Christmas with a Twist – It's Oregon This Week!

By Ann Powers | Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Much like the City of Roses adheres to its Keep Portland Weird motto, on the North Coast we like to keep it unique. Check out a few of these clever and creative coastal celebrations…

For a distinctive spin on your holiday hoopla, head to the Slay Belle's Ring Bout – Naughty vs. Nice women’s roller derby showdown on Saturday, December 8, at Tillamook High School. The Tillamook Coast Derby Dames are hosting their inaugural bout against the Hood River Alter Egos. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. and the competition rolls out between 5 and 10 p.m.

The evening kicks off with a Roller Derby 101 lesson, so the crowd can learn the game and follow along. Officials say the sport has changed a lot since its hay-day in the 1970s, when it was frequently broadcast on TV and loaded with dramatic rivalries and choreographed brawls. Now, the derby is played on a flat track with plenty of action packed into two-minute “jams.”

And, as an added bonus, the teams are actively recruiting new skaters. If you like what you see, consider lacing up some skates.

Tickets are $10 in advance and available at the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce, the Nehalem Bay Wastewater Agency or online. Tickets will also be available at the door for $12.

Gingerbread at the Butterfield CottageLet it snow, let it snow, let it snow … and then warm up with hot tea and goodies at the Gingerbread Tea at the Butterfield Cottage. The Seaside Museum & Historical Society hosts this annual event to inspire Christmas cheer through Oregon history. The Cottage is decked in Victorian decorations, and live music fills the air. Enjoy the homemade gingerbread, hot cocoa, spiced cider and hot teas. This event happens on Saturday, December 8 and 15, between 1 and 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $5.  

Delight in the sounds of the season at the 38th Annual Tuba Christmas Concert (ATQ), at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, Washington at 2 p.m. on December 8.  This concert features the Astoria Tuba Quartet performing a variety of holiday selections, jazz arrangements and polka at the family-friendly event.

Annual Tuba Christmas ConcertThe event was formed in 1980 and its current members have performed together since 1997. The tuba’s surprising versatility allows ATQ to perform holiday favorites like “Sleigh Ride,” jazz selections by noted composer/arrangers and the much-loved Evergreen Polka. ATQ member, Lee Stromquist, arranged a signature rendition of the “Dance of the Reed Flutes” from the Nutcracker Suite. You’ll find it playfully entitled, “Dance of the Rude Brass."

Sponsored by the Ilwaco Merchants Association, the concert is free, open to the public and seating is limited. Call the museum at (360) 642-3446 for details.

Given the unlimited supply of unconditional love our pets gift us with, they certainly deserve some quality time with Santa during the holiday season. He’ll be at Four Paws on the Beach in Manzanita on Saturday, December 22, from 2 to 4 p.m., for photos and Christmas wish list updates. Bring your furry friends and camera to get a pic with Saint Nick.

Donations are accepted and will go towards spaying and neutering procedures for needy cats and dogs. Four Paws also has an abundance of high-end pet products to finish off your Christmas shopping list. For more information, call (503) 368-3436.

Photo Credits to Tufted Titmouse and Michele Black/Great Backyard Bird Count

Audubon's 119th CBCThe bird nerds are back! Audubon's 119th Christmas Bird Count (CBC) takes flight Friday, December 14, 2018 through Saturday, January 5, 2019 at numerous North Coast locations.

The CBC is one of the National Audubon Society’s long-standing programs with over 100 years of community science involvement. The data collected by CBC participants is one of the two large pools of information ornithologists and conservation biologists use to study how birds of the Americas are faring over time. To be involved, you’ll need to join an existing CBC circle by contacting the compiler in advance of the count day.

There is a specific methodology to the CBC, so you’ll need to make arrangements before participating. Online registration won’t be available. Contact compliers by email using the information from the pop-ups on the map. There’s no cost to participate, but donations are welcomed and can be made here.


There you have it – from a roller derby to a bird count and a few festive findings in between – all adding a bit of coastal twist to your traditional holiday tidings. For more festive fun and additional happenings, be sure to look at our Daytime Events listing and Nightlife listing.

About the Author Ann Powers
Ann Powers is a reporter and writer who has lived and worked on the Oregon Coast. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison and currently working on her master's degree in multimedia journalism at the University of Oregon's Portland campus. Originally from Wisconsin, she now calls Oregon home, describing it as, "the Midwest of the Pacific Northwest," due to its dairy-state status, beautiful environment and friendly people.