5 Reasons Why You Can Have a “Merry Pitchmas” This Year in Lake Oswego

A picture tells a thousand words. We know these guys can sing, and judging by both these photos (Outspoken above and On the Rocks below) , we can also tell they're performers. Catch their show at Lake Oswego's Holiday Concert December 10.

A picture tells a thousand words. We know these guys can sing, and judging by both these photos (Outspoken above and On the Rocks below) , we can also tell they’re performers. Catch their show at Lake Oswego’s Holiday Concert December 10.

While Universal Studios has promised that fans of the Pitch Perfect movie series will have a “Merry Pitchmas” in 2017, what are we supposed to outspokendo this Christmas? Catch the premiere all-male a cappella groups from both University of Oregon and Oregon State on stage at Lakeridge High School’s auditorium on Saturday, December 10 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tickets for this Lake Oswego Holiday Concert ($23/Adults; $16/Children 11 and under) are on sale online.

Here’s why this performance will tide you over until the sequel arrives.

  1. These guys would send the Barden Bellas and Treblemakers home without a trophy. U of O’s On the Rocks has been on the national radar thanks to viral Youtube videos and a run to the semi-finals in NBC’s a cappella competition, Sing-Off. Over the course of their 16 year history, they’ve recorded multiple albums, toured nationally, and performed with such A-list artists such as Boys 2 Men and Kid Cudi. They still find time to entertain their fellow Ducks every Friday afternoon on campus.

OSU’s Outspoken has been around for more than a decade and is currently working on their fifth album, featuring some of the songs they’ll be singing that night. In addition to their gigs, competitions and touring, they perform every Friday at 4:00 p.m. on the Oregon State campus.

  1. Both groups have a Lake Oswego connection. Local boys done good—Outspoken’s Nicholas Harrod attended Lake Oswego High School and played the lead in the school’s musical, Footloose. On the Rocks’ Erik Baun is a Lakeridge grad and played the role of Conrad Birdie in the school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie.
  1. Christmas carols will get you in the mood. Research has shown that music can affect our moods and my guess is that after hearing the a cappella versions of some of your favorites like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night” you’ll be walking to your car with a little more “Ho Ho Ho” in your step.
  1. The more the merrier. Our visiting a cappella choirs will be joined by our resident performance choirs from both high schools—Company from Lakeridge and The Windjammers from Lake Oswego. They can carry a show on their own so there will be lots of star power on one stage sure to delight everyone.
  1. Proceeds benefit the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center. What better way to celebrate this season of giving than by paying it forward—enjoy a night of entertainment knowing that the money raised goes towards one of our city’s most relied-upon service.

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Lake Oswego Holiday Activities Guide (Part 2)

holiday-activities-2There are lots of reasons to be merry this holiday season in Lake Oswego. Here are some suggestions to help you get the most out of the holidays (and be sure to check out part 1 of this guide here).

Baby It’s Cold Outside! A Tom Grant and Shelly Rudolph Holiday Show. Let some of the area’s favorite entertainers help you jazz up your holidays with their sound. Monday, December 5 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. Buy tickets online.

Holiday Gift Show at Oswego Heritage House. Get your holiday shopping done early and local with selections that include hats, jewelry, puppets, wine and more. Santa will be on hand from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, December 7, 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Oswego Heritage House. 398 10th Avenue. 503.635.6373.

Holiday A Cappella Concert. Enjoy a pitch perfect evening thanks to performances by the all-male a cappella groups from both the University of Oregon (On the Rocks) and Oregon State (Outspoken). Saturday, December 10 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for reserved seats are $23/Adult; $16/Child. Purchase online or by calling 503.675.2549.

Acoustic Guitar Summit Christmas. Treat yourself to music which one critic described as “rich and heady as a rum-soaked eggnog laced with varied spices.” Award-winning fingerstyle guitarists will delight you with the jeweled sounds of the season. Monday, December 12. Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. Doors open at 6:00 p.m., Music begins at 7:00 p.m. $20/person available online.

High School Holiday Choir Concerts. Holiday carols have a way of bringing out the merry in all of us. Let local high school students work their magic as they perform in their auditoriums over the next couple of weeks. Lake Oswego High School on Monday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m. 2501 Country Club Rd., 503.534.2313. Lakeridge High School on Wednesday, December 14 at 7:30 p.m. 1235 Overlook Drive. 503.534.2319.

Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Watch what happens when a teacher casts the worst kids in school to star in the Christmas play. Performances at 7:30 p.m. on December 15-23 and at 2:00 p.m. on December 17-18. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Purchase tickets online, at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $15/adults; $12/youth 18 and under.

Christmas Ships Parade. Catch a glimpse of up to 60 boats decked out in holiday lights as they make their way from the River Place Marina in Portland to George Rogers Park in Lake Oswego. Boats due to pass by Foothills Park around 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17.Warm up by the fire in the park shelter while you wait. 199 Foothills Drive. 503.675.2549.

Lake Theater and Café Holiday Showcase. Monday, December 19 at the Lake Theater and Café, 106 N. State Street. Enjoy the sounds of favorites LaRhonda Steele and Julie Amici along with surprise guests. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $20/person and available online until 4:00 the day of the show.

I’m around all holiday season if you have any real estate questions, want to find out how much your home is worth, would like to check out homes in Lake Oswego. Give me a call at 503.939.9801 or check my website.

 

 

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The Search for the Perfect Christmas Tree in Lake Oswego Starts Here

1995-3-kids-at-christmas

Wheeler’s Christmas Tree Farm has closed so we are on the lookout for a new spot to find the perfect Christmas tree.

The annual search for the perfect Christmas tree is almost upon us and our family will be looking elsewhere since our traditional tree farm has closed. Thought I’d share my research with you.

Luckily in Lake Oswego, we live in one of the counties with the highest production of Christmas trees in the Pacific Northwest. And in a state that is considered one of the top tree producing states in America. So, when it comes to Christmas trees, we live in the land of abundance. Whether you want pre-cut, u-cut, or delivered, there’s a tree farmer nearby who can make it happen. Take a look.

Boy Scout Troop 127. Local Boy Scouts have been selling trees as a fundraiser since 1947, starting at the local Piggly Wiggly before moving to George Rogers Park. Once again, Scouts will be on hand but in a new section of the park—next to the Iron Smelter. Over the 2½ weeks the lot is in operation, they will get six to seven fresh shipments of 100 trees each, traveling from a farm near Estacada.
Address: George Rogers Park, 611 S. State Street, Lake Oswego
Hours: Opens Saturday, November 26 through December 11, or until they sell 750 trees
Saturday/Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Varieties: Pre-cut Noble Fir
Cost: $35 to $100+
Other: Scouts make a fresh cut, bail if wanted, carry it to the car and tie it on. Wreaths, garland by the foot, free cookies and hot chocolate

christmas-tree

Watch for this sign when you’re looking for Ron’s place.

Ron’s Christmas Tree Farm. This place is a bit off the radar–it has no name but Ron operates it and there is no address posted. But you’ll see a sign that says, “Christmas Trees.” It’s at roughly 4400 Borland Road, between Stafford and SW 65th.
Address: See above. (about 3 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens November 25 and then Fridays through Sundays from 9:00 a.m. until dark.
Varieties: Mostly Noble Firs, a few Douglas and a couple Blue Spruce. Sizes range from 3 feet to 30 feet.
Cost: $6/foot
Other: This place is u-pick, Ron-cuts. He has rope to tie it on to your car.

Little Z Christmas Tree Farm. This family farm prides itself on quality, variety and service.
Address: 842 Rosemont Rd., West Linn. 503.453.0573 (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens Friday, November 25 and then Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by appointment.
Varieties: U-cut Noble, Douglas, Fraiser, Nordmann, Shasta Fir
Cost: Price varies, but generally $10/foot
Other: The Zerkels are ready to serve you, including cutting down the tree you want with their chainsaws, carrying it to your car, and loading it or tying it down. If you’d rather cut your own, they recommend bringing your own hand saw.

Lee Farms. Talk about tradition! The Lees have been farming in Tualatin since 1869 over seven generations with three generations currently involved in the family farm. This is a year-round operation so if you want to get out there early to tag your tree, you can.
Address: 21975 SW 65th Avenue, Tualatin. (about 4 miles from Lake Oswego). 503.638.1869.
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. seven days a week. Closed for Thanksgiving. 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on December 24.
Varieties: Fresh cut and u-cut Noble, Grand, Douglas, Nordman and Fraser
Cost: Price varies. Check website.
Other: They will cut, shake, bale and load your tree free of charge. Will also install Davis Tree Stand. Also available: wreaths, garlands, swags, centerpieces, custom wreath and centerpiece orders, ornaments, decorations. Visit the bakery for donuts and espresso and place an order for a Christmas pie.

