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Iris Harrison's Blog


Iris talks to the creator of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Paul O'neill

Many of us rock fans say that a band's music, or a song, had the ability to change our lives. The lyrics, the melody, the feeling somehow connected with our soul and changed us from that point. That's how music is for me. It's not just a song, it's that connection with my soul. So, when I say Trans-Siberian Orchestra changed my life, I'm not kidding. After several years having difficulty getting into the Christmas spirit, because of losing family members, or illness, TSO brought it the Christmas spirit all back to me. For that I'm forever grateful to Paul O'neill, the creator and mastermind behind T.S.O. I had the pleasure to speak to Paul earlier this Fall, and we talked about the new show "The Christmas Attic," the band's trip to Germany and doing a New Year's show for 2 million people, the new recording studio, and how much he values his road crew and Al Pitrelli, the musical director for T.S.O. I love them all. Click here, and I hope you enjoy the interview. ~Iris
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Weekend things to do!

Here's another handy list of things to keep you busy this weekend.  Of course there's nothing wrong with just hanging out and watching the rain.  There are no links in this, just a list of the events.  For more information, do a web search.  That's where I found them.  ~Iris

Things to do in the Portland/Vancouver area:
  • Oct 24- Join KGON from 5:30p to 7:30p at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall for the Warren Miller screening of “No Turning Back!”
  • Oct 25- Join KGON’s Dave Scott from 10a to 12p at the Wilco Farm Store in Battle Ground.
  • Oct 25- The REVIVE 80’s Dance Party at the Bossanova Ballroom (722 NE Burnside).  A benefit for Music Workshop. Live music performance by The Radical Revolution.  Tickets on-sale NOW at Afton
  • Oct 25- Light the Night Walk, 5pm- Fundraiser for Lukemia and Lymphoma society-Oregon Convention Center
  • Oct 25- ZombieWalk-4-8pm, Hollywood Vintage
  • Oct 25-Thriller Dance, 3pm, Irving Park
  • Oct 3-31, (Every Friday, Saturday- 7 & 9 pm) Haunted Walking Tour of Vancouver.  Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St. Vancouver.
  • Oct 24-25, 10th Annual Great American Distillers Festival, Left Bank Annex
  • Oct 25-26, Fall Antique and Collectible Show, one of the largest in the country, at the Expo Center.
  • Oct 25- “Howloween” at the Oregon Zoo
  • Oct 25, The World Beard and Moustache Championships, 1:00pm at Keller Auditorium 222 SW Clay St.  This competition represents the full spectrum of beard and mustache art with 17 categories. The Grand Prize? An all-expense paid trip to the 2015 world championships in Leogang, Austria!
  • Oct 25, Bill Nye–the science guy–will bring his special brand of pop culture science literacy to Lewis & Clark College at 7pm, 0615 SW Palatine Hill Road.
  • Oct 26- Run Like Hell, 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Pioneer Courthouse Square.  Theme is “Under the Sea” and there’s going to be awards for costumes in that theme.
  • Oct 25-26-Vancouver Farmers Market- 8th & Esther Street Vancouver,  Saturday – 9am- 3pm; Sunday – 10am-3pm

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More things to do for the weekend! 10/17-19/14

Here it is, time for the weekend and we're even closer to Halloween!  That means with the good weather, people are heading to harvest festivals, pumpkin patches and haunted houses in the area.  Here's a list of some of this weekend's activities.  If you need a list of the local Haunted Houses and Pumpkin Patches, then scroll down on my blog and you'll find those as well.  The list doesn't contain links, so use a search engine if you need more information.~ Iris

Things to do in the Portland/Vancouver area:
  • Oct 16-19 All Jane No Dick Comedy Festival- 7:30pm to 12am , Curious Comedy Theater 5225 N.E. Martin Luther King Blvd.  An all-female comedy festival.
  • Oct 17-19- Coffeefest,  at the Oregon Convention Center, Best Coffeehouse competition, the Latte Art World Championship and the America’s Best Espresso Competition, etc.
  • Oct 17-19 Hood River Valley Harvest Festival- Hood River Waterfront,  celebrating the bounty of the county’s Upper Valley, where 2.4 million trees on 13,800 acres yield a rich variety of fruits. 
  • Oct 18-19, Retro Gaming Expo, at the convention center, hundreds of arcade and console games, from Pong to Donkey Kong and beyond, and all the games are set to free play!
  • Oct 18-The 11th Annual West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Tualatin Lake of the Commons.  See people actually rowing their giant pumpkins in the lake dressed in costumes!  Music, Pumpkin pie eating contest, pumpkin carving, and more.
  • Oct. 18- Drink This Vancouver- promotes craft beverage makers (beer, wine, coffee, tea, soda, cider, spirits...) by inviting the public in for a special walking event to each business.   Downtown Vancouver.  Several tastings and events at each place. 
  • Oct 17-19-Apple Tasting at Portland Nursery, free tasting and buy your favorites.
  • Oct 18-19 & Oct 25-26-Vancouver Farmers Market- 8th & Esther Street Vancouver,  Saturday – 9am- 3pm; Sunday – 10am-3pm
  • Oct 17-18, Underground Acrobatics at the Alberta Rose Theatre, 8pm. You don't need to wait for Cirque du Soleil or Barnum & Bailey to catch top-notch acrobatics. Portland's very talented Night Flight is back with "A Midnight Carnival," featuring aerialists, acrobats and more.
  • Oct 18-19- Portland Open Studios. Various places through the city.
  • Oct 3-31, (Every Friday, Saturday- 7 & 9 pm) Haunted Walking Tour of Vancouver.  Clark County Historical Museum, 1511 Main St. Vancouver.
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Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes 2014

