What’s the Word?In Washington County, Oregon

Posts Tagged ‘culture’

Experience the Diversity of Oregon’s Washington County

Posted on: March 2nd, 2012 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan No Comments

The Walters Cultural Arts Center is home to many culturally diverse performances.

Did you know that Oregon’s Washington County is the most culturally diverse county in the state? What does that mean for you, the visitor? It means you can experience a range of diverse cultural experiences and festivals, without having to renew your passport or leave the country.

Celebrate the Hindi spring festival, Holi (also known as Festival of Colors) at the Rang Barse ~ Holi Party at the Washington County Fair Complex (March 10; $15 for adults/$10 for children).

Each August, SakéOne (820 Elm St., Forest Grove), an American owned-and-operated saké brewery, hosts a Pacific Rim Festival (August 25; admission $5), celebrating the music, food, art (and saké) of Japan, Hawaii and the Pacific Northwest.

This year marks the second annual International Celebration (July 28, 2012 at the Howard M. Terpenning Recreation Complex, located at the intersection of 158th and Walker Rd.) which celebrates cultures from around the world through song, dance, arts and crafts and more.

Celebrate the luck o’ the Irish year round at the Winona Grange (8340 SW Seneca St.; Tualatin) with the First Friday Live Irish Music and Dance” (the first Friday of each month; $10 for adults/$5 for students and 65+). These monthly events are produced by S and A Irish Entertainment, which also hosts Celtic concerts each month.

The Glenn and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center, located in downtown Hillsboro, is home to a host of cultural music events. From spoken word events to dance and live music, the center features entertainment from around the world. Coming up is “Sampradaya: Traditions from Temple to Theater,” classical Bharatanatyam dance incorporating chants from ancient scriptures and the music and rhythm of ancient India (7:30 p.m., March 9; $20 in advance/$25 the day of show).

In April, the center will host the Oregon Mandolin Orchestra, which will be performing the music of Italy, including works from venerable composer Raffaele Calace as well as Italian classics, such as Feniculi-Fenicula (7:30 p.m., April 6; $15 in advance/$17 day of show). For a complete list of upcoming events at the Walters Cultural Arts Center, visit their website.

Film buffs may want to check out Joy Theater (11959 SW Pacific Hwy., Tigard), which shows Hindi and South Indian hit films. To learn more about this unique theater, read this blog post from  November 2010.

Finally, visitors can dine on some of the most authentic and exotic food from around the world, without having to leave the country. Beaverton has been praised for its variety of Korean restaurants, boasting some of the most acclaimed spots in the Greater Portland region!  If curry, masala and tandoori are your favorite flavors, try one of the area’s hottest Indian restaurants, also known as some of the best eateries in the area. Oregon’s Washington County also has a German, Mediterranean and Vietnamese restaurants, just to name a few of the many types of cuisine served here.

This is a sampling of the many experiences you can have here in Oregon’s Washington County.  Visit our website or our event calendar, updated weekly, for ideas of places to see, play and eat while visiting.

Surviving Winter Break: Escape to Oregon’s Washington County

Posted on: December 9th, 2011 by Sylke Neal-Finnegan No Comments

Let’s face it, by the time winter rolls around, we’re ready for a break, and if you have kids-especially teenagers–you know they are chomping at the bit to get out of the house. Why wait until summer for a weekend or week-long getaway? Winter is a fabulous time to venture to Oregon’s Washington County.  The following is quick look at what’s going on this season:

Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals

FOR ARTS & CULTURE BUFFS: ‘Tis the season for arts and culture to take the spotlight, from performing arts to art exhibitions.  

  • Local professional theatre companies Bag&Baggage and Broadway Rose offer a year-round slate of productions, including special holiday-themed performances.
  • The Glenn and Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center has a strong performing arts calendar featuring a diverse array of musical performances, spoken word and poetry readings.
  • Through April 12, 2012, the Washington County Museum is home to its latest exhibit, Snapshot!, an impressive and extensive collection of photography equipment, objects depicting home and farm life and numerous historic images.
  • Print Arts Northwest has a calendar of several different art exhibitions with varying themes, featuring established and up-and-coming artists from the Pacific Northwest.

See the complete list of performing arts companies and venuesart galleries and museums and historical sites in Washington County.

FOR TEEN SPORTS FANS: See the brightest high school athletes compete in the annual basketball tournament and slam dunk contest.

Watch the college and NBA stars of tomorrow duke it out on the basketball courts when the annual Les Schwab Invitational hits the court December 26-30. This year’s tournament features the top basketball teams in Oregon and welcomes nationally ranked teams Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, VA), Yates High School (Houston, TX) and Riverside Academy (New Orleans, LA).

Great Blue Heron (Photo: Ed Bustya)

FOR WILDLIFE ENTHUSIASTS: Catch a glimpse, or take a photo of wildlife and birds as they “winter” in Oregon. 

Not all birds fly south for the winter. Various species prefer to stay in the peaceful nature preserves of Washington County. Heron, geese, eagles, hawks, pheasants, quail, chickadees, wrens, and the occasional seagull, along with beavers, otters, coyote and deer, can be spotted in various locations throughout the area. Best places to view wildlife are the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge (TRNWR), Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preserve and Tualatin Hills Nature Park, to name a few.  See what common, uncommon and rare species of birds and more can be found with the TRWNR’s handy Watchable Wildlife guide (PDF).



FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY: The family that plays together will find a host of winter-fun activities in Oregon’s Washington County.

It may be a challenge to find activities that will entertain teens, while inspiring adults.  Try these family-friendly ideas on for size:

Countless hours of activities and a multitude of attractions are waiting to be explored in Oregon’s Washington County.  The question isn’t what can you do in Washington County? It’s when can you get here?


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