the lake, or at a lakefront party (work on getting that invite as part of your game plan).

10. Extend the celebration with the Lake Corporation Ski (10:00 a.m.) and Wakeboard (1:00 p.m.) Competition and Portland Water Spectacular Ski Show (5:00 p.m.) on Sunday, July 5 in Lakewood Bay. You can keep an eye on things from Sundeleaf Plaza, Stickmen’s Brewery & Skewery, the Lake Theatre and Café, and Millennium Plaza Park.

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A Few Things You’ll Be Surprised to Find at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts

festival of arts Extreme felting…Yarn bombing…Let’s just say that the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts set for this weekend, June 26-28, has a few surprises in store for you this year.

With this year’s theme of “On the Fringe—Today’s Twist on Fiber Art,” organizers are showcasing innovative ways artists are working with traditional (and recyclable) materials. Much of the work is so novel, it even requires a new vocabulary. Here are three terms you might want to familiarize yourself with before attending the show.

  • Extreme felting. If all you know about felt is the 9 x 12 inch pieces you buy at Michael’s, prepare to be amazed. One of this year’s featured artists, Janice Arnold, makes her own felt and will be leading a discussion Friday evening at 5:00 p.m. on “Extreme Felting: A Wild and Woolly Art Form,” on the Headlee Mainstage in the Lakewood Center. From nomadic tribes in Central Asia to the high tech world of industrial felt, Arnold has made it her life’s mission to study and understand Felt, and in the process, getting all of us to look at it differently.
  • Biomorphic. The exhibit’s other featured installation artist isBarbara.DePirro-1 web Barbara DePirro, whose artistic expressions are inspired by naturally occurring patterns and shapes found in the world around us. By utilizing objects like plastic caps and water bottles to create her colorful “Flourish” installation, she makes a strong case for protecting the environment without raising her voice.
  • Yarn bombing. Picture street art without the chalk or paint. Instead guerrilla knitters head out armed with yarn to adorn statues (like they’ve done in the city of Portland during the Christmas season), or in the Festival’s case, dress up a bicycle. Don’t miss this family-friendly activity.

The Festival runs Friday, June 26, through Sunday, June 28. For a complete schedule of events, click here. And to learn more reasons why the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is not to be missed, check out some of my previous posts.

Cool Off at the Lake Grove Swim Park

With this week’s forecast promising up 80 and 90 degree days, you’ll want to take a dip at the Lake Grove Swim Park which opened this past weekend. Check it out here. 3800 Lakeview Blvd,
503. 675.2549.

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6 Ways the Lake Oswego Rotary Casts a Wide Net Under the Big Tent

LobsterFeed31-webIt will be hard to go the Lake Oswego Rotary Lobster Feed and Charity Auction this Saturday, June 20,and not find something you like. And I’m not just talking about what’s up for bid on the auction block.

Sure, the auctioneer will be doing his chant for parties and getaways, but the real winners after the party is over and volunteers start transitioning the big tent from an auction setup to an art festival one, are the charity beneficiaries. They cover a lot of bases, so no matter what causes you support, you’re bound to find one here that tugs at your heartstrings.

LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS. This cause is local and has a long tradition as the Lakewood Center has been a partner/co-sponsor of the annual Lobster Feed and Charity Auction since its inception. In fact, proceeds from the first Rotary Club auction fulfilled the $20,000 pledge the club had made to purchase the building that currently houses the Lakewood Center for the Arts. Today, that money helps support the Center’ s educational and cultural programs in theatre, visual arts and community events that more than 100,000 people enjoy each year.

HOSPITAL FOR HOPE. From their own backyard, to 7,349 miles away, the Lake Oswego Rotary sees a need and sets out to meet it. Funds from this year’s auction will go to support a self-sustainable hospital that serves 1,000 patients a month in an extremely under-served area of the Indian state of Jharkhand. After years of neglect, villagers can be treated for preventable diseases like malaria, dysentery and infant mortality.

