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 FARMERS' MARKETS FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP FIELDS OF GRACE

ADVENTURE AWAITS from glamping to helicopter tours

MID-COLUMBIA MUSICAL THEATRE

making magic onstage Summer 2016



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in this issue ADVENTURE AWAITS | p8 outside-the-box summer activities

PRODIGY HOMES | p14 inside a homebuilder’s perfect home

The finishing touch p14

NOW OPEN: LU LU CRAFT BAR + KITCHEN | p20 farm-to-table restaurant on Columbia Point opens

FOOD TRUCK ROUNDUP | p22 mobile vendors with gourmet offerings

FROZEN DRINKS | p26 cool off with icy local libations

FARMERS’ MARKETS | p28 where to buy local produce this summer

FAMILY LIFE: HOW TO BEAT SUMMER BOREDOM | p32 make the most of your children’s summer

NONPROFIT: FIELDS OF GRACE | p34 gleaning produce for the greater good

LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen p20

ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: LUANN OSTERGAARD | p38 her unique take on regional landscapes

MID-COLUMBIA MUSICAL THEATRE | p41 taking the stage this summer

PROFILE: KELLI PIGGEE | p43 athlete, trainer, co-founder of Renegade Rage

SUMMER EVENT CALENDAR | p46 plan ahead to make this a memorable summer

Food truck roundup p22 6

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summer 2016 Publisher Gregg McConnell Editor Libby Campbell Advertising Director Sean Flaherty Design Team Misty Ayers, Jonathan Hooley Sara Nelson Design Sales Team Kennen Hawkes Carol Perkins Pamela Phelps Cody Rettinghouse Cover Photo Jonathan Hooley On the Cover Michelle Langevin Paige Watson Contributors Gina Bennett Kevin Cole Jennifer Colton-Jones Carolyn Henderson Ashlie Martin Shane Martin Renee Pottle Elsie Puig Jackie Sharpe Alicia Walters Heather Weagant

333 West Canal Drive Kennewick, WA 99336 For Editorial Info: Libby Campbell libby@livingtc.com For Advertising Info: Sean Flaherty sean@livingtc.com facebook.com/livingtcmagazine

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explore

Adventure awaits –

ramp up your classic summer experiences Story by Gina Bennett WHILE CLASSIC SUMMER ADVENTURES WILL ALWAYS BE IN STYLE, what if you didn’t have to pack your own ice chest, buy your own food or even pack up the RV? Or maybe you’ve dreamed of something more exciting than floating the river, like parasailing, kiteboarding, whitewater rafting or soaring into the sky in a helicopter. Let your sense of adventure guide you into unforgettable experiences this summer!

Camping + Glamour = Glamping

accommodations are available at the Inn, guest houses and Cavern rooms, a stay in the Desert Yurts will give you more of that underthe-stars feeling. In fact, yurts are

equipped with a skylight located just over the bed, a private bath, rugs, sitting areas and additional luxuries. The Cave B Tasting Room and Spa are nearby, and a swimming pool is tucked under a bluff with a waterfall roaring over the side. On the property you will also find a pond with a summer lunch patio and five-star restaurant Tendrils. A five-course meal prepared by Executive Chef

Gone are the days of packing up a tent, camp stove and sleeping bag. A short road trip is all that stands between you and several glamping destinations. Cave B Estate Winery & Resort 344 Silica Rd. NW, Quincy, WA cavebresort.com Cave B Estate Winery & Resort occupies acreage adjacent to the Gorge Amphitheatre, sitting about 900 feet above the Columbia River Gorge. Turn into the Resort at Cave B and feel the beginnings of wonder and relaxation, with just a tingle of anticipation. A grouping of bright white peaks nestled among the vineyards pop up when the Desert Yurts come into view. While 8

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Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn offers horseback winery tours Photo courtesy of Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn


Glamp in style at one of Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn’s furnished teepees Photo courtesy of Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn

Tyler W. Krost with wine pairings will rival any big city dining experience. Katie Graffe, director of operations, can arrange an adventure called the Sip and Soar package, which includes two nights in a Desert Yurt, soaring through the Columbia River Gorge via Inland Helicopter Tours, three hours of wine tasting in Lake Chelan via Lakeside Limousine’s town car, and a return trip in time for dinner. “You’ll have about three hours of ground time,” Graffe explained. “We selected

Chelan because there are so many vineyards there. Owners Carol and Vince Bryan want you to experience as much or as little adventure as you’d like.” Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn 3271 Roza Drive, Zillah, WA 98953 cherrywoodbbandb.com Glamping takes a western turn at Cherry Wood Bed, Breakfast & Barn. Spend the night in a romantic teepee lodge, fully equipped with a hand-carved log bed, western motif décor, comforters, refrigerator,

barbecue, water-closets and outdoor showers. Take a horseback trail ride, bike or hike in the nearby outdoors of the Rattlesnake Hills, then come back to camp where the horses will be tended to, the children can roam about a bit and you can relax under the stars in an outdoor clawfoot bathtub. Horse pens and dog accommodations are also available with prior arrangement. Cowboy Limo Tours (think hayride pulled by an ATV) are available and so are scenic horseback winery tours.

The Desert Yurts at Cave B offer comfortable king sized beds and vineyard views. Photo by Gina Bennett

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Get a view of the Puget Sound area from above with Pacific Parasail. Photo courtesy of Pacific Parasail

Howling Hamlet Leavenworth, WA info@howlinghamlet.com For an adventure-packed weekend without giving up comfortable accommodations, head over the Cascade Mountains to the Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Arrange beforehand for expert caterers, event planners and glamper extraordinaires at Howling Hamlet to plan your weekend. They offer many pre-arranged camping or glamping packages. How about a day butler while camping with five-star service? Add a custom tour of eastern Washington wineries or breweries, a custom photography package and a river float trip; they will even arrange special games for the children if they come along! Their website is packed with detailed information so you can decide whether you’d like to do the cooking yourself, bring your own food or have them provide you with everything. They set up the tent, which is beautiful, spacious and stocked with everything from knives, an ax, lanterns and more. They provide organic cotton towels, bedding, non-allergenic comforters and pillows, rugs, cast iron enamel cookware and more, all to give the glamper an up-scale experience. And, perhaps best of all, they always clean up for you. Alexandria Nicole Cellars Glamping in Tiny Houses 158422 W. Sonova Rd, Paterson, WA anctinyhouses.com

Spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge aren’t far from Cave B. Photo by Gina Bennett

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Head southwest from the Tri-Cities and you’ll find Destiny Ridge Vineyard and Alexandria Nicole Cellars. They take glamping to a new level with their tiny houses located in the heart of the vineyard overlooking the Columbia River. This escape is near Boardman along the Columbia River just southwest of Umatilla. Each tiny home sleeps two people and comes equipped with a private bathroom, refrigerator, sitting area and, of course, stellar vineyard views. Alexandria Nicole Cellars has tasting rooms in Woodinville and Prosser and the Estate at Destiny Hill; another elegant glamping getaway adventure almost in our own backyard!