Me again with a list.  If you can't take the Haunted Houses, and just want some Fall fun, check out the Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes around the area.  This is more my speed! Again, the underlined parts are not links.  Do a search and you'll find info on the events listed. ~Iris

Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes 
  • The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island
  • Kruger’s Farm-17100 NW Sauvie Island Road
  • Bella Organic Farm-16205 NW Gillihan Road, Portland
  • Fazio Farms-8433 NE 13th Ave
  • Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm Pumpkin Fest and Corn Maze-33814 S. Meridian Rd, Woodburn.
  • Lake View Farms-32055 NW North Ave, North Plains
  • A Maze in Grace Gardens- 2985 NW Golf Course Road, Cornelius, OR
  • Airlie Hills Farm-10720 Airlie Road, Monmouth
  • Baggenstos Farms-Sherwood, 15801 SW Roy Rogers Road
  • Bose Family Farm-35765 Cyrus Road NE, Albany
  • Bauman’s Farm and Garden-12989 Howell Prairie Road, Gervais
  • E.Z. Orchards HarvestFest-5504 Hazel Green NE, Salem
  • Heiser’s Pumpkin Patch-21426 SE Grand Island Loop, Dayton
  • Roloff Farms Pumpkin Patch- Oct 3-26, Fri, Sat & Sun 10-6.  Hwy 26 to Helvetia Road, follow signs.
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Haunted Houses in the area!

Here's another handy list.  This time for the hauntings in our area.  Haunted Houses are either terrifying or fun.  It depends on the level of scaredy cat you are.  I'm a wuss.  I can't even handle the one at the "Enchanted Forest" during Summer!  Oh, and the underlined parts are NOT links to their sites.  Google or search the event and you'll find out more...such as hours they are open and how much they cost.
Well, Happy Haunting! ~Iris

Haunted Houses:
  • FrightTown at the Memorial Coliseum Oct. 3 through Nov. 1. opens for 22 nights of Halloween horror featuring three horrifying haunted houses, including brand-new attraction The Witch House.
  • 13th Door Haunted House, Through October 31- 3855 SW Murray Blvd. Beaverton
  • Milburn’s Haunted Manor & Pumpkin Patch- 11503 Broadacres Rd NE, Hubbard, OR.
  • The House of Shadows-Now through Nov 2nd, 445 NE Burnside, Gresham
  • The Fear Portland-Open Oct 3-31, Located in Vancouver, 7701 NE Vancouver Plaza Drive
  • Fear Asylum- Oct 10-Nov 1, Thurs-Sun, 7-10pm, 13121 SE McLoughlin Blvd, Milwaukie
  • Ghost Town-Rossi Farms, Thurs-Sun, 3839 NE 122nd Ave, Portland
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Locations : Broadacres RdHubbardPortlandVancouver
People : Rossi Farms


Things to do October 10-12, 2014

Well, it's the middle of the week, and if you're making weekend plans I thought I'd include the handy list for things that are happening in the Portland/Vancouver area.  The underlined events are not links.  Sorry, but I only have so much time to do this stuff and you can search for the events online if one peaks your interest.  You'll probably find out more than I know!  Enjoy this Fall weather!!!
  • Oct 10-11: Hop Harvest Beer Days Festival in Vancouver, Washington’s Turtle Place Park | Food Vendors, Live Music, Beer Garden, 30+ Beers
  • Oct 10-12- Portland Tattoo Expo at the Expo Center.  Live Music, Custom cars and motorcycles, contests, etc.
  • Oct 10-12-Apple Tasting at Portland Nursery, free tasting and buy your favorites.
  • Oct 11-Great Onion Festival-Sherwood
  • Oct 12 & 19: Open House Art Show & Sale @ RE/MAX- 237 NE Broadway Ste 100, Portland,| Local Artists, Juried Selection, Benefit for Victims of Domestic Violence.  1-4pm
  • Oct 11-12: Portland Open Studios Tour | 96 Artists Open Their Studios to the Public
  • Oct 12: Midway Harvest Festival | Free, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Carnival Games, Entertainments Stage, Music, Food, Vendors& More, 147th & SE Division
  • Oct 11: Tour the colors of autumn @ Hoyt Arboretum | Guided Tour of the Rainbow of Fall Color
  • Oct 11-12: Zompire: The Undead Film Festival @ Clinton St. Theater | 30+ New Independent Films
  • Oct. 11 -NW Ciderfest-Pioneer Courthouse Square
  • Oct 11- Secure Your ID Day-Moda Center.  Better Business Bureau and Portland Trail Blazers team up to offer shredding and cell phone recycling.
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Things to do in Portland September 26-30, 2014

This is going to be yet another beautiful Fall weekend in the Northwest!  Here's some local things to do if you need a list!  Cheers!

