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Sauvie Island gets juicy with Watermelon Festival

In Longview, it's time to celebrate rodent life with the 3rd Annual Squirrel Fest


Photo Credit: MARK MILLER - Watermelon lovers will rejoice at the All-Island Watermelon Festival on Sauvie Island next Saturday, Aug. 16 - and they might learn a thing or two from the emergency preparedness fair that will accompany it.Sauvie Island is having its All-Island Watermelon Festival this weekend, on Saturday, Aug. 16.

The festival at the Sauvie Island Fire Station, located at 18342 N.W. Sauvie Island Rd., will also include a potluck picnic, as well as a “Let's Prepare Fair.” Agencies including the Sauvie Island Fire District, the Multnomah County Office of Emergency Management and the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office will be on hand to offer safety demonstrations, supplies and handouts.

“We're all going to try to do some different fun preparedness things,” says Tina Birch, who does outreach to rural areas for the Office of Emergency Management. “Our office will be running a fire extinguisher training. … We have fire extinguishers we fill with water and then pressurize, and people can actually come up and practice putting out a fire.”

This is the first year for the emergency preparedness fair on Sauvie Island, Birch notes. If it is a success, it may be staged again next year, she adds.

The Sauvie Island Community Association is hosting the fair and picnic, which is scheduled to run from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their families (although they are asked to leave pets at home), as well as a dish to share at the potluck, a blanket to place on the grass at the site, and a donation for the Oregon Food Bank.

True to the festival's name, there will also be lots of free watermelon, as well as live music.

Getting squirrely in Longview

This Saturday, Aug. 16, the annual Longview Squirrel Fest is being staged at RA Long Park (also known as Civic Circle) in Longview, Washington.

Longview boasts several “squirrel bridges” where squirrels can cross over major roads, and the Squirrel Fest was started in 2011 to celebrate the bushy-tailed rodents.

Among the events at Squirrel Fest this year include a 5k “fun run” beginning at 9:45 a.m. at Happy Kids Dentistry, a “Go Nutty” parade from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., and exhilarating activities for children, including bouncy swings and ziplining. Stage shows and live music will be performed on a main stage in the afternoon and evening. A fireworks show from the top of the Monticello Hotel will cap off the festivities at 10:30 p.m.