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Hunting for Easter eggs by the beach

With Easter coming quick, some hold traditions near: a great family tradition to start is Easter egg hunting on the coast

It’s a great way to get sharpen kids’ beach-combing skills while celebrating the day, or the season generally. There are a few options around Newport, religious and not, that can make the day a blast.

At Oceanview Senior Living, children ages 2-10 are welcome to come to join in on the free Easter egg hunt and pose for photos with the elusive Easter Bunny, himself! The hunt opens at 11 a.m.

At NewportNaz, the Children’s ministry is putting on a resurrection celebration for ages 4-12, though the whole family is welcome to attend the morning brunch and service. Kids can look forward to an innovative egg hunt, minute-to-win-it games and bounce houses along with worship and a snack. The celebration starts at 9:20 a.m.

There’s never a dull moment at Coastal Combat Laser Tag Entertainment Center — that’s even true on Easter Sunday! In addition to the hunt, there will be four prize baskets raffled off — each basket for a different age group. Additional tickets can be earned by playing laser tag or in an escape room throughout the day. This hunt is open to all ages, and begins at 11 a.m.

Regardless of where in Newport families spend April 21, spending it together by the ocean is sure to make for an Easter to remember.

A festival on paper

Calling all enthusiasts of the paper and books arts: Newport is holding a festival for you.

The 24th Annual Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival features 13 instructors and 19 workshops. Topics will cover surface design, collage, book arts, mixed media and box art. Workshop participants will learn about the crafting of miniature books with wood and leather covers, botanical printing on paper and experimental paper beads — to name a few topics out of dozens for the paper and book enthusiast.

The festival is April 26-28 at the Newport Visual Arts Center, located at 777 Northwest Beach Drive, with five other venues in Newport and two in Toledo.

Come check it out. Add to your skill repertoire or learn something totally new. All workshops meet from 9:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with an hour lunch break at 12:30 p.m. Fees are as follows:

One Workshop — $130 total

Two Workshops — $220 total

Three Workshops — $290 total

You have to register ahead for the workshops, and there is only one way to do that, so it’s important to visit the festival website, which includes the link for registering and a downloadable festival brochure. The last day to register is Monday, April 15 and many of the classes are already full and waitlisted: http://www.coastarts.org/events/2019/04/2019-newport-paper-book-arts-festival-registration/

Here’s a little bit about some of the workshop leaders:

Studio artist Alicia Bailey will teach you how to build a narrative treasure box that folds like an accordion. She creates book and box works that include elements beyond surface-printed images and text. Her work has been featured in dozens of solo and group exhibits throughout the world and is held in numerous public, private and special collections.

Casey Newman has a master’s degree in forest ecology and has spent much of her career working in environmental education. Newman’s work is centered around Northwest native plants, and she draws inspiration from living and working at Cedar Dell Forest Farm, an educational property on the edge of Gresham. Workshop participants will learn botanical printing on paper from her.

Connie Stricks has taught at The Folk School of Fairbanks, Northwoods Book Arts Guild and at the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival. Her work has been in group and two-person shows in Alaska at The Well Street Art Company and Bear Gallery (Fairbanks), the Pratt Museum (Homer) and the International Gallery (Anchorage). Her workshop is titled “Let The Spine Speak.”

Five things to do in Newport this weekend

Something for everyone when visiting Newport!

  1. Easter Egg Hunt at Yaquina Bay State Park — Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m. Three separate areas for children: ages 2-5, 6-8 and 9-11. Held rain or shine on the grounds at Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, located just northwest of the Yaquina Bay Bridge. People are encouraged to arrive well before the start time — generally, everything will have been collected within 15 minutes. They should also bring a basket or bag to collect their treasures.

  1. Past Forward Jazz Band — Saturday, April 20. Performing from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Newport 60+ Activity Center, 20 SE Second St. Past Forward plays tunes from the 1920s through the 1960s. Free admission. Learn more at www.newportoregon.gov/sc or 541-265-9617.

  1. Photography Exhibit — all weekend, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Artistic photographs on display by 20 members of the Yaquina Art Association Photographers. The exhibit is in the Yaquina Art Association Gallery, located on the Nye Beach turnaround at 789 NW Beach Drive in Newport.

  1. Argentine Tango Beginner Class and Dance — Saturday, April 20. A tango class takes place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. (for beginners, no partner needed), and the dance is from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the South Beach Community Center, 3024 SE Ferry Slip Road, South Beach. The event is free, but donations are accepted. Info: newportoregontango.com or 541-351-8457.