HAPPY TRAILS RIDING CENTER. This ranch in West Linn serves children and adults of all ages with a wide range of special needs who have been diagnosed with a physical, cognitive or emotional disability. By helping them develop a relationship with their horse, instructor, volunteers, and fellow students, the Riding Center gives these individuals a new sense of purpose and feeling of confidence.

LAKE OSWEGO MEALS NETWORK. Despite being known as an affluent community, the need for preparing and delivering meals to seniors and disabled residents in Lake Oswego is high. Currently, close to 20,000 meals are served each year both at the Adult Community Center and through the Meals-on-Wheels Program, representing a 17% increase just since 2010. The Lake Oswego Rotary is on the Meals-on-Wheels Donor Wall of Fame for its generous support of $8,990 and they look to be adding to that this year.

MOBILITY IMPAIRED GOLF ASSOCIATION. There is a theme to Rotary’s giving—improving lives. It might be through art, medical care, horseback riding, food, or golf. The Mobility Impaired Golf Association offers free clinics and lessons for physically and mentally challenged children and young adults at the Lake Oswego Public Golf Course. Participants come from Shriners Hospital, The Children’s Cancer Association, United Cerebral Palsy, Easter Seals, Dornbecker Children’s Hospital, Special Olympics as well as children and young adults who are blind or autistic throughout the Northwest.

NATIONAL ALLIANCE on MENTAL ILLNESS of CLACKAMAS COUNTY (NAMI). The Alliance offers a variety of free classes, programs and outreach for individuals and families facing a mental health crisis in an effort to improve their lives and connect them with valuable resources.

The 31st Annual Lake Oswego Rotary Lobster Feed and Charity Auction begins at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, at the Lakewood Center, 368 S. State Street. Check to see if tickets are still available. 503.635.6338.

Disclaimer: I realize I have featured the Lake Oswego Rotary a couple times in the last month. I must admit I am a member so pardon me for getting the word out about some of the great things the Rotary is doing but there is no denying–it’s one of the things that is special about Lake Oswego.

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Lake Oswego Offers Venues and More for the Perfect Summer Wedding

weddingJune kicks off the summer wedding season and if you live in Lake Oswego you don’t have to look far for services to help you plan and venues to help you hold your wedding.

Take a look at some of the resources our “little town that could” has to offer.
THE FOUNDRY. 320 Oswego Pointe, 503.387.5250. Situated on the Williamette River, The Foundry offers spectacular views and a variety of spaces with both indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception sites.
Amenities: bride/groom suites, tables, chairs, top-of-the-line sound system, free parking, waterfront setting, neutral color scheme so offers lots of flexibility, variety of setup and venue options to personalize the event
Capacity: 300 cocktail style; 175 seated reception.
Cost: Varies on time of day and day of week. Rental fee starts at $1,400.
Booking: There is still availability for this summer; however, Saturdays in July, August and September tend to book up more quickly so best to act fast.

LAKE THEATRE AND CAFÉ. 106 N. State Street, 503.387.3236. This historic event space located on Oswego Lake’s Lakewood Bay, offers an intimate indoor/outdoor setting for small weddings, engagement parties and rehearsal dinners.
Amenities: exclusive use of the event space and interior balcony with vintage seats; tables and chairs; AV equipment including projection, house sound, PA system and LED lights; silver, glass and chinaware; optional stage; setup/cleanup of space. The couple also gets their name up on the marquee.
Capacity: 100 seated; 200 standing.
Cost: Call for pricing
Booking: Usually six months in advance

LAKEWOOD CENTER FOR THE ARTS. 368 S. State Street, 503.635.6338. The Lakewood Center is a busy place; however, it does host three to four wedding receptions a year in the Community Meeting Room. It’s a good choice if you want to coordinate your own details or bring in your own consultant or caterer.
Amenities: full catering kitchen attached to space; room comes with tables, chairs and place settings for up to 150; carpeted floor so may need to bring in dance floor.
Capacity: 150 seated; 250 stand up cocktail party
Cost: $600-$750 for Community Meeting Room
Booking: As soon as possible, six months to a year in advance. Security deposit of $100-$150 required to reserve your date.