Nob Hill Christmas Trees. If sloshing through the mud to find your perfect tree isn’t your idea of fun, visit this indoor seasonal lot located in the historic JA Freeman and Sons building on Northwest Wilson in Portland. Radiant heat and hot apple cider will keep you toasty.
Address: 2638 NW Wilson Street, Portland. 503.770.0493 (14 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Friday-Sunday, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., starting November 25
Varieties: Pre-cut Noble and Grand Fir and Nordmann, from 2 to 12 feet
Cost: Prices vary so check website.
Other: You can pre-order a tree through November 27. Special events include: Black Friday special late night hours, closing at 10:00 p.m., so you can pick up your tree after shopping and party to the music. Christmas movie night on December 5 at 5:00 p.m. with a small donation for Red Dress Portland. PopUp Happy Hour and Holiday Bazaar on December 8 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ($25)

Sleighbells. This is a one-stop shop for Christmas with gift shop packed with holiday décor and Santa on hand from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for photo opps.
Address: 23855 SW 195th Place, Sherwood. 503.625.6052 (10½ miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: 7 days a week, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for trees; gift shop stays open until 5:00 p.m.
Varieties: Noble/Nordmann and Douglas/Grand Fir
Cost: Prices vary so check online. Example: 8 ft. Noble is $65; 8 ft. Grand Fir is 53.
Other: You can pre-tag for additional fee. Food carts are open on Saturdays and Sundays. Complimentary cocoa and coffee. Festival of brass is offered November 26, December 3 and 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Sunny Days Tree Farm. If you want a tree with a view, this is your place set atop 80 hilltop acres in Tualatin and overlooking the Willamette wine country.
Address: 25100 SW Neill Rd., Sherwood. 503.860.1562 (15 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. seven days a week, starting November 19 (closed for Thanksgiving).
Varieties: Turkish Fir, Nordmann Fir and limited Noble Fir
Cost: $40 u-cut all trees; $45 pre-cut
Other: Santa will be there December 3 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Saws and twine provided, but you might want to bring your own handsaw in case it’s crowded. No baler or shaker. Also available: wreaths, garland, log reindeer and snow people

Historic Kirchem Farm. This natural, no spray farm has 100 acres for you to roam so you could be a while.
Address: 19723 South Bakers Ferry Rd., Oregon City (19 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Weekends, November 25 through December 11 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Varieties: U-cut Noble, Douglas and Grand Fir and Norway Spruce
Cost: Prices vary so check website
Other: Free wagon rides on the weekends (weather permitting). An early season is expected. Enjoy the fire in the warming shed with hot cocoa and cookies. Visit the horses in the barn.

Merrywood Farm. Christmas trees-have them your way at Merrywood: u-cut, pre-cut or they-cut. The “Men of Merrywood” are at your service.
Address: 12328 South Casto Rd., Oregon City. 503. 307.2495 (20 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens Friday, November 25 and then daily until Christmas from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Varieties: The Keysers grow 10 varieties of trees including Noble, Nordmann, Grand, White Fir, White Pine and Douglas from table toppers to 14 footers. Tall trees can be reserved in advance as they go fast.
Cost: Prices vary but an average 7 foot Noble/Nordmann is about $45; Douglas Fir is $30
Other: Complimentary hot cider. Twine and hand saws are provided but no baler. Free pony rides for the kids on weekends.

Becks’ Farms. Added bonus here is the kids can feed the sheep!
Address: 16700 S. Gerber Rd., Oregon City. 503.631.7947 (22 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Wednesdays-Fridays from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for November 25 when they will open at 9:00 a.m. Saturday/Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Open through December 18.
Varieties: Excellent selection of Noble Fir, good selection of Douglas and Grand Fir. Also Nordmann and Serbian Spruce.
Cost: Prices vary so check website. To give you an idea, a 6 to 7 foot Douglas Fir is $25; Grand Fir is $35; Noble/Nordmann for $45.
Other: Hot cocoa/coffee and candy canes are offered. Also available: wreaths and greens, handmade ornaments and other decorations. Cutting assistance is offered as well as tree shaking, baling and loading.