Maria Langer of Flying M Air can escort you on a wine tasting adventure like no other

Wine Tasting – Outside the Box

Photo courtesy of Maria Langer

Flying M Air, LLC 3764 Airport Way, East Wenatchee, WA flyingmair.com With more than 900 wineries in Washington state, it’s no wonder wine tasting is such a popular summer activity. What’s more enjoyable than sampling delectable wines on a patio overlooking a vineyard? While there is nothing wrong with that picture, consider taking it up a notch with Flying M Air, who offers wine tasting tours by helicopter. Owner Maria Langer, who believes in safety first and has a heart for adventure, will arrange a stunning flight experience. Take a scenic flight to Tsillan Cellars Winery in Chelan (which boasts of the best views of any tasting room in the State), or Cave B Estate Winery. Departure is from Wenatchee’s Pangborn Memorial Airport, by appointment only. Blue Sky Outfitters blueskyoutfitters.com - Cascade, WA While whitewater rafting can be enough adventure for even the most daring, Blue Sky Outfitters adds a bonus element to one of their tours: wine tasting. Their Wenatchee Whitewater and Wine tour, one of their most popular raft tours, combines the thrill of tackling rapids with the reward of tasting wine at several wineries. In addition to a guided rafting tour, the day trip includes a tasty steak barbecue and the option to taste wine at various locations.

Adrenaline Pumping Action Brian’s Windsurfing and Kiteboarding The Event Site, Hood River, OR 97031 bwsgorge.net brianswindsurfing.com Make the scenic drive to Hood River, Oregon for lessons in windsurfing at Brian’s Windsurfing and Kiteboarding. The expert staff will create a customized lesson plan to suit your skill level and your goals for your adventure. They offer Jet Ski assistance and their goal is to “get you up and get you riding as soon as possible.” Kiteboarding lessons are offered off of the Event Site Sandbar at Hood River. They

Our on-site physician offers fast, more convenient patient and resident care. Our in-house rehabilitation and nursing team focuses on inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation with 24-hour skilled nursing care to create individualized care plans, taking each resident’s and patient’s needs and goals into account.

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will transport you up river to a wide open spot when you’re ready and make recommendations for the appropriate gear, which you can purchase from them or another location. Bring your new found sport back to the Tri-Cities and enjoy! Pacific Parasail The Ram Restaurant and Brewery 3001 Ruston Way, Tacoma, WA pacificparasail.net If you’re headed over to the west side of the state be sure to stop into The Ram

Restaurant and Brewery in Tacoma located on the waterfront along Ruston Way near Point Defiance Park. Pacific Parasail is a family owned and operated business working out of the brewery since 2003. Their captains are licensed in boating and parasailing procedures and will tailor your experience with a choice of tow length options: 600 feet or 1000 feet. At the longer length you’ll soar high enough to see Seattle’s iconic Space Needle on a clear day!

Brian’s Windsurfing and Kiteboarding offers lessons for all skill levels Photo courtesy of Brian’s Windsurfing and Kiteboarding

Ultimate Road Trip Cascade Loop Scenic Highway sdot.wa.gov – and cascadeloop.com Depending on how much time you have to be away on your adventure, you’ll be near many of the above described destinations via the Cascade Loop Scenic Highway. Traveling by roads and highways, begin in the Columbia River Valley and head toward Wenatchee. Continue on to Lake Chelan Valley, Methow Valley, along the North Cascades National Park/Highway and Skagit Valley. You may also visit Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island in Puget Sound along the way. Then Head on to the Snohomish River Valley, then over Stevens Pass in the Cascade Mountains to visit the Bavarian Village in Leavenworth. Next, the Cascade Foothills will descend through mountains, high valleys and orchards back to Wenatchee and home again. The vast beauty, opportunities for adventures and the wide array of natural wonders displayed in dramatic geological formations will astound and delight the most discerning travelers along this approximately 400 mile loop. The stops mentioned above are just a brief sampling of what is out there, but Washington surely boasts some of the best highways for those who are interested in taking the scenic route. With all of these unique, out-of-the-box custom camping/glamping, sailing, riding, rafting, and flying experiences available near the Tri-Cities this summer, you’ll have no end to the fun. Ramp it up for your summer getaway and you’ll remember it for life!

North Cascades National Park Photo courtesy of Thinkstock

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The finishing touch Story by Ashlie Martin Photos by Shane Martin THE WROUGHT IRON ENTRY GATE TO JASON AND JASMINE Wilkinson’s custom home sets the tone for the rest of the selfbuilt home, located in the Westcliffe neighborhood of Richland. Their personal style is reflected from the crown molding to the lighting fixtures, and in all the small finishes and touches that bring everything together.

Jasmine and Jason Wilkinson of Prodigy Homes

A dramatic wrought iron entry gate leads into the Richland home 14

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“From the moment you step through the double door entry, the fine touches that define a Prodigy built home are apparent.”

From the moment you step through the double door entry, the fine touches that define a Prodigy built home are apparent. A basket weaved entryway tile stretches the entire foyer, while a custom chandelier adds glamourous lighting from above.

Basket weaved marble makes a statement in the entryway.

Jason worked for the 11th largest homebuilder in the nation while living in Texas before the couple moved to the Tri-Cities. His passion for construction, business and customer service quickly merged and helped him realize his true passion was to have his own business, and in 2007 Prodigy Homes began its mission to build above standard homes.

At 4,300 square feet with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, this home is spacious in just the right amount. The master suite is on the main level with an adjoining, spa-like master bath. Each and every finish in the house is perfectly picked out, from the lighting, the colors, the furnishings, and even the tile in the shower, which matches the tile leading up to the tub. Everything

The daylight basement includes a spacious TV room

With Jason’s history of building homes and Jasmine’s eye for design, the duo makes an unmatched team that builds award-winning homes in the community. Prodigy Homes offers numerous floorplans and are continually adding new floorplans and variations to make sure their clients get exactly what they are looking for. “We have clients that bring us a custom floorplan, and we will absolutely do that,” Jason said. “We will build any floorplan on any lot.” Prodigy’s most popular floor plan, the Viola, is the floor plan they used for this very house. S u m m e r 2 0 16

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Monochromatic colors in the open kitchen complement the sleek appliances

right down to the handles on the bathroom cabinets is handpicked by Jasmine. The open floor plan on the main level allows the kitchen to serve as a natural focal point. “This is the biggest slab of marble you can have as an island,” Jason said of the massive central kitchen island. “This is Jasmine’s favorite room in the house.” The kitchen also has an attention to detail that is unmatched.