HOLY NAMES HERITAGE CENTER. 17425 Holy Names Drive, 503.607.0595. Located on the historic Marylhurst campus, this venue offers both 2800 square feet of interior space as well as a large enclosed courtyard and garden. Only one event per weekend is scheduled so no need to feel rushed.
Amenities: audio/visual system, courtyard and garden to accommodate outdoor ceremony or reception seating, microphones, on-site representative, prep kitchen, parking lot, tables and 125 chairs, Wi-Fi.
Capacity: up to 150 seated
Cost: Wedding and Reception from June through September $1,750; October through May $1,500. Reception Only from June through September $1,500; October through May $1,250.
Booking: Contact Karen Kinzey, 503.607.0595, x. 1

MOUNTAIN PARK CLUBHOUSE HAWTHORN ROOM.  2 Mt. Jefferson Terrace, 503.635.3561.
This beautiful treed setting features a lodge-like grand hall with tall ceilings and massive beams, softened by the landscape views on three sides.
Amenities: parquet dance floor, grand piano, wood burning fireplace, vaulted ceiling, skylights, floor to ceiling windows on three sides, private deck, Bose sound system, pantry/serving kitchen, ice machine, portable bar.
Capacity: 300 for cocktails, 200 seated using venue’s tables and chairs.
Cost: $1,400 for a ten hour period between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Fridays through Sundays. $175/hour for a minimum of two hours between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.
Booking: Contact Melissa: 503.635.3561. $500 refundable deposit required to hold your date.

LAKE OSWEGO HUNT CLUB. 2725 SW Iron Mountain Blvd., 503.636.0674.
This historical equestrian center offers plenty of space (19 acres) to accommodate both small and large gatherings.
Amenities: beautiful treed background, free to bring in your own caterer, kitchen, bar and Wi-Fi in clubroom, parking, indoor and outdoor spaces.
Capacity: 75 for cocktails in clubroom-50 for dinner; wide open grassy polo field can accommodate thousands. Covered indoor arena can hold hundreds.
Cost and Booking: Contact Katie Purdy, manager, 503.636.0674.

CELEBRATE CATERING. 15555 SW Bangy Rd., #100, 503.603.4516. Celebrate can provide a venue, catering, or both.
Amenities: There are three spaces available that can be rented individually or together to accommodate your needs. On-site parking.
Capacity: The Banquet Room will seat 200 for dinner and includes a stage, dance floor and full AV capabilities. The Foundation Room with a gas fireplace accommodates 20-50, depending on the usage. The Bar and lounge area comes complete with OLCC certified bartenders.
Cost and Booking: 503.603.4516.

CROWNE PLAZA. 14811 Kruse Oaks Dr., 503.624.8400.
If you want to make it easy for your guests, hold your reception here and they can just walk back to their rooms (discounted, of course) after the event.
Amenities: linens, dance floor and personal wedding coordinator; complementary suite for the bride and groom; discounted rates for out-of-town guests.
Capacity: Up to 200 guests
Cost and Booking: Contact 503.624.8400