  1. Celebrating Earth Day, Forests and Drums — Saturday, April 20. The Newport Community Drum Circle joins the Oregon Coast Community Forest Association in this family-oriented rhythmical celebration of Earth Day at Big

Springtime at the aquarium

New exhibits, home for otters and chances to sleep underwater

As the weather warms up, the Oregon Coast Aquarium is gearing up for the summer — but lots of exciting happenings are kicking off this spring.

Last weekend marked the first of two weekends when the aquarium is hosting public Sleep in the Deep events, giving spring breakers a chance to sleep in the Passages of the Deep tunnels, as well as explore the aquarium after hours. Public sleepovers are becoming more frequent as we get closer to summer, so the best time to register is now. However, private sleepovers can be scheduled any time of year — with a minimum group size of 20 people. To book for either type of event, call 541-867-3474 ext. 1113 or email sleepinthedeep@aquarium.org.

Looking ahead, Memorial Day weekend will mark two major openings at the aquarium: the new exhibit and the new sea otter facility. While the exhibit is currently blocked off while it’s being set up and the theme is a well-kept secret, the sea otter facility has had public participation from the start.

Thanks to a surge of support from donors in November — in the amount of over $67,000 — Oregon Coast Aquarium was able to fully fund the construction of their new sea otter rehabilitation facility. The new center will allow the aquarium to take in additional rescued otters and host new behind-the-scenes experiences for visitors. Construction has been underway for almost a month now and a ribbon cutting is currently scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

Whether you’re visiting for the first time or returning for the hundredth time, the aquarium is sure to have something new for visitors coming to see the animals this spring.

ADA-accessible places in Newport

For those looking for disability-accessible paths to the beach

For those looking for disability-accessible paths to the beach, the Nye Beach turnaround is a good bet. A sloping concrete ramp leads from the sidewalk and parking area straight onto the sand in the heart of a popular area close to everything Nye Beach has to offer.

Or, looking for a well-paved and maintained trail through pines forests and to a beach overlook? Then South Beach State Park is for you. Just a short drive south across the Yaquina Bay Bridge, the park has miles of smooth trails accessed from ramps. A centerpiece is the South Jetty Trail, which features a spur path leading to an interpretive boardwalk with great views to the beach. The trail system can be accessed either from the main park or the South Jetty side.

The paved South Jetty Trail runs just over a mile long and connects the north and south portions of the park. The turnoff to the boardwalk is about halfway.

Other places in Newport that have been identified as ADA-accessible include Betty Wheeler Memorial Field, a 2.8-acre park between Northwest 8th and 10th streets. Additionally, Big Creek Park at 2510 Northeast Big Creek Road, features picnic and playground facilities including slides, swings, climbing structure, picnic tables, volleyball net, BBQ grills and covered picnic shelter.



On the trail of chowder in Newport

Clam chowder — such flavor, such humble beginnings.

Chowder may have originated as poor man’s food on the shores of New England three centuries ago, but as it made its way west, we added a local twist and it became a food of everyone. On your next visit to Newport, look for a chowder that features a common creamy, mouth-watering base but with the flavor of our own ocean — pink shrimp, halibut and salmon chowders to name a few.

It’s a perfect way to ward off the chill and refuel from that brisk walk on the beach. Here are some great spots to dig in:

Chowder Bowl at Nye Beach — the Slumgolian Chowder Cannonball. Wait, what? A signature dish featuring pink shrimp-topped chowder in a sourdough bread bowl baked right down the street at Panini Bakery.

Mo’s Seafood & Chowder — an enduring favorite with two locations on the bayfront.

South Beach Fish Market — look for their Clam Chowder Cannonball, or smaller servings, with options to add shrimp or crab.

Newport Cafe — open 24 hours, reviewers tout amazing, friendly staff.

Ocean Bleu Seafoods @ Gino’s — this chowder is made with house-smoked bacon.

Nye Beach Cafe — serves up the Slumgullion, shrimp-topped chowder served with garlic toast.

Local Ocean — with a mission of giving people “the best seafood experience of their lives,” is calling its offering a soup, but you decide. It has a creamy clam base, roasted garlic, and Dungeness crab, seasoned with fresh herb. We’ll let it slide — down easy, that is.

There are lots of spots to enjoy clam chowder and all the creative flair that has been added to it. Whatever your choice, as you dip your spoon into a cup or bowl of this signature coastal dish, give maybe thought to Herman Melvin and Moby Dick: “When that smoking chowder came in, the mystery was delightfully explained. Oh, sweet friends! hearken to me. It was made of small juicy clams, scarcely bigger than hazel nuts, mixed with pounded ship biscuit, and salted pork cut up into little flakes; the whole enriched with butter, and plentifully seasoned with pepper and salt.”

Hungry yet?