The dining room offers lots of natural light and gorgeous views

This home has plenty of space for outdoor entertaining 16

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To save on space but still utilize modern appliances, they even installed a pull out microwave drawer. The kitchen is also equipped with double ovens and a 5-foot refrigerator and freezer combo. As you make your way downstairs, a beautiful daylight basement with a recreational area and theater room awaits. “This is my favorite room in the house,” Jason said as he opened the theater room door. “You’ll find me in here on Sundays for the game with my 7.1 surround sound.” This


The master bedroom includes an en suite bathroom and large walk-in closet

Parade of Homes. It’s a way to showcase their very best work and venture outside the box sometimes, which turned out to be worth the risk last year. Prodigy’s 2015 Parade home won every single award in its category, as well as the Best of Parade award. “I wasn’t sure how it was going to do,” he explained. “It was pretty out there, but the people loved it, and we won everything.”

room is complete with theater style chairs, movie posters and an impressive wet bar. The child-friendly movie posters suggest that their two children, Evan and Sophia, enjoy the space just as much as their father.

these views,” Jason said, speaking of the lots in Westcliffe, where his award-winning 2015 Parade Home is located. The Wilkinsons both love participating in the

Prodigy Homes prides themselves on making sure their clients are happy every step of the process. From the moment they start planning their dream home, clients actually meet with Jason and Jasmine, not a project manager. Jason wants to make sure he is involved from start to finish. They even

Stepping out of the daylight basement onto a covered patio proves that the outside is just as impressive as the home’s interior. Complete with panoramic views, a gas fireplace and luscious green grass, this backyard is breathtaking and built for entertaining. “Jasmine likes to have her friends over from church,” Jason said. “Or we will have lots of family over here.” A wrought iron spiral staircase leads from the lower level patio to the upstairs patio, which boasts an even more breathtaking view. “All of our lots in this development have S u m m e r 2016

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give their clients access to an online portal to make sure things are getting done on time, complete with notifications, paperwork and even pictures. “They are updated every step of the way,“ Jason explained. “From the time we get the permit, to the moment the house is done and the keys are on the counter, the buyer gets a picture of these things and everything in between.”

With every home the Wilkinsons design and build, they want to make sure they are putting their clients in their dream homes, whether it’s a picture perfect elegant home built for entertaining or a comfortable home perfect for growing families. This service, paired with the beautiful final product, is how Prodigy Homes lives up to their slogan of providing “The Best Experience” for all their clients.

The neutral color scheme continues into the daylight basement and office space

Jason’s favorite room in the house is the theater

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Beautiful views from the upper deck

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Now Open:

LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen

Story and Photos by Jackie Sharpe WITH FRIED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES, BACON JALAPEÑO RELISH AND pig candy on the menu, it’s no wonder Tri-Citians have been flocking to LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen. Owner Cindy Goulet opened the restaurant on the waterfront of Columbia Point, where customers can either dine inside or out on the patio with a majestic view of the Columbia River. Goulet is no stranger to the restaurant business. She owned Florentyna’s restaurant first in the Uptown Shopping Center, then at the Pasco Airport for 18 years. Goulet also currently owns 3 Eyed

move. And after a year of planning and construction, LU LU became a reality.

Fish Wine Bar in Richland. When the city of Richland was looking for people to develop property on the waterfront, Goulet made her

LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen adds another dining option to Columbia Point in Richland 20

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Whether you need a great place for happy hour, a spot to catch up with friends on the patio or a place with a view to dine with family, LU LU is the place to go. With a rustic atmosphere and delicious farm to table food, Goulet’s latest venture does not disappoint. “Everything is made fresh, and most of our produce and meat comes from within 30 miles. We even grind our own beef,” Goulet said. With more than 80 recipes, some from the original Florentyna’s restaurant and new ones inspired by Seattle chef Scott Gilkey, there is something on the menu to please everyone. Goulet wanted a casual American menu, which inspired classics like fried chicken and waffles. This signature dish is a cinnamon waffle with a Louisiana hot sauce and vanilla syrup. Goulet had the menu designed based on what people want. Although simple ingredients are used, the creative way they are used is what customers want. For example, the jalapeño relish and candied bacon takes the Double Bacon Burger, one of their popular items, to the next level.

Local ingredients and farm-to-table dishes make up the menu

Additional popular items include pig candy and high quality steaks. They also have sandwiches, puffy tacos and salads. Goulet still makes her own Caesar salad dressing and Bolognese sauce. Chef Levi Dennis is a local Tri-Cities resident. If you’re looking for a tasty, unique drink to complement your meal, the bar, also with a beautiful view of the river, has an assortment of yummy cocktails like Batemans Long Island Iced Tea, North of the Border or French 75. In addition, they serve many local wines and beer. For the dessert lovers, the German Chocolate Sundae in a jar is a must to top off your meal.

Indoor seating accommodates 200 with a view, and there is room for 150 on the outdoor covered patio. The building itself was designed by local architect firm Terence L. Thornhill. The rustic interior was designed by Gary Dethliefs of Seattle. An added bonus to the restaurant is the banquet room. One room seats 23 people and the other seats 15; however, there is a fee to use the room. “We have been very popular with large parties,” Goulet said. The price range is $12 to $35 for entrees. Reservations are strongly suggested, especially for dinner on the weekend. LU LU Craft Bar + Kitchen 606 Columbia Drive, Richland Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Friday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday 9:30 a.m.- 11 p.m. Sunday brunch 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m. and regular menu from 2 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Jackie Sharpe is a food stylist, food and documentary photographer and writer in the Tri-Cities covering the Pacific Northwest. www.jackiesharpeimages.com and www.foodstudioblog.com

Owner Cindy Goulet is also the owner of 3 Eyed Fish Wine Bar. (right) Bartender Mike Bahny handcrafts cocktails like Batemans Long Island S u m m e r 2016

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Gourmet food trucks serve up culinary magic on the go this summer Story and photos Elsie Puig TACO TRUCKS HAVE BEEN A MAINSTAY IN THE TRI-CITIES FOR SEVERAL years now, but just recently a variety of different food trucks have been cropping up and reaching a critical mass. This summer you’ll likely find them at local farmers’ markets and gathering at Food Truck Fridays in Pasco. These food trucks offer exquisite delicacies catering to all kinds of taste buds — from hamburgers and hot dogs to Asian-style tacos and barbecue, and even some po’ boy sandwiches. No matter your preference, one of these local eateries on wheels is bound to satisfy your cravings.

Doggie Style

The Bacon Maple Dog and Farm Dog are two specialty items from Doggie Style Gourmet

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This is not your typical All-American hot dog. Owners Andrew Chilton and Tanner Guy had been working as cooks for upscale dining establishments and wanted to dress up hot dogs with some culinary magic. They sell two specialty dogs for those looking for something a little bit more unique. Their Maple Bacon Dog is drizzled in homemade Dijon bacon chutney, homemade maple cream cheese and fresh homegrown arugula. Their Farm Dog is topped with homemade asparagus slaw, crispy pancetta and shaved Parmesan, and finally their Gyro Dog is dressed in homemade tzatziki sauce, feta cheese, kalamata olives, tomato and onion. For the traditional hot dog lovers, they also sell a regular all-beef hot dog or German sausages with a wide variety of toppings. You can find them at Food Truck Fridays and the Pasco Farmers’ Market where they’ll be selling German sausage breakfast sandwiches with

homemade sausage gravy. You can follow them at facebook.com/ doggiestylegourmet.

Fresh Out The Box This purveyor of Asian fusion street food opened last year, and it has been churning out unique dishes nonstop ever since. Owners Jenny and Jimmy Nguyen wanted to bring the food they grew up with and blend it with their love of Mexican food. Their homemade bulgogi sauce, or Korean barbecue, is made from scratch and smothered on their grilled marinated beef. They offer tacos, burritos and slaw made with Jimmy’s family recipe wrapped in tortillas. They’re also offering Asian infused Greek bulgogi gyros. You can find Fresh Out The Box serving lunch to Pacific Northwest National Lab employees on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and on Food Truck Fridays in Downtown Pasco from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. On weekends they cater private parties or community events. Follow them on Facebook for times and locations at facebook.com/ Tcfreshout.

