Fall is fast approaching and with it the realization that you may want to take some vacation days while the weather is still inviting.
Not to worry - you haven’t missed all the good stuff. There are plenty of events ahead in the great Northwest, many with a distinctly western flavor.
So lift that finger and start dialing because state tourism offices are eager to process your request for information. States can provide free maps, information on fishing and hunting, and brochures filled with facts about various destinations and area attractions.
If you’re computer literate, grab a cup of coffee, change into your sweats and settle in for hours of exploring at the Web sites listed below. State tourism sites are good places to check out upcoming activities around the Northwest.
The Seattle Center at 305 Harrison will host the Festa Italiana, a celebration of all things Italian, Sept. 26-28. The three-day event will include the Bolla Grape Stomp, the Pagliacci “Sing for a Pizza” contest, an Italian film festival, an art show featuring Italian and Italian American artists, cooking demonstrations, cultural lectures, a classic Italian vehicle exhibit, children’s activities and much more.
Italy’s No. 1 rockabilly band, “i Jets,” will perform at 7 p.m. Sept. 27. Winetasting begins at 7 p.m. on Sept. 26. Admission to the festival is free.
A Catholic Mass said in Italian will kick off the event. The Mass will be at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at the Mount Virgin Church at 1531 Bradner Place South.
For more information, call the Seattle Center at (206) 684-7200.
Washington State Tourism provides free copies of the Washington State Lodging and Travel Guide and quarterly Field Guides at (800) 544-1800 or www.tourism.wa.gov.
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife provides information on hunting, fishing and wildlife viewing at (360) 902-2250; www.wa.gov/wdfw.
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission offers information at (360) 902-8500; www.parks.wa.gov.
Washington Department of Transportation has maps and information on biking at (360) 705-7277; www.wsdot.wa.gov.
Washington State Department of Natural Resources has maps and brochures on 135 primitive recreation sites, call (360) 902-1234.
Washington Trail Association can provide information on trail conditions, campsites, hiking and other recreational opportunities at (206) 625-1367; www.wta.org/wta.
Washington State Bed and Breakfast Guild provides a list of its inspected members at (800) 647-2918; www/wbbg.com.
Celebrate Idaho’s famous potatoes at the 69th annual Spud Day in Shelley on Sept. 20. The day begins with a parade at 10 a.m. and the potato events begin at noon, including a spud picking championship, free baked potatoes, a potato peeling contest, and wrestling matches in a giant pit filled with mashed potatoes.
Admission is free. Shelley is located 15 miles west of Idaho Falls. For more information, call the Shelley City Hall at (208) 357-3390.
History buffs should take note of the “Museum Comes to Life” day at the Idaho Historical Museum in Boise on Sept. 27. The day will include pioneer children’s games, ethnic and country dancing, and demonstrations in spinning, basket weaving, blacksmithing, quilting, broom making and musket loading.
Admission is free. The museum is located at 610 N. Julia Davis Drive. For more information, call (208) 334-2120.
Idaho Travel Council provides free copies of the 1996 Idaho State Travel Guide at (800) VISIT-ID; www.visitid.org.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game answers questions on fishing and hunting, and on wildlife watching locations at (208) 334-3700; www.state.ed.us/fishgame/ fishgame.html.
Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation offers a booklet on state parks and provides information on biking and hiking trails, ORV areas, camping, boating and other recreational opportunities. (208) 334-4199; www.idoc.state.id.us/irti/ stateparks/spdir.html.
Idaho Hospitality and Travel Association at (208) 334-3465 has a list of lodges, inns and B&Bs.;
The town of Butte will celebrate Butte Heritage Days Oct. 3 and 4. There will be an ethnic festival featuring food, music, street corner entertainment, rides, crafts, Native American dancing and children’s activities.
For more information, call (406) 782-0742.
Travel Montana offers free copies of the Vacation Guide and the Travel Planner at (800) VISIT-MT; travel.mt.gov.
Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks provides information on fishing, hunting, wildlife viewing and other recreation activities at (406) 444-2535; fwp.mt.gov.
Montana Outfitters and Guides Association can provide a listing of its members at (406) 449-3578.