Pollard Ranch. The beautiful natural setting provides an opportunity to look for resident wildlife: elk, deer, raptors and bobcats.
Address: 13225 NW Skyline Boulevard, Portland, 971.238.9799. (22 miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens Friday, November 25. Wednesday-Friday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday/Sunday: 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Varieties: U-cut, pre-cut Douglas and Grand Fir and Nordmann
Cost: $20 for 3 feet and under; $8/foot for up to 6 feet; $9/foot for 7 feet plus.
Other: Saturday home delivery is also available through December 17. Hot cocoa and warming fire.

Christmas Trees West. This Christmas tree farm’s tradition dates back 43 years.
Address: 45619 NW David Hill Rd., Forest Grove. 503.939.5511 (32½ miles from Lake Oswego)
Hours: Opens Friday, November 25 and then daily from 9:00 a.m. until dark
Varieties: Noble, Grand, and Douglas Fir and Blue Spruce
Cost: Prices still being determined when I spoke with owners but 8 ft. Noble Fir will be about $50; Grand Fir $35.
Other: Free hot coffee, cocoa and candy canes. On weekends tractor trailers will take you to your trees and there’s a warm bonfire to make s’mores. Free shaking and baling. Tree mounting on a stand is available at additional cost. Visit the Tree Top Cottage for holiday décor.

Closed Tree Farms. Three popular local tree farms will not be open this season: Larsen’s at 490 SW Borland Road in West Linn, Regis’ U-Cut at 1090 S. Station Lane in West Linn, and Wheeler Tree Farm at 19538 S Central Point Road in Oregon City.

If you have any Christmas tree recommendations, please leave them here! And be sure to subscribe to 52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego to receive weekly updates. Just click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Lake Oswego Holiday Activities Guide (Part 1)

holiday-activities-1Add to your holiday festivities by taking advantage of some of the special events here in Lake Oswego.

There are so many I’m covering them over two different weeks. Here’s the first installment.

Reunion Farmers Market. Local farms bring autumn’s bounty to downtown Lake Oswego. Enjoy shopping in the crisp fall air and pick up some fresh ideas for your Thanksgiving feast. Saturday, November 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Millennium Plaza Park, First and Evergreen.

Horse Drawn Wagon Rides. Here’s another opportunity to slow the season down and take in the sights as you ride through downtown Lake Oswego and the First Addition neighborhood while the Reunion Farmer’s Market is taking place. Saturday, November 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Limited reserved seating ($5/Adults; $3/Youth) is available by contacting kschilling@ci.oswego.or.us. The rest of the seats are first come, first served: $5/adults; $3/children. Rides leave on the half hour from Millennium Plaza Park, 200 First Street. 503.675.3983.

Lakewood in City Lights. This annual event has moved to downtown Portland to the Sentinel Hotel. Enjoy dinner catered by Jake’s Grill, entertainment, mini auction and a chance to win a raffle for a wine and spirits collection valued at $3,000. Attendees who don’t want to drive can take a coach from Lakewood’s parking lot to the event ($20/person) or choose to make a night of it and stay at the hotel. Saturday, November 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $75/person ($35 tax deductible) and can be purchased at the box office, online or by calling 503.635.3901.

Lake Oswego Arts Council Holiday Gallery. Finding the one-of-a-kind gift starts here where 30 local artists bring their handcrafted work for you to choose from. Things kick off on Tuesday, November 22 and run through Friday, December 23. Enjoy artist receptions and demonstrations every Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Regular museum hours are 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. 510 Museum and ARTspace, 510 First Street. 503.675.3738.

52nd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Enjoy one of Lake Oswego’s longest standing traditions which includes tree lighting, caroling, treats, and a visit from the big guy decked out in red and white. Friday, November 25 at 5:30 p.m. Begins at Bigelow Plaza on the corner of 5th and A Avenue and proceeds down to Millennium Plaza Park.

Dennis’ 7 Dees Reindeer Magic. Bring the kids to pet baby reindeer and have their picture taken with Santa. They’ll also enjoy holiday craft activities, hot cocoa and cookies while you’ll enjoy shopping for holiday gifts and greens. Friday, December 2 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Lake Oswego Garden Center, 1090 McVey Avenue. 503.636.4660.

Tinseltown Trolley. It’s Lake Oswego’s version of the Polar Express. Hop aboard and let your imaginations soar as you enjoy carols, story time, treats and more! Saturday and Sunday, December 3 and 4 with rides leaving at 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. Reservations required and some rides only had waiting list spots available. Tickets are $20/Adults; $16/Youth 12 and under. 503.675.2549.