Kindra’s Wok N Roll Kindra’s Wok N Roll was on the first wave of food trucks that sprouted up in the Tri-Cities about three years


ago, and they are still going strong. They were inspired to bring fresh mobile Asian cuisine on wheels because they felt the Tri-Cities was lacking an Asian food truck. Some of their famous dishes are pho, banh mi and teriyaki chicken, and they offer weekly specials. All of their sauces are homemade. They can be found at 451 N. 9th St. in Richland from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. They are available for catering and private events on the weekends. Keep up with them at facebook. com/KindrasWoknRoll.

chili burger and their inferno burger. And if you’re in the mood for Mexican food, they have carne asada tacos, burritos, quesadillas and pork tortas. Craving something sweet and cold for the summer? They even have ice cream soda, banana splits, ice cream sundaes, clown sundaes, and hot fudge sundaes. You can find them at Food Truck Fridays in Pasco, they also cater special events. For more information visit backyardgrub.com/.

13 Bones is serves up creative barbecue dishes

Backyard Grub Backyard Grub is the place to go if you’re craving a delicious burger with a side of Mexican tortas. Owner John Goulart had been working in a trucking company for 22 years while dreaming of owning a food truck. When it came time to retire, he cashed in his 401(k) and had Broadmoor RV custom build his food truck. His food truck serves up some tasty favorites like their grub burger, bacon cheeseburger, Swiss mushroom burger, avocado burger,

READY FOR

Asian fusion street food is the best way to describe the tasty dishes from Fresh Out The Box

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13 Bones If you’re looking for carefully crafted barbecue look no further than 13 Bones. The food truck is the culmination of five years of playing and experimenting with flavors in food, said Kathy Craig, one of the owners. As the owners of Castle Event catering, 13 Bones was their opportunity to get a little bit more creative. They use local products and ingredients as often as possible. All their sauces are made in-house and add an extra zing to the meat; even their bread and their rolls are baked in-house. Some of their favorite sauces include the Chipotle Syrah BBQ sauce and Rattlesnake White. Their top seller is tri tip, followed closely by brisket and pulled pork. They love to create fun combinations like their grilled signature sausage topped with applewood smoked pulled pork and apple coleslaw. You can find them parked at 608 Williams Blvd. in Richland on Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit them online at 13bonesurbanbbq.com.

Ann’s Best Creole and Soul Food You’ll be hard pressed to find good creole and soul food in the Tri-Cities, but Anne’s Best fills the void. This food truck specializes in Cajun, seafood and New Orleans’s style cooking. Owner Anne Lockhart is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She

El Fat Cat Grill serves burritos, tacos, tortas and tostadas

has always loved cooking, but missed the food from back home. So in May 2013 she opened her mobile food truck business. This food truck serves up po’boy sandwiches, smothered catfish, chicken fillet, chicken wings, jambalaya, crawfish etouffee, and in the fall and winter they do their famous seafood gumbo. They are open Tuesday through Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Mondays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and on Fridays they are open until 7 p.m. You can find locations at facebook.com/AnnsBestcsf.

WE Ice

Cool off with unique shaved ice treats from WE Ice 24

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What started off as a small idea to bring in something unique to the Tri-Cities and a way to teach their children about entrepreneurship has evolved into an exploration of flavor. “It started as a small vision but it has grow much larger than what we could have imagined,” said Sarah Evans, one of the owners of WE Ice. The shaved ice truck is owned by two families with 12 kids between them. WE Ice’s treats are unlike anything you’ve tasted. They combine finely shaved ice and innovative homemade sugars. Flavors at WE Ice are anything but typical, with concoctions like pineapple upside down cake, raspberry donut, and happy traveler, which combines cherimoya and li hing mui fruits. Their treats use no preservatives, just

pure cane sugar, and all are topped with a delicious sweet cream. You can find them by following them on their various social media accounts. On Facebook you can follow them at facebook.com/weicelove/.

El Fat Cat Grill Started in 2012 by Jenny and Felix Sanchez, El Fat Cat Grill was one of the first gourmet food trucks to make their mark in the Tri-Cities. Prior to that the Sanchezes had their very own restaurant but were forced to shut down for unforeseen circumstances, reincarnating as a mobile food business. You can describe El Fat Cat as Mexican fusion with new surprises every so often. “Felix has worked in a variety of restaurants so he likes to try new things, mix up herbs and spices, he is able to mix things up and make it work,” said Jenny Sanchez, his wife. There is something for everyone. They have tacos, tortas, burritos, burgers and tostadas — each with their special El Fat Cat touch. The Fire Cracker Burger, for example, is smothered in a Thai and habanero sauce. You can find them at 539 N. Edison St. in Kennewick Mondays through Thursdays 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Fridays until 7 p.m. Keep up with their weekly specials at facebook. com/ElfatcatGrill.mobile.


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drink

Beat the heat with local frozen beverages Story and photos by Elsie Puig DOES SUMMER HAVE YOU REMINISCING ABOUT THAT CARIBBEAN cruise vacation you took several years ago or that resort you visited in tropical paradise? Surely you remember sipping endless daiquiris while lounging poolside and watching the sunset on the island. Well reminisce no more. You don’t have to splurge on a tropical vacation to enjoy a smooth and refreshing frozen beverage right here in the Tri-Cities. Now that summer has arrived and the temperature is approaching triple digits, you’ll be craving these iced fruity concoctions. Luckily for you, several Tri-Cities restaurants, bars and wineries are serving up some of these delectable frozen libations to keep you feeling tropical even in the dry desert climate. There are some tropical classics as well as some surprising innovations, all crafted with elegance.

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Blue Hawaiian RF McDougall’s may be known as an Irish bar; they have the biggest selection of fine whiskeys in the Tri-Cities, but they’re not afraid to dabble in tropical drinks. Ronald “RT” Thomas said the Blue Hawaiian is the perfect cocktail for a hot summer evening. You can enjoy this tall blue cocktail on RF McDougall’s patio overlooking the Columbia River as the long summer day winds down. The Blue Hawaiian is made by blending light rum, orange juice, pineapple, Coco Lopez cream, and blue Curaçao, a liqueur flavored with the dried peel of the laraha citrus fruit grown on the island of Curaçao.

Strawberry Daiquiri


Rosérita

Icy Lemon Drip

Miami Vice

Strawberry Daiquiri

Icy Lemon Drip

This is a classic, and one that can’t be easily passed up, especially when served on Cedars Restaurant and Lounge’s outdoor patio. “This is just such a refreshing drink, especially after a long hot day out on the boat. It’s fruity and refreshing,” said Bethany Watson, bartender extraordinaire at Cedars on Clover Island. This sweet, tangy, bright red drink is muddled with lime and served stylishly on a sugar-rimmed glass. Drink it as a mocktail or add rum for a perfect getaway by the Columbia River.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, head over to Hop Jack’s, with locations in Kennewick and Richland. This drink is neither frozen nor tropical, but it could be just the thing you’re looking for on a hot summer day. This Lemon Drop comes in nine different flavors and is served exclusively in an ice cup. Hop Jack’s Signature Icy Drinks aren’t found anywhere else in the Tri-Cities. The cups are molded and frozen in a special machine brought in from Italy, which produces the mold to fit inside a martini glass. Flavors include strawberry, lemon, raspberry, blueberry, huckleberry, mango, peach, grapefruit and pineapple.

