Downriver Dispatches

News of Western Wahkiakum County and Naselle


Courtesy photo.

Justin and Abbie Laine with their girls at a past Finn Fest. The 2022 festival starts this Friday.

Photo of the Week: Justin Laine sent out a great family shot of everyone in the family at a Finn Fest six years ago. The girls' costumes are so sweet. This shot reminds us how fast time passes and how quickly kids grow. I hope all families will try to attend for some period of time.

When you are there, do visit the Tori room where vendors have all sorts of Finnish art and/or fun things for sale. Check out the Appelo Archives vendor booth. They have just received newly published books that are a compilation of Naselle school's annuals. Each book has years of photos that everyone will enjoy. The cost is $30 for hardbound copies.

Let's work on the calendar, shall we? First, though, let me apologize for any mistakes. There's so much information with lots of details, so most likely I goofed somewhere. So let's get to all the choices through August and into September. If there's more happening that's not listed here, let me know, would you? I want to make sure I share everything I've seen or heard about.

July 29: Memorial for Bob Burkhalter (1932-2022) at Rosburg Hall at 1 pm. Light lunch provided. It's casual and all are invited.

July 29-31: Finn Fest held at the Naselle/GRV school in Naselle. Brochures are everywhere.

July 30: Archive Center in Naselle open from 2-7 with Finlandia Vodka Bar.

August 1: Naselle/GRV Board of Directors will hold a special meeting on August 1 at the Middle School Commons to conduct a workshop on board goals for the 2022-23 school year. This is a board work session but is open to the public.

August 3 and 17: Wednesday Senior Lunches at Rosburg Hall at noon.

August 10: Grays River Enhancement District meets at Johnson Park at 5:15.

August 13: Wooden and Classic Boat Festival in Cathlamet at 9 a.m.

August 15-21: International Kite Festival in Long Beach.

August 16: Naselle/GRV school board meeting canceled due to lack of quorum.

August 18-22: Wahkiakum County Fair in Skamokawa. Before the fair opens, the T-building needs adult volunteers to help set up before the Fair opens. Contact Martie Vavoudis by email: For information on Spelling Bee, call Amelia Raine at (360) 849-9305.

August 27: Loggers Reunion and Barbecue at the Appelo Archives Center (on Facebook).

September 2: Naselle GRV school's first day of the school year.

September 5: Labor Day holiday.

September 9-11: Farm to Fiber Festival at the County Fairgrounds in Skamokawa. Times: 9-5 on Saturday and 9-4 on Sunday. For more information, call (360) 703 7291 or (360) 904-6065.

September 22: Fall equinox.

Suggestion: Look into LifeFlight's insurance / membership. LifeFlight helicopters fly patients to nearest hospital where specialists can best provide services for emergencies such as heart attack, stroke, and other life-threatening events. The annual cost per person or family is $75. If an elderly person lives with a family, they also qualify. I recently heard what a helicopter evacuation costs, well over $50,000. Your LifeFlight insurance membership covers the entire cost of a flight. Get more information and download the application form at

Announcement: Haley Footh had a baby girl a few days ago. Congratulations to the parents and grandparents. She has lots of long, black hair and she is being held almost 24/7 by a parent or grandparent. What a lucky girl!

Grays River Covered Bridge Update: Last weekend and into this week, the usual high summer traffic is back making its way along Loop Road with repeat trips for kayaks, floaters and any other thing that floats. High heat encourages folks to get into Grays River. It is still high enough for water toys to float well, especially at high tide. And for water loving dogs and kids to play in the cool water. Please use floating devices on your little ones. When a crowd is on the riverbank, it's easy for a child to get out further than you'd like.

Many people are traveling this summer, coming to our Pacific Northwest coast due to the lower temperatures. Southwest and southern states are all experiencing very high heat, so getting to a beach makes sense. Fires are expected again due to drought and high temperatures. Keep children, babies, dogs and drivers hydrated. A result of the heavy traffic again causes us to be very focused on our roads and other drivers. Just today a large Ford pickup passed me at a high speed over the double yellow line. And sometimes a car is headed into my lane when passing in the opposite direction. I have found that the slower I drive (45 mph) the less gas I use, so I have become the old lady who annoys everyone under 25 or more years old.

Suggestion: When trying to drive over the Astoria bridge on Fridays through Mondays, you can always check the WA and Oregon DOT web sites for updates on backed up flows of traffic on the bridge. Over the past weekends, the very slow bridge traffic has caused loss of time, and with high temperatures at mid-day, cars that get stuck on the bridge are using more gas than they'd like for longer than planned. With plane tickets costing more and more, there are lots of travelers driving on State Route 4, so take time planning when you want to go shopping!

And last, but not least, an encouragement for everyone to take time for the Finnish American Folk Festival. It's been four years since we've had one due to covid. So much to get done, and so many volunteers working so many hours. Bald Eagle Days was great, so let's have another fun weekend, this time in the county's west end.

Cap Senior lunches on Thursdays are now being served inside Rosburg Hall. Call Denise at (360) 762-3111 for more information.

Word for the Week: Dance.


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