Lake Oswego Reads. Lake Oswego is in its 14th year of bringing the community together through a myriad of activities centered around one book. This year’s selection is Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush that examines the impact that rising sea levels is having on the plants, animals and people across seven states, including Oregon. I realize Lake Oswego is not unique in sponsoring a city-wide reading program; however, what is unique is the scope of activities and community engagement. Visiting authors always speak to this—how impressed they are by the number of opportunities citizens have to “touch” their book whether it be through a panel discussion, theme-related movie, theme-inspired art reception or book-related cooking demonstration. In 2012 the U.S. Conference of Mayors recognized Lake Oswego’s stellar Lake Oswego Reads program with a “City Livability” award for cities under 100,000. Read an earlier blog post to see some of this year’s highlights you won’t want to miss.
Fertile Ground Festival. Creativity springs from our native soil here in the Pacific Northwest and the Portland Area Theatre Alliance celebrates that each year with its Fertile Ground Festival featuring local playwrights and actors sharing scripts, sometimes for the first time, with audiences. You can catch a few of the performances right here in Lake Oswego at the Lakewood Center for the Arts.
- The Young Playwright’s Festival features one-act plays by high school playwrights from the Portland metro area. This year Aishwarya Marathe, Emily Imanishi, Lana Sage, and Jane Brinkley were selected to work with professional directors and actors in the development of their plays. Catch them on Saturday, February 1 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10.
- The Ghost of David Belasco is a farce set in a haunted theatre in 1927 where a group of characters have hired a renowned Russian medium to try and lay the ghost’s angry spirit to rest so the theatre can safely reopen. The performance is on February 8 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $15.
Portland Winter Light Festival. Keeping with the arts theme…you’ll have to travel to Portland (which is only a 15-minute drive if you time it right) for this but in the midst of our shorter days, this might be just what you need to raise your spirits. More than 100 artists show us the light through a variety of media. Past festivals have included flame throwers and dancers, a lantern parade, illuminated bike ride, light chimes, and a radiance dome. Various times February 6 through February 8. Free. Check the website for locations.
Outside the Art Room Youth Art Showcase and Auction. Speaking of creativity…it seems to run through Lake Oswego’s DNA. With only a population of 39,500+ we manage to support a community center for the arts, an arts council, a regional art show, a gallery without walls, art and acting classes, a nationally recognized community reading program AND…in its fourth year, a youth art showcase and auction. The Youth Action Council is hosting this event featuring artwork created by Lake Oswego teens with proceeds benefiting the Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP). There will also be live music and entertainment, refreshments, and a Mixed Media Art Clinic for ages 5 and older. Friday, February 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Christ Church Parish, 1060 Chandler Road.
Battle of the Lake takes to the basketball courts. The Lake Oswego/Lakeridge rivalry is one of the most celebrated in our state, whether it’s played on the football, soccer or lacrosse fields, wrestling mat, the swimming pool, the track and field, tennis or basketball courts. The Varsity Boys and Girls Basketball teams face off on Friday, February 14 in the Lake Oswego High School gymnasium with the girls going at it at 5:45 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15. It’s a great opportunity to go back in time, cheer on your colors, and just smell the inside of a high school gymnasium once again—guaranteed to make you feel young again!
Portland Spring Home & Garden Show. If you’re itching to get back out in the garden despite the weather, then give yourself a little inspiration by attending the Portland Spring Home and Garden Show. Vendors offer all kinds of ideas from patio pavers to plants to water features and garden art. February 20 through February 23 at the Portland Expo Center, 2060 N. Marine Drive, Portland.
February Flavors at Salt & Straw. While the official February flavors were not released at posting time, we can only hope that Salt & Straw will once again indulge us chocolate lovers with its month-long chocolate series as in February’s past where they pair their artisanal ice cream making prowess with the wonder of Portland’s small-batch chocolatiers to produce such pairings as Alma’s Chocolate PB&J and Cloudforest’s Gray Chocolate and Matcha.
There’s lots to love about living in Lake Oswego. Subscribe to my blog to stay up-to-date by clicking the “Sign me up” button in the top right-hand column.