Miami Vice Treat yourself to the taste of tropics with this delightful frozen drink. This creamy and smooth blended cocktail is the perfect summertime umbrella drink. It brings together two favorites: the pina colada and the aforementioned strawberry daiquiri. With strong coconut flavors and a shot of rum, it’s reminiscent of being at a tropical party in paradise. Cedars uses coconut cream and garnishes the cocktail with an orange wedge skewered with a cherry and topped off with a pineapple wedge. Sit back, relax and take in uninterrupted views of the Columbia River with this delicious and refreshing beverage.

The drops are served with Svedka Vodka, Triple Sec, sweet and sour and Sierra Mist and served on a sugared rim ice glass. Rosérita Ready for the ultimate finale? If you’re feeling like you can’t give up wine just yet, head over to Martinez and Martinez winery in Prosser for their signature Rosérita wine slushy. There’s possibly no better wine to savor in the hot desert sun than a nice glass of icy Rosé. The winery’s famous Rosérita is a perfect combination of Martinez and Martinez’s Rosé blended with a traditional margarita and served from a slushy machine. It’s the perfect summer cocktail for those feeling a little playful.

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Summer and farmers’ markets

– A match made in culinary heaven

Story and photos Renee Pottle SUMMER BRINGS SUNSHINE, CELEBRATIONS, and, best of all – farmers’ markets. This is the season when the Tri-Cities revels in its agricultural roots. A time when farm stands pop-up on rural roads and backyard gardeners make gifts of excess tomatoes and zucchini. A time that tempts us with ripe, juicy fruit and encourages us to try new home-cooked creations. Fortunately, our area farmers share their bounty at three large local markets. These markets keep us happily enjoying fresh produce and other farm products all season long.

Pasco Farmers Market Our first area market started in 1988 and is the only local market open two days each week. Currently operated by the Downtown Pasco Development Authority, here you will find 50 vendors selling everything from berries to asparagus to fresh meats and eggs to baked goods and specialty foods. Many vendors have been attending the market for decades. Mike Somerville, who has been the market manager for 13 years, started attending the market as a vendor and still sells his Peterson’s Honey there. In addition to food vendors, the market hosts Master Food Preservers, Master Gardeners and the Women, Infants and Children program. Entertainment is scheduled for nearly every Saturday, and ready-to-eat food providers are also on site. Location: Corner of South 4th Avenue and West Columbia Street, Pasco. Dates and Hours: Saturdays through October 29 and Wednesdays through September 28. Hours 8 a.m. – noon. 28

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Local produce at the Pasco Farmers’ Market Photo by Heather Hull Hart

Historic Kennewick Farmers Market Returning this year to downtown Kennewick, the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership and market manager Felicia Darwen are excited about the market’s new beginning. Here you will find up to 30 large and small produce, meat, farm product and craft vendors. There is room for non-profits and food trucks, and WIC and other information vendors will be on hand. This is the only market that is open later in the day, making it especially convenient for those who want to pick up fresh dinner ingredients on their way home from work.


Location: Flag Plaza, corner of Benton Street and Kennewick Avenue, Kennewick. Dates and Hours: Thursdays through October 13. Hours 4 - 8 p.m.

Richland Market at the Parkway Market at the Parkway is only 10 years old, but has quickly grown into the largest farmers’ market in the Tri-Cities. The 80 to 100 vendors offer everything from fresh vegetables, fruits and nursery plants to jams and jellies, baked goods, meats and cheeses and homemade crafts. The market’s unique location encourages customers to visit local merchants, lending an atmosphere reminiscent of a European market. Proceeds from the market help support local endeavors like the Tree of Seasons in the Parkway roundabout. The market also works with Fields of Grace, a gleaning organization whose members collect donated produce after each market day for area food banks. Kathy Hanson, who started as a vendor before becoming market manager six years ago, credits the market’s success to its many dedicated volunteers and partnerships. Location: Parkway between Jadwin Avenue and George Washington Way, Richland. Dates and Hours: Fridays through October 28. Hours 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Herbs from Schreiber and Sons’ farm north of Pasco Photo by Heather Hull Hart

Plenty of fresh asparagus is available at Richland’s Market at the Parkway Photo courtesy of Market at the Parkway

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Old-Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake • 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour • 2 tbsp sugar • 1 tbsp baking powder • ½ cup butter • 1 egg, slightly beaten • ½ cup milk Combine flour, sugar, and baking powder. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the egg and milk and stir until just moist. Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead gently for about one minute. Pat or roll to ½ inch thickness. Cut into six equal pieces using a biscuit cutter. Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 450 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Set aside to cool. photo by Renee Pottle

Whip 1 cup of heavy whipping cream until peaks form.

Once you return from the market, turn your purchase into a mouth-watering creation.

Slice about 4 cups strawberries and add sugar to taste. Split biscuits. Spoon strawberries over bottom half and then add a spoonful of whipped cream. Top with remaining biscuit half, adding more strawberries and whipped cream.

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Refrigerator Pickled Vegetables • ½ lb. baby or sliced carrots • ½ cup cider vinegar • ½ cup water • 1 tbsp sugar • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp each celery seed, fennel seed, dill seed • 1 clean, empty pint jar Blanch carrots until crisp-tender, about two minutes using a microwave oven. Rinse with cold water. Fill a one-pint canning jar with the carrots. Heat vinegar, water, sugar, salt and seeds until sugar dissolves. Pour over carrots. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator for three to five days before using. Pickles will remain good in refrigerator for several months. Use this same basic recipe to pickle green beans, radishes, asparagus, sliced beets cauliflower or fennel. Renee Pottle writes about food, nutrition and gardening from her home in Kennewick.

Breast Oncology Program

This program is a partnership between the Tri-Cities Cancer Center, Kadlec Clinic, Lourdes Health Network and Trios Health.

Over twenty area physicians and ancillary staff, specializing in breast cancer, have proudly partnered with the Tri-Cities Cancer Center to create a nationally accredited Breast Oncology Program. “Physician specialists from each of our owner hospitals work together with the Cancer Center to improve patient care. Patients can feel confident all options have been explored as physicians representing all treatment specialties consult with each other on their individual care. This is the most beneficial form of cancer care.” - Dr. Sue Mandell, Medical Director, Tri-Cities Cancer Center

For more information, please call our Nurse Navigator: (509) 737-3418 7350 W. Deschutes Ave. | Kennewick, WA 509-783-9894 | tccancer.org S u m m e r 2016

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Help kids beat summer boredom Story and photos by Alicia Walters FOR FAMILIES WITH MULTIPLE CHILDREN AT HOME, KEEPING KIDS busy during the summer months can be a chore, but it doesn’t have to be. The Tri-Cities is full of beautiful parks, splash pads, great library story times and family-friendly community events.

