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Plethora of music festivals close to home this month

The community of Elk is a “border town” – mostly in Spokane County, but the northern-most strip of about 20 square miles lies in Pend Oreille County. The area runs from Fan Lake on the west to Lake-of-the-Woods on the east, and zigzags a couple miles north of Boundary and Allen roads.

It’s a little confusing, as residents in that area have Elk ZIP codes, Elk phone number prefixes and are in the Riverside School District in Chattaroy, yet they pay property taxes and have utilities and fire district in Pend Oreille County. Many Elk-Chattaroy folks go north into Pend Oreille County for entertainment, and September seems to be Music Month.

•On the first Friday of each month, (except November) Dan Chott hosts Open Mic Nights at the Pend Oreille Playhouse at 240 N. Union in Newport, Wash. The doors open at 7 p.m., admission is $2 and refreshments are offered by Pend Oreille Players Association. Half of any donations go to the scholarship fund.

POPA will host the Albeni Falls Pipes and Drums Band concert on Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Playhouse. Cost is $10 at the door. Info: (509) 671-3389 or www.

•Heritage Days in Newport are Sept. 10-12, hosted by the Pend Oreille County Historical Society at the Museum in Newport. Info: (509) 447-5388 or

That same weekend, Sept. 11-13, is the third annual Newport Music Festival presented by Jim Crowley and the Northwest Acoustic Music Association. The festival will be at Newport City Park from 10 a.m. to dusk each day and will offer free camping, arts, crafts, informational booths, and food and snack vendors.

Performances each day will include an open mic stage, band scramble, instrument workshops, raffle drawings for a guitar and a free Sunday Bluegrass Gospel Show. A Friday pass costs $15, Saturday $18 and a weekend pass is $25. For the full schedule, visit

•The Elk Community Park’s Family Fall Festival is Sept. 12 from 11:00 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carnival tickets will be for sale or bring a can of food for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Food Bank and receive five free tickets. There will be a petting zoo, face painting, SCOPE Child ID, entertainment and lunch of a hot dog, chips, pop and snack offered by the Elk VFW for a $1 donation. Info: Becky at (509) 292-0706 or www.

The Elk Music Association will present an all-acoustic Mountain Folk Festival Sept. 18-19 at Elk Community Park on Elk-Camden Road. On Sept. 18 there will be an open jam from 5 to 10 p.m.; stage performances are from 1 to 10 p.m. Sept. 19.

There will be open acoustic jams in the River Pavilion, raffle prizes and Murphy’s Corner food sales both days (breakfast Saturday). Enter your favorite recipe in the Dutch Oven Dessert Cook-Off on Saturday or judge for a $1 donation. This festival is free, though donations will be appreciated. If you would like to sing or play acoustic blues, country, folk or bluegrass, or if you need information, call Ricki at (509) 292-2996. Info: www.

One final note: Good news, Elkites! The Bartlett’s Backwoods Store will reopen this month.

Reach Billie Martin by e-mail at