Holiday Magic Breakfast Theatre. Enjoy a special holiday continental breakfast ½ hour before the curtain goes up for this holiday production featuring area high school student performers. Geared for ages 3-12. Performances are December 3, 10, and 17 at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. and December 11, 18, and 20 at 11:00 a.m. in the Lakewood Center Community Meeting Room at the Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street. Advance reservations are required by purchasing tickets either online, at the box office or by calling: 503.635.3901. Fee: $14/adults;$12/youth 18 and under.

Don’t miss my next installment of holiday activities here in Lake Oswego. Click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column so you’ll get it right in your inbox.

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5 Ways to Pay It Forward This Holiday Season in Lake Oswego

volunteer-1326758_640Each week I deliver another reason to be thankful for living in Lake Oswego. How about taking that gratitude and paying it forward this holiday season? Here are 5 ways you can give right here in our community.

  1. Hasson Company Dress for Success clothing drive. Help local disadvantaged women who are trying to become more economically independent by supporting the Dress for Success clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off at any of the Hasson Company Portland Metro offices, including mine at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, from November 7-11. Items needed include gently used dresses, pants/slacks, blouses/professional tops, blazers/jackets/winter coats, professional shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, umbrellas), new and packaged bras, hosiery and cosmetics. Financial contributions are also being accepted–$500 supports one woman’s services through the program for an entire year. Clothing is just one piece of the package that Dress for Success offers. Women also receive résumé, job search, and interview preparation as well as job success services. Dress for success is definitely not just a “help out” program but a “hand up.” https://oregon.dressforsuccess.org/get-involved/donate/
  2. “Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart.” Brighten the holidays for clients of Clackamas County social service agencies. Pick up a handmade stocking or two at one of several city locations and fill with unwrapped needed items like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and gifts for kids ages 9 and up. Once the basics have been met, you can add age appropriate extras like stuffed animals, art supplies, movie tickets, bus passes and store gift cards. Then return the stockings by December 2. Pick-up and drop-off locations in Lake Oswego include:
  • Bank of America, 16209 Bryant Road
  • D.A. Davidson & Co., Two Centerpointe Drive, #325
  • Lake Oswego Adult Community Center, 505 G Avenue
  • Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department, 1500 Greentree Road

In the past, at least a hundred stockings have been filled each year in Lake Oswego alone, and Clackamas County has distributed 2500 to 3000 stockings to over 20 different agencies. For many individuals, this is the only gift they’ll receive. For further information check out the website. http://www.fillastocking.org/

  1. Bring a smile to a child by donating to the Lake Oswego Fire Department’s Toy Drive. Starting Thanksgiving week, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys to any of the Lake Oswego fire stations. Donations will go to the Elks Club who will distribute them to families in need.
  2. Support Clackamas Women’s Services by visiting the Giving Trees at various business locations in Lake Oswego and fulfilling someone’s wish list. Starting November 18, the Lake Oswego Mother’s Club will be coordinating the trees, decorating them with gift tag ornaments, and collecting donations. Select an ornament, purchase the item and then return the gift unwrapped but in a festive Christmas box by December 9. Pickup and Drop-off locations include the Lake Oswego Library, Burncycle, Lakeshore Learning, both Rite-Aids, Alberton’s, Metro Gymnastics, The Little Gym, Kyra’s Bake Shop, and the Lake Oswego Academy of Dance. Clackamas Women’s Services assists women and children trying to live a life free of domestic violence.
  3. Contribute to the canned food drives at local high schools. Both Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High Schools will be sponsoring canned food drives during the holidays, beginning December 5 and running through December 16. You can drop donations off at the high school main office, or if you know a student, send your cans in with him or her. Lakeridge: 1235 Overlook Drive, 503.534.2319; Lake Oswego High School: 2501 Country Club Road, 503.534.2313.

Be sure you’re on the email list to receive weekly updates on reasons to love Lake Oswego. Especially with the holidays coming up, you don’t want to miss out on all the festivities! Just click the “Sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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Best Neighborhoods for Trick-or-Treating in Lake Oswego, Oregon

1995-halloween-3

The streets of Lake Oswego proved generous when our kids and their friends were young enough to go trick-or-treating.

Next to the Fourth of July, my Halloween posts are the most popular as Lake Oswego parents and kids look for suggestions as to which neighborhoods deliver when it comes to trick-or-treating.

So I’ve decided to re-post my original blog from five years ago on the best neighborhoods in Lake Oswego when it comes to Halloween night. While some of the names may have changed since then, these neighborhoods’ reputations for being the Halloween “hot spots” have not.