Get the kids moving Whether you sign your kids up for summer sports or suit them up for long days at the splash park, get the kids outside every day to soak up the gorgeous summer weather. The Tri-City Court Club offers a variety of summer camps, and local parks and recreation departments offer city sponsored camps. Visit your city’s website to learn more about their summer camps.

Visit beautiful parks One of the most beautiful parks is Chiawana Park in Pasco. This park is located along the Sacajawea Heritage Trail. It has a large sand box and playground and plenty of shade. Other fun parks include Playground of Dreams in Columbia Park, Southridge Sports Complex and Howard Amon Park.

Beat the heat

courtesy of ThinkStockPhotos

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On those really hot days where you just don’t have the energy to suit the kids up and hit the park, go to one of the many indoor playground options in the Tri-Cities: Get Air, Bouncin’ Bumble Bees Indoor Playground and Mid-Columbia Gymnastics and Cheer Indoor Playground. For a


quieter way to beat the heat, plan to attend story time at the library or a family movie showing. For the current story time schedule, visit Mid-Columbia Libraries online. Richland Parks and Recreation, Fairchild Cinemas and Regal Columbia Mall theater often offer family showings throughout the summer at a discounted price.

Try something new

Give kids a summer project In addition to their daily responsibilities, children need to have a summer goal to work toward. Some ideas include: complete a book series, manage a lemonade stand, babysit or mow lawns to earn money, take a summer online education class or make an appropriate fitness goal. Let your children choose what interests them most.

Make back-to-school appointments It doesn’t sound as fun as a trip to the park, but summer is the perfect time to schedule your children’s annual doctor visits and dental and eye exams. Call early in June to get on the books and you won’t be scrambling come September.

This summer, do something as a family that you haven’t done previously. The possibilities are endless: try painting or pottery, growing a garden, renting kayaks, hiking Badger Mountain, playing tennis, miniature golfing, birding on Bateman Island or riding bikes along the 22-mile long Sacajawea Heritage Trail. You could even try a new cuisine such as Masala Indian Cuisine or Mezzo Thai. Call ahead to reserve their floor seating and eat on pillows on the floor – call it a staycation!

Plan to attend a summer event Between summer concerts, fireworks shows, parades and the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo, there are limitless opportunities for your family to get out in the community. Visit facebook.com/Tricitiesfamilyfun to stay updated on all that’s happening in the region for families.

Whether it’s a trip to the park or a day at the fair, taking the kids outside is an easy way to burn off energy

Teach the kids to help out Children are happiest when there is a set routine. Give each child age-appropriate responsibilities. For example, a young child can put all the shoes in a shoe basket and can water the vegetables in the garden. An older child can vacuum the family room each day and an even older child can put away laundry and clean the toilets. Have children complete their jobs, daily reading, music or sports practice before they have free time or “screen” time.

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non-profit

Fields of Grace -

Gleaning for the greater good

Story by Kevin Cole ALISSA WATKINS DISCOVERED GLEANING (GATHERING LEFTOVER produce after a harvest) as an adult volunteer with a church youth program back east a dozen years ago. Seeing the amount of food gathered by a few willing volunteers in a short time to help stock food banks convinced her that gleaning could make a difference. In 2005, Watkins and her family came west to the Tri-Cities. Observing the amazing variety of food grown in this area, she looked

for a local gleaning group but found that there wasn’t one. Conversation with Kathy Kilgore, then with the Tri-Cities’ Second Harvest office,

convinced her that a group was needed. Relating that conversation to a minister at Richland’s Westside Church, she found an ally. Westside Church took on housing and support of the Tri-Cities’ first organized gleaning group as a local mission project. Since then, more than 40 churches have joined in to help. In 2010 “Fields of Grace” was granted 501(c)3 non-profit status. A year later, needing more space than Westside Church could provide, the group was invited to move its offices to Richland’s Hillspring Church. In the 10 years since Fields of Grace began gleaning food for the hungry in the Tri-Cities area, they have acquired and distributed 1.7 million pounds of food to food banks, both directly and via Second Harvest. That’s $2,500,000 worth of food, and they’ve done it at a cost of about $170,000. And that is an amazingly efficient use of donated time and money.

Abby Cohen and Alana Watkins dump corn into a bin Photo by Alissa Watkins

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Early in the year — before crops are ready to harvest — the crew at Fields of Grace is already busy.


January through May are spent finding and training new volunteers and raising funds to make the season’s work possible. Gleaning begins in June with the sweet cherry harvest. Crews are then busy into November with a variety of tree fruit and ground crops.

Kiley Baldwin picks apricots Photo by Kim Baldwin

Fields of Grace works at several different scales. One is with commercial farms or orchards, where a traditional harvest wouldn’t be profitable because of weather damage to the crop or simply because a given growing season left the fruit too small to meet the market’s demand. In such cases there is usually a great deal of fruit available that would otherwise go to waste. In other cases, farmers may even set aside specific rows or varieties or sizes of fruit or vegetables for the group to harvest, just as a contribution to help feed those in need. Another kind of gleaning is from residential gardens or fruit trees, where all of the produce that can be consumed or given away to family, friends and neighbors has been taken but plants are still producing. Smaller crews work these small but important harvests. A third source of produce for Fields of Grace is the farmers’ market, where vendors are asked if they’d rather donate unsold produce at the end of the day than haul it home. Vendors frequently are happy to donate. And that provides a much wider variety of produce than a garden or commercial farm usually has available. In turn, that allows food banks to provide a wider variety of produce to their clients. Farmers are among the group’s biggest supporters. “Gary Middleton has been with us the whole time,” Watkins said. “He helped us develop the volunteer training program, and we’ve been to his place many, many times. He does cherries, blueberries and apples — all organic. Not only is he very generous, it’s just excellent to be able to give someone a high quality organic product to eat.” S u m m e r 2016

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As Fields of Grace has grown, it has developed systems in order to stay efficient. “We brought on a group of coordinators in 2011,” Watkins explained. “One is a transportation coordinator. That’s all he does — makes sure that we have what we need, whether we’re picking into baskets, buckets or whatever. Another coordinator heads up commercial gleaning. At the beginning of the

Jim Lakey helps harvest pears Photo by Alissa Watkins

day, he’s the one who outlines what we’ll do and where.” Volunteer crews are reminded of the proper way to pick that day’s particular crop. “With apples and cherries, it’s really important not to hurt the spurs because that’s next year’s crop. We review exactly which rows to pick and which to avoid. We work super-efficiently, with some people picking and some people transporting. We have a lot of repeat donors, and you know you’re doing something right when you get invited back.” Watkins – who now works with the Columbia Basin College Foundation as its Director of Philanthropy - recalls CBC Dean of Agriculture Tim Woodward telling her about a test crop of peppers they were growing and offering her the chance to pick all that she could use. “I asked, ‘Tim, what are you going to do with all these?’ There were SO many! He said, ‘I’ve been telling people to come get them, but whatever’s left will be plowed under.’ I told him that I knew an organization that might be able to help out... We came in, picked peppers for two days and ended up with 7,000 pounds of peppers, picked on a Tuesday and hauled straight to St. Vincent de Paul’s food bank. The next day they did a distribution and every one of those peppers went out within a day.” With advances in agricultural technology and business practice, gleaning looks different in 2016 than in Biblical times. Sourcing from college agriculture programs and farmers’ markets and storing produce in massive walk-in refrigerators and freezers multiplies its effectiveness. Gleaning has more ability than ever to effectively, efficiently help feed hungry people – if enough people will step up to help. Going into the 2016 gleaning season, summer and autumn, Fields of Grace needs volunteers. Their website has information on how to volunteer – or donate, should you happen to have a farm or garden that will produce more than you will need or want to use this year. To learn more, visit them at fields-of-grace.com.