LAKE OSWEGO PARKS. 503.675.2549. The City of Lake Oswego has three parks that are popular wedding venues, for rehearsal dinners, ceremonies and receptions—Millennium Plaza Park, Foothills Park and Roehr Park. Keep in mind that you must fill out an application and meet with the Parks Special Events coordinator. You are also responsible for taking out liability insurance and keeping music contained within the boundaries of the park. An alcohol permit must be obtained through the City and only beer and wine may be served. Only specific areas within the parks can be reserved—the rest of the park is still open to the public during your event.
Amenities: Vary by facility but includes: wood burning fireplace and kitchen at Millennium Plaza Park, 190 chairs and 35 round (31 ½” diameter) tables at Millennium Plaza Park and 49 stackable chairs plus 4 round tables and 8 oblong (30” x 48”) tables at Foothills Park. Willamette River view from both Foothils Park Pavilion and viewing dolphin and the Roehr Park Amphitheater and viewing dolphin.
Capacity: Millennium Plaza Park: up to 500; Foothills Park: 100 on Pavilion and 50 on viewing dolphin; Roehr Park 200.
Cost: Varies by facility.
Booking: Availability from March 1 through September 30; however, there are certain restrictions at certain venues. For example, Millennium Plaza Park takes no Friday reservations mid May through September or on Sundays in July and August. During Farmer’s Market season, the Saturday time slot is 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 pm. Reservations can be made up to one year in advance.

STEP IT UP STUDIOS. 449 3rd Street, 503.744.0105. The home of the Lakeside Ballroom Society is an elegant space offering 3,400 square feet for your event.
Amenities: state of art sound system, BBQ space, kitchen on site, DJ or live music, free group dance lesson at event and free lesson for all guests, catering available and more.
Call for more info: 503. 744.0105.

WALUGA LODGE. 20 SW A Avenue, 503.636.1036. This historic building is located in downtown Lake Oswego and is available to both the public and Masons (at a discount).
Amenities: There are three spaces to choose from: Main Floor with a stage and over 3,000 square feet, Dolby surround sound system, projection screen for slideshows, public address system; Lounge with a separate dining area, fireplace, pool table, televisions and tables and seating for 45; and Kitchen. Alcohol can be served and consumed everywhere but the main room.
Cost: Varies depending on which room(s) are reserved and for length of time. Must provide proof of insurance for $1,000.000.
Booking: 503.636.1036.

BRIDAL BLISS. 402 N. State Street, 503.804.4901. The team of wedding planners at Bridal Bliss has received an impressive list of accolades including being voted the Best Wedding Planner and Portland’s Best All-Around Wedding Vendor by readers of Oregon Bride Magazine for the last five consecutive years.
Services include:
Day of planning: includes two pre-wedding consultations plus day of coordination
Partial Planning: a good choice for couples who have already taken care of some of the details and includes day of services as well as additional help like vendor contract reviews.
Full Service: includes day-of coordination as well as everything leading up to it like creating a timeline, developing a budget, vendor management, RSVP coordination.
Dessert Buffets: offers candies and baked goodies from Portland scratch bakers artfully displayed

SOIRÉE. 15630 SW Boones Ferry Rd. (appointment only), 503.230.9311. Soirée has been planning weddings and special events since 1998 acquiring a host of awards from Wedding Wire and Oregon Bridge Magazine along the way.
Services include:
Jour du Mariage: day of coordination that begins two months prior to ensure the team is up to speed to manage all the details on your big day
Celébration: includes day of coordination plus resources along the way including vendor recommendations
Elégante: full service coordination through the entire process from budget planning to décor and etiquette questions
Spendide: full service coordination plus additional benefits exclusive to Soirée.

OTHER SERVICES: There are many more services in Lake Oswego to help you plan the perfect event from Anna’s Bridal for the perfect wedding gown to Step It Up Ballroom Society where you can practice your footwork before taking center stage the day of your wedding. Caterers, photographers, jewelers…you’ll find them all here.

And if the newlyweds are looking for a home, I know a good Realtor! Give me a call at 503.939.9801.

Photo credit: Image courtesy of Rosen Georgiev at

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How Lake Oswego Is Working Towards World Peace One Child at a Time

Peace village for blogThe Lake Oswego Rotary is taking the words of Mahatma Gandhi and Pope John Paul II to heart.

John Paul said, “To reach peace, teach peace,” and Gandhi pointed out that “If we are to achieve real peace in this world, it will have to begin with the children.”

This summer, the Rotary is sponsoring a Peace Village summer day camp June 22-26 at Lakeridge Junior High for 60 students between the ages of 8 and 13, to make the world, and Lake Oswego, a better place, one child at a time.