Let me offer one caveat however. Because of the large numbers of costumers they find at their doors, most of these households load up on Costco bags of fun-size candies, which they dole out one or two at a time. My kids found that sometimes, the less popular streets actually handed out more generous servings—from regular to king size candy bars. So they were always sure to remember where those houses were and include them in their annual lineup. There you have it—words of wisdom from veteran trick-or-treaters. Happy hunting!

WESTLAKE: The biggest haul of my son’s trick-or-treating life was when he joined a group of friends and they vanned their way through Westlake neighborhoods. He came home with over 20 pounds of the sweet stuff.

Westlake resident Lois Barnum knows the drill. Even though she is located in a cul-de-sac, she has handed out candy to as many as 160 kids on Halloween night. Anything under 90 is a slow night for her. Located within a walking school district in a neighborhood of mostly 3-5 bedroom houses, there are lots of kids ready to hit the streets. That’s not to mention the vans whose candy tracking GPS leads them to Westlake.

Barnum dons a witch’s hat when greeting trick-or-treaters at the door and will even do a rendition of “I’ll get you my little pretty,” for the older and wiser crowd. Some of her favorite costumed characters? She has quite a list from the all male high school group dressed as 1950s cheerleaders who formed a pyramid outside her door as their trick for her treat to the baby bumblebees. “They always get me,” she explains.

MARYLHURST: Van drop-offs are common in this neighborhood too. “I think maybe it’s because the neighborhood is contained, making it safer with no outlets…or maybe it’s the Costco-sized candy bars some residents give out,” explains Marylhurst resident Mary Vigo. She can easily go through two of Costco’s large bags of candy in addition to 200 of the full size candy bars in one night.

RIVER RUN: “Our neighborhood totally goes all out,” explains River Run enthusiast, Lisa Andersson. Complete with graveyards for the likes of Will Rott , the homeowners do their best to set the stage for bands of trick-or-treaters. Add to that the fact that it’s a flat, easy-to-walk neighborhood and it’s little surprise that Andersson can easily find 150 kids at her door she has never seen before. “We get first timers to 17 year olds,” she explains, “because they think it’s so much fun they can’t stop.”

BRYANT WOODS: Flat with houses close together is this neighborhood’s strong selling point. “I wouldn’t call it a drop-off neighborhood,” explains resident Wendy Aldrich, except for some kids who might come down to escape the Westridge hills. Even just catering to locals, however, Aldrich easily sees 140 kids in a night, and they tend to be the younger set.

Chime in if you have a favorite spot to take your kids when they’re on the prowl for candy. And be sure to sign up to receive weekly updates of “52 Reasons to Love Lake Oswego.” Click the “sign me up” button in the top right hand column.

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5 Reasons to Check Out Lake Oswego’s First Crosstoberfest

crosstoberfest_logo_finalWhat do you get when you cross a costume party with a steeplechase race that looks like an adventure run on wheels? Something close to Lake Oswego’s first Crosstoberfest—a cyclocross race on Saturday, October 29, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Luscher Farm.

Here are 5 reasons why you should check it out.

  1. It’s beginner-friendly. Of the many bicycle race formats –road races, track cycling, time trials—cyclocross could be the most beginner friendly, according to race director, David Saltzberg. Instead of heading out for two hours to cover 60 miles in a road race, cyclocrossers tackle a course that’s less than two miles, with average heats lasting 45 minutes. Granted that course is riddled with challenges like different surfaces to navigate and obstacles that require riders to dismount and carry their bikes. But getting a little muddy or wet is part of what makes the race so entertaining for both participants and spectators.
  1. It’s fun. While it’s called a “race,” Saltzberg describes the atmosphere as more lighthearted than other bicycle races. “It’s very social,” he explains, with competitors getting to see each other every seven minutes or so as they lap around, providing lots of opportunity for jabbing, heckling and taunting.
  1. It’s spectator-friendly. No need to move around to catch sight of the cyclist you are rooting for. Since participants complete laps, you can cheer on your favorites from one vantage point and take in all the action from were you stand.
  1. There’s a free event for the kids. Kids 9 and under can spin their wheels on a modified course.
  1. It’s a great excuse for a party. It’s called “Crosstoberfest” for a reason—check out the food, drinks (including beer and cider provided by Ancestry Brewing), and music.

Register online. Entrants must join the Oregon Bicycle Race Association for a small fee in order to participate in this race.

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