Volunteers pick cherries at Ray French Orchards in Richland Photo by Alissa Watkins

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Jenna Dohman looks through leftover produce at a farmers’ market, which was donated to Fields of Grace Photo by Alissa Watkins

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art

From the scrap yard to the world – The digital fine art of LuAnn Ostergaard Story by Carolyn Henderson FAMILY OUTINGS ARE MEMORABLE, BUT FOR LUANN OSTERGAARD, a trip to the scrap yard created truly lasting impressions. “I took my camera with me while I accompanied my son, who is a sculptor, to scrap yards to buy metal for his work,” the Kennewick artist explains. And while many people might wonder what one would find to photograph in such a setting, Ostergaard was enthralled. “I started out looking for the play of

LuAnn Ostergaard Photo courtesy of LuAnn Ostergaard

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light and shadows on the various materials there. I then began to notice the beauty of oxidation on the metals and the unique scarring and weathering of the different materials. I was astounded at the beauty!” While it’s an unusual perspective, Ostergaard’s art is, by her own admission, unusual. Abstract and

abounding with force and movement, each piece begins with a digital image, printed from a large format pigment art printer in her studio. The resulting giclée, after being mounted on a custom made pine or birch boxed panel, is then painted and varnished. The final touch is an application of clear acrylic gel, texturized by a large brush. “One of the challenges of my work is explaining what it actually is,”


Ostergaard says, adding that when she shows at major art festivals throughout the nation, she sets up an “explanation board” of the process so that viewers, numbering in the hundreds or thousands, more readily understand. “Very few people do what I do and how I do it, so it makes my work more unique than, say, other digital photography. Many people think my pieces are actually paintings.”

Regardless of what Ostergaard’s artworks technically are, they are all over the place, sought after by businesses and corporations, many of which have the wall space to accommodate works up to 72 inches wide or tall. One collection is housed at 3 Lincoln Center, New York, where actress and singer Liza Minnelli lives. Others are at hotels in Denver, Charleston, South Carolina, the Bahamas, and closer to home, Trios

Hospital. Because of her participation in internationally known art festivals, Ostergaard has collectors in Sweden, Germany, the

“One of the challenges of my work is explaining what it actually is.”

Hakai by LuAnn Ostergaard S u m m e r 2016

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interaction with her pet bird, which plays in the windowsill overlooking a pastoral scene. Inspiration for the next project comes through reviewing 80,000 reference photos — many from those scrap yard visits — while marketing includes communicating with galleries, consultants, architects and interior designers. Represented by Earthenworks Gallery in Port Townsend, Ostergaard licenses her work through Art.com and Editions Limited, the latter which markets wholesale to retail trade, as well as hospitality, healthcare, government and designer industries. She is featured in Artful Home, an apparel and decor company that showcases work of North American artists.

United Kingdom and Australia.

buyers again,” she says.

“I am a full time professional artist and make my living with my art,” Ostergaard says. “I have held other jobs over the years such as copywriter, sales representative and territory manager and advertising executive for a major retailer.

“These art festivals are outdoor shows where anything can happen,” Ostergaard says, adding that while large, festive and prestigious events are a tremendous amount of fun, they are also physically and emotionally grueling.

Another time, one of those memorable oments that make good stories later, Ostergaard set up her entire booth with lights, panels, signage and art, only to discover that she had accidentally located in the wrong space — requiring her to disassemble, relocate and re-do.

“It was this [last] job that caused me to dive into the life of a full-time artist. I had worked in a windowless, drab office for five years there, and being a visual person, I simply could not bear to miss another sunset or all the beauty the world has to offer. So I quit and never looked back!”

“The trials and tribulations of being a professional, touring artist!” she says.

Indeed, every day is another step forward, another opportunity, another show, another photo to be transformed into the unique vision that results in an original Ostergaard. It is a demanding challenge, but one that she is more than willing to meet.

San Juan Mist II by LuAnn Ostergaard

“I have shown in a total downpour, and mud was literally a foot deep in front of some booths. I have been in shows when it was record heat and artists were fainting. And I have been so sick that I had to lie on the pavement behind my booth until I could get up and start to meet and greet interested

When she isn’t touring, Ostergaard spends her days less dramatically, starting with a cup of coffee, favorite music and

“I always end the day with grateful appreciation for this interesting and exciting life as a working artist,” Ostergaard says. “I’m lucky. I fulfill my purpose as an artist and get paid to do it!”

June 1-23 Washington State Surface Design Association’s “Fiber Fusion” June 28-August 8 Allied Arts Association’s “Annual Juried Show”

Hours: Tues-Fri 10-5:30, Sat 10-5

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Carolyn Henderson is a freelance writer who co-owns Steve Henderson Fine Art with her husband, Steve Henderson. She is the author of The Misfit Christian, Grammar Despair, and Live Happily on Less, all available through Amazon. She may be contacted at Carolyn@SteveHendersonFineAR\rt.com.


theater

Volunteers create magic on the stage Story by Jennifer Colton-Jones WHEN THE STAGE COMES TO LIFE, THE RESULT CAN BE remarkable. When the people on stage and behind the scenes hail from our local region and share their gift with the audience, the result is spectacular, just like the efforts of the MidColumbia Musical Theatre. The theater enriches the MidColumbia by bringing the experience of live musical theater. “Live musical theater is magical,” said Rob Heegel, MCMT president.

today,” he said. “‘Next to Normal’ touches on modern medicine and mental health. These are important issues.”

Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre traces its roots back to 1949 and a spring production of “The Mikado” by the Richland Light Opera Company. The group officially transitioned to musical theater four years later with, “No, No, Nanette.” The rest, as they say, is history.

Heegel said he understands performances like “Next to Normal” may be difficult for some audience members to watch but said sometimes art is meant to make people think and step out of their comfort zones.

MCMT now presents three main shows a season, plus a fundraiser and holiday performances each year. Over the years, the organization has grown, but Heegel says MCMT has really taken off in the last few years. One of the biggest changes for the organization is a commitment to performing relevant shows the audience can connect with alongside classic musical theater pieces. “‘Ragtime,’ for example, is set in the early 1900s and deals with what is the American dream, racism, all things that are still being dealt with

Deciding the season lineup falls to the group’s shows committee. The group gathers recommendations from cast and crew, audience and community members and then narrows the nominations down to the final selections. For the 2016 to 2017 season, the shows committee considered 80 recommended shows before making a top 10 list, then a top five, and finally, a top three. This year Heegel led the committee, but next

The theater brings classics like “Mary Poppins” to the stage

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year, the task could fall to the MCMT’s first paid employee: artistic director. That individual will take artistic control – with feedback from those involved – into what shows are chosen and how those hit the stage. Heegel called it the next step in growing the successful program. “We knew to continue to grow as an organization and to continue to have high quality, we needed that consistency production to production,” he said. “An artistic director will provide that.” The artistic direction will also be expected to take a crucial role, such as director, producer or actor, in at least one production a year. He or she will help producers and directors wherever needed, including filling additional roles or recruiting volunteers.

