The Columbia Gorge Lions Club is excited about the new additions to this year's Sternwheeler Days Festival.
This year's event takes place June 25-27, at the Cascade Locks Marine Park and includes the addition of a Fun Zone for kids, exhibits by regional artists and craftsmen, the "Whiskey Flats Watering Hole" beer garden and live blues and folk music.
Festival hours are: Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Talented artisans and craftsmen from around the Northwest will showcase hand-made, quality art during the festival. Visitors are invited to stroll through over 30 booths of pottery, watercolor paintings, photography, rustic furniture, lavender products, jewelry, metal art, hand-made soap, sewn items and much more.
Kids will have plenty to do at the "Fun Zone," a play area for kids (and kids at heart). The Fun Zone includes a 24-foot rock-climbing wall, the fun house slide and bounce, amazing giant slide, games, and other active challenges.
The US Forest Service will host "Gorgeous Fish and Wildlife," where kids can explore and learn about wildlife and history. Kids will be able to climb through the gigantic salmon tent, build a bird nest or try guessing the identity of furry creatures while blindfolded. Children may also dress up in animal and plant costumes and play the part.
Festival attendees can step back in time at the "Whiskey Flats Watering Hole" where they can taste spirits from local breweries and wineries. They will also enjoy the bounty of the region at the annual Salmon Bake.
A variety of blues and folk music will be performed live on Saturday from 12:30 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 3:30 p.m.
Saturday's bands include Get a Life Marching Band, Lone Coyote, Kate Meloy Trio and the Chris Daniels Band. Work in Progress and The Red Haired Boys will perform on Sunday.
Back by popular demand is the Mountain Man Rendezvous: A living history re-enactment of the Fur Trade Era and the early American Frontier. Guests will enjoy their time on Thunder Island walking amongst the costumed participants and can tour a teepee, learn the correct and safe way to use period weapons, start fires with flint and steel or watch a skit. Also in camp will be the "1856" Army Men's regiment.
Also returning are the annual Bridge of the Gods Run/Walk at 8 a.m. Saturday followed by the Sternwheeler Days Parade at 11. Both begin at the west end of town.
The weekend wraps up with Church in the Park and live Gospel Music.