Are the dog days of August triggering the snooze bar on your Happy Hours? Freshen up with a weekend out of town. Here are three reasons to hit the road.
1 Go fly a kite (or watch a bunch) at Long Beach
Continues through Sunday, Aug. 24, on the beach at Bolstad Avenue approach, Long Beach, Pacific County; free admission to spectators
It’s always kite season at the coast, but this is the big bonanza. It’s the final weekend of the Washington State International Kite Festival, in its 34th year at Long Beach. Saturday, go see sport kites in the ballet competition (not something you’ll get at the Opera House). Or bring a flag or banner to join the Parade of Colors on the Long Beach Boardwalk. If there’s not enough color in the sky, there’s fireworks.
2 Love a lentil in Cougar Country
Friday and Saturday, Aug. 22-23, parade at 11 a.m. Saturday, downtown Pullman, free admission.
Head east to Pullman to kick up your heels and lick your lips at the National Lentil Festival, celebrating the local legume. Partake of the World’s Largest Bowl of Lentil Chili, or experience the tension during the Legendary Lentil Cook-Off, sponsored by the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council (Garrison Keillor couldn’t make this stuff up). Finalist recipes this year include Warm Weather Watermelon & Lentil Gazpacho. Mmmm, good eating.
3 Go for pasta and puppetry in Portland
11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Aug. 21-23, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Southwest Broadway at Morrison Street, Portland; free admission
If you prefer pasta over lentils, Portland is your party zone. The downtown Pioneer Courthouse Square is home to Festa Italiana. Included is plenty of good food and wine, accordion music, even Sicilian puppetry with a performance of “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by the Carter Family Marionettes.