That village mindset also stretches offstage. The group works with local artists to provide direction and set pieces as well as with sponsors and donors to maintain the quality of production the organization has become known for. Funding for each MCMT production comes from ticket sales, memberships, sponsors, program advertisements and individual donors. Just like the production sizes, production costs vary. One recent production, “Mary Poppins,” cost a jaw-dropping $52,000, including $10,000 in royalty fees and $8,000 to rent the performance space. “That’s a huge chunk (of money) before we’re even talking costumes or production,” Heegel said. That same quality has led to the most common misconception about MCMT – that the group uses paid actors or brings in talent from metropolitan areas. Everyone involved in MCMT is a volunteer – from the actors on stage to the production staff behind the scenes – and all hail from the Mid-Columbia region. “Everybody that’s doing it is a volunteer. You might have them as your doctor or working at the grocery store or changing your tire,” he said. “We hear back from a lot of people that can’t believe these are all local people. There is a tremendous amount of talent in the Tri-Cities.”

“Cats”

reach 60 in cast alone; “Next to Normal,” however, will have a cast of six. “It really is dependent on the show,” Heegel said. “We do try to choose different shows that will appeal to our cast and be varied for our audience too.” When asked what he wished the community knew about Mid-Columbia Musical Theatre, Heegel’s answer was quick and simple: “I wish the community knew what MidColumbia Musical Theatre is and took the time to come see one of our performances,” he said. “Come see the magic of live performance in our area.”

Some volunteers have traveled from as far as Yakima and Hermiston to participate.

Volunteers will remain the lifeblood of MCMT, and the organization is always looking for people interested in becoming involved. The website provides a contact form – which goes to Heegel’s email – but the president recommended contacting the group through its Facebook page instant messenger for immediate feedback as well as attending auditions – even for backstage roles. “If you’re following us on Facebook or watching the [Tri-City] Herald, then you’ll know when we’re having auditions. Come to auditions, even if you want to be a tech because it’s a great way to make those connections,” he said. “We are always looking for new people to be on stage and working behind the scenes. It takes a village to put on a production.” 42

“The Music Man”

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The time commitment varies according to the show and the individual role. Each show takes a threemonth production, and while one support staff member may only dedicate 20 hours over the entire period, someone in a lead cast role could have rehearsal four days a week. The wide range allows volunteers to contribute as much or as little time as they would like. The cast and crew size also varies widely. Many shows average about 40 members each of cast and crew, such as with “Annie Get Your Gun,” for example. Other productions vary widely: “Ragtime” could

“Company”


F ierce and F it

Kelli Piggee

Story by Heather Weagant AGE IS ONLY CHRONOLOGICAL, ACCORDING TO KELLI PIGGEE. AND SHE SHOULD know — now both a mother and grandmother, Piggee has been dedicated to accomplishing her best physique and inspiring others to do the same for more than 50 years. She has been driven since childhood to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle, regardless of her age.

career in Colorado, including the opportunity to become a professional cheerleader for the United States Football League’s Denver Gold.

With a background in dance, sports and strength conditioning, Piggee has taken her hobbies and turned them into an empire.

Piggee’s love for dance at an early age piqued her interest towards other fitness activities. She spent her early years throwing javelin in track and field and playing on the high school basketball team. As she got

When she was four years old, Piggee’s mother began encouraging her to take

on hobbies. She tried out different dance classes, but knew early on that tap dancing would become a passion. It opened the door for years of learning and studying many forms of dance, as well as a professional

“Together we’ll make a difference in each other’s lives.”

Photo courtesy of Kelli Piggee

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Piggee works with a client at SED Fitness in Pasco Photo by Heather Weagant

older, Piggee sought more ways to keep pushing her body to the limits. It was in her 30s when she started to focus on strength training and healthy nutrition. Dancing had taken a toll on her body, so she looked for ways to recover and learned alternative therapies to maintain

both clients and other fitness enthusiasts, and that together we’ll make a difference in each other’s lives” is what motivates Piggee. Keeping connected with mentors, music, motivational quotes, books and positive people, specifically her husband, all motivate her to make a difference in others.

her physical well-being. By applying these disciplines, she was able to transform her body into a stronger state than it has ever been.

However, it’s watching people transform as they reach their personal goals that really gives Piggee the satisfaction in her work. Watching her clients overcome physical and mental limitations has had the greatest impact on Piggee’s drive to help others build a strong mindset, learn new skills, increase strength and mobility, as well as learn healthier eating habits.

This strength led Piggee into fitness competitions well into her 40s, and she converted to figure competitions in her 50s. Continuing with a career in fitness has allowed her to continue to not only work on her own body and mind, but help transform the bodies and minds of those who seek a healthier lifestyle through personal training. Currently, Piggee works as a life transformer by owning her own business called 3D Fitness, which focuses on the drive, desire and dedication to better health. “Getting up every day and knowing that I have the privilege and opportunity to work with some of the most amazing people, in 44

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Despite owning her own business, working out of multiple gyms and excelling in competitions, Piggee continues to push the limits by taking on additional tasks to encourage good health in others. She is part owner and helps host the Renegade Rage Mud Run held in the Tri-Cities. She describes the race as an obstacle course that anyone is capable of doing. “It can challenge an elite athlete, but can be fun for the person who

has never done an obstacle course mud run. We cater to kids, teams and families, too,” she said. A huge supporter of families getting healthy together, Piggee assures that there is an option for families to run together. Renegade Rage is not only a fun way to test your endurance and push yourself to your limits, it also benefits an excellent cause. Piggee and her team feel it is important to support local charities and are happy to donate a portion of their profits to the TriCity Union Gospel Mission as well as other charities for children within our community. Piggee currently trains clients and teaches classes at Ares Athletic in Richland and SED Fitness in Pasco. Both are excellent sources to prepare clients for these types of races. Ares Athletic offers a climbing rope, tough classes and a great set of weight training equipment that will help provide the skills to push yourself through the race. SED Fitness offers hybrid boot camp classes and specific obstacle course equipment to train on, such as a 7-foot wall, climbing ropes, traverse ropes and rings.


Of course, you don’t have to be a race participant to benefit from the tools, classes and knowledge these facilities have to offer. Piggee works alongside Pedro Torres, owner of SED fitness and also part owner of Renegade Rage, to create an atmosphere that is geared towards success and positivity.

Revitalize. Refine. Rejuvenate.

While Piggee is undoubtedly an inspiration to those around her, she continues to work hard to better the lives of people of all fitness levels because of their ability to inspire her. She finds strength in helping others gain success and watching those with everyday struggles fight to overcome their diversities, and hopes to continue to help others through the love of fitness and health right here in the