Adventure Cycling Association offers maps and information on biking at (406) 721-1776; www.adv-cycling.org.
Montana Bed & Breakfast Association provides a directory of its members at (800) 270-7515; www.wtp.net/go/montana.
Make plans to visit the famous Pendleton Round-Up this week. Singer Collin Raye will start things off with concerts Monday and Tuesday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. The round-up itself runs Wednesday through Saturday, starting at 1:15 p.m. daily. The rodeo will feature several PRCA-sanctioned events, along with baton races, wild horse races, and wild cow milking. Tickets range from $8 to $12.50. Telephone orders are accepted.
For more information, call (800) 457-6336 or (541) 276-2553.
On Saturday, The High Desert Museum in Bend will open a new participatory exhibit created around the theme of high desert habitats, homes and shelters. The “Discovery Room” will feature a hands-on environment designed for family exploration of the natural and cultural history of the region.
The High Desert Museum is located just south of Bend on U.S. Highway 97. Admission is $6.25 for adults, $5.75 for seniors and youths 13-18, and $3 for children 5-12. For more information, call (541) 382-4754.
Oregon Tourism offers free copies of the 1996 Oregon Travel Guide at (800) 547-7842; www.traveloregon.com.
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife can provide information on fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing opportunities at (503) 229-5454; www.dfw.state.or.us.
Oregon Parks and Recreation Department offers a guidebook to state parks at (800) 551-6949; www.ohwy.com/or/o/oprd.htm.
Nature of the Northwest Information Center has information on outdoor recreation at (503) 731-4444; www.naturenw.org.
Oregon Bicycle Program offers maps and information on biking routes at (503) 986-3555.
The Oregon Bed & Breakfast Guild will send a list of its inspected members at (800) 944-6196; www.insite.com/obbg.
Border to Border Bed & Breakfast Directory provides a list of over 150 B&Bs; at (800) 841-5448; www.moriah.com/inns.
The Historic Hat Creek Ranch will host its fifth annual Top Ranch Hand Competition from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. The competition will feature 20 teams of working cowboys from local ranches. Events will include a stew cook-off, a best working horse relay, a saddle horse relay, cattle penning, a “cow-hide race,” music and other entertainment.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for children, or $10 per family. The ranch is located 1 hour north of Kamloops at the junction of Highway 97 and Highway 99. For more information, call the ranch at (800) 782-0922.
Discover British Columbia offers a large selection of free information and travel guides on accommodations, golfing, camping and visitor services; (800) 663-6000; www.tbc.gov.bc.ca/tourism/ tourismhome.html.
B.C. Department of Fisheries and Oceans has information on saltwater fishing at (604) 666-3545. B.C. Ministry of Environment, Lands & Parks has information on freshwater fishing at (604) 582-5200; www.env.gov.bc.ca/amin/idex.html.
Guide-Outfitters Association of British Columbia can supply information on its members and their facilities at (604) 374-6836; www.oppub.com/bcfroa/bcfroa.html.
British Columbia Parks has information of provincial parks and recreational opportunities at (604) 387-5002; www.elp.gov.bc.ca/ bcparks.
British Columbia Bed & Breakfast Association has a list of facilities at (604) 276-8616.
Lethbridge is wrapping up nearly a year of celebration with a Century of Tradition celebration on Oct. 5 at the Exhibition Fairgrounds in Lethbridge. The free celebration will mark the 100th anniversary of the Lethbridge and District Exhibition. For more information, call (403) 328-4491.
Alberta Tourism offers free copies of Alberta Accommodation and Visitors Guide and Alberta Campground Guide, and information guides on golfing and other visitor services at (800) 661-8888; www.discoveralberta.com/ atp.
Alberta Fish and Wildlife Services can provide information on fishing at (403) 427-3574; www.gov.ab.ca.futi ldeenv/nrs/wmd/fishing/intro.html.
Alberta Guide and Outfitters Association has a list of recreational activities at (403) 486-3050.
Alberta Environmental Protection Office offers information on provincial parks and recreational opportunities at (403) 944-0313; www.gov.ab.ca/futildeenv.
Alberta Parks Service provides information on public forest camping and recreation at (403) 427-7009.