Things to do in the Portland/Vancouver area:
  • Fri Sept 26-9th Annual Dancing in the Square American Indian Day Celebration-Free.  Traditional costumes, singing and drums. Noon-7pm.
  • Sept 26- October 31-Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island
  • Sept 26-Opening of 13th Door Haunted House, 3855 SW Murray Blvd. Beaverton
  • Sept. 26–28, 2014-Portland Juggling Festival 2014-Kaul Auditorium, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd
  • Sept 27-28- Project  Pabst (Music Festival)- Zidell Yards.  Music from Tears for Fears and Modest Mouse and more.  $35 one day pass, $60 two days.
  • Sept 27-28- St. Johns End of Summer Motorcycle Block Party & Poker Run-Benefit for NW USA Veteran MC.  Brekken’s- 8728 N Lombard
  • Sept 27, 7pm-Portland Winterhawks vs. Everett-Moda Center
  • Sept 28, 5pm-Portland Winterhawks vs. Prince George-Moda Center
  • Sept 28- The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride- Vintage Motorcycles and sharp dressed men-  A benefit for Prostate Cancer Research.
  • Sept 27 & 28- 10th Annual Portland Hempstock- Waterfront Park
  • Sept. 27–28, 2014-Handmade Bike & Beer Festival-Hopworks Urban Brewery, 2944 SE Powell Boulevard
  • Sept. 30, 2014 – Oct. 2, 2014-Portland Fashion Week Fall Edition-Pioneer Courthouse Square
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Al Pitrelli with a T.S.O. update for Iris

The proper way to kick off the Holiday Season is with a Trans-Siberian Orchestra show!  It’s what gets me into a holiday mood every time.  Plus, it’s just a great concert!  The band is incredible, the singers are amazing, the story is moving, and the lasers and pyro add that little sparkle that just lights everything up in a big way!  Every year, I have the pleasure of speaking to Al Pitrelli about the upcoming show.  This year I was really looking forward to our talk because T.S.O. is doing a NEW SHOW!  “The Christmas Attic” is the one part of the Christmas Trilogy that has never been done in its entirety.  So we get a new show to embrace this year from T.S.O.!  Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 23rd at the Moda Center.  There’s two shows, a matinee at 3pm and the 7:30pm show that follows.  I recommend going to both shows.  That’s what I always do.  Just can’t get enough of that band!  SO, here’s the conversation I had with Al Pitrelli about the upcoming concert.  Thanks for listening! ~Iris
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Iris chats with Jay Bird Koder

Portland’s musical landscape is rich with such talented artists, like Jay Bird Koder!  Last time I saw Steve Miller perform at Edgefield, he was brought on stage to play, and for me, Jay Bird stole the show.  On October 4th, 2014, he will be inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame.  He’s played with Mel Brown, Thara Memory, Curtis Salgado, Obo Addy, Doc Severinsen, Jeff Lorber, Robert Cray, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Cool’r, The Oregon Symphony, Steve Miller and many more.  In this interview we talk about his band SoulMates, touring, some of the people he’s worked with, music education, his time at Berklee School of Music, and more.  He’s a wonderful human being, and it’s always a pleasure to talk to him.  Click here to enjoy the interview.  ~Iris
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Things to do this weekend!

There's so many things going on as we get to the end of the summer, that I thought sharing a list with you might be helpful and handy!  So, here you go:
Oregon State Fair-Starts today and goes through 9/1 in Salem
Hood to Coast Relay -Through Saturday
Oregon Renaissance Festival of Hillsboro-Saturday and Sunday (& Labor Day) through 9/21
Street of Dreams- This is the last weekend, folks
Dave Foley at Helium Comedy Club-Saturday
Festa Italiana Portland's Italian American Festival- now through Sunday in Pioneer Courthouse Square
Tequila Fest PDX through the weekend at World Trade Center, 121 SW Salmon Street
Dinosaurs Unearthed at OMSI through September 2nd
Peter Max-A Retrospective through this weekend
Portland Saturday Market-Sat & Sun
Rip City 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament at the Rose Quarter-Saturday and Sunday
Portland Farmer's Market at PSU- Saturday starting at 8:30am

AND you can come visit me at Gresham Subaru from Noon until 2pm!  I'll be looking for you!

Have a great weekend!~ Iris
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Topics : Hospitality_Recreation
Social :
Locations : Portland
People : Dave Foley


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