Peace Village is an organization based in Portland with the tools and resources to help people learn and practice peaceful ways of interacting and being. They have designed curriculum for day camps, after school programs, teen programs, peaceful leadership training, and family and adult workshops.

The curriculum the Lake Oswego program will be using focuses on five areas: conflict prevention and resolution, respecting differences, being smart with social media, connecting with nature, and cultivating inner peace.

In addition to specially trained teachers and volunteers, two nationally known experts will be on hand to engage and inspire students.

Aaron Nigel Smith, a Lake Oswego Rotarian, travels the world though his One World Chorus music outreach program. He also created FUNdamentals of Music and Movement, an arts program used in many early child education centers. His love of music is infectious and he sees it as a way to build bridges between people.

Actor Oscar DeGruy will also be on hand to utilize the performing arts to help students work through and convey some of the week’s nonviolent themes. He comes off of working with the Newberg Peace Village program where he was highly recommended for his charismatic personality and ability to engage and motivate students.

In light of recent concerns about bullying in our schools and on social media, this camp seems like an idea whose time is now. I commend the Rotary’s Peace Builder Committee for taking this project on and encourage any of your school-aged children to attend. Can’t think of many things more important for our kids to learn than how to be at peace with themselves and each other.

Cost is $175 and scholarships are available. Registration information is available online.

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5 Reasons Why Vincent Van Gogh Thinks You Should Catch Paint En Plein Air in Lake Oswego This Week

Plein Air Lake Osweo_May 29 - June 4In a letter to his brother in August of 1881, Vincent Van Gogh wrote, “If you’re in a position to see someone painting or drawing, pay attention, because I believe that many an art dealer would think differently about many paintings if he rightly knew how they were made.”

During the second-annual Plein Air: Lake Oswego event, the public will get a chance to do what Van Gogh advised—watch over 50 artists capture landscapes in outdoor settings in Lake Oswego.

Here are four more reasons why Van Gogh thinks you should attend.

1. Weather forecast. It’s an extended forecast at this point, but looks like we’ll have a wonderful mix of gray and sunny skies, dry and wet weather and temps ranging from 65 to 84. That mix of natural light should give the artists lots to work with and the public lots to look for.

2. The event is free. Although Van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet sold for $82.5 million in 1990, he could have been a poster child for the starving artist during his lifetime. So FREE would have fit right into Van Gogh’s budget.

Plein Air

Plein Air

3. Van Gogh loved plein air painting and in fact braved the cold to paint the snow blanketed landscape that greeted him on his arrival in Arles Frances in 1888. Plein air painters at the Lake Oswego event share Van Gogh’s appreciation for the outdoor setting. Michael Orwick, a participant of this year’s show explains his proclivity toward plein air painting:
“The reason I paint plein air is [because] Oregon is amazing and beautiful. It allows me to get out of the studio and be a part of it. I really get to know the scene intimately and focus on the details. It’s the spontaneity and reaction of the artists to the scene in front of them; to paint quickly to capture the light of the scene.”

4. It’s a great excuse to get out and about in Lake Oswego. Although Van Gogh’s health often failed him, if he was up to it, he’d find all kinds of inspiration in Lake Oswego settings like: Luscher Farm, George Rogers Park, Foothills Park, Lakeview Village and Millennium Plaza.

The six-day paint out, sponsored by Devine Color and Rodda Paint Company, will culminate in a First Friday artist reception and exhibit opening at the Arts Council’s 510 Museum & ARTspace, 510 1st Street, Lake Oswego, on Friday, June 5th from 5-7 p.m. On June 26th through 28th, selected works that have been juried from the six-day “paint out” will be on exhibit and for sale as part of the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts.

For more information contact Nancy Nye, 503.675.3738.

And for more updates on reasons to love Lake Oswego, click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column. You’ll be notified of new blog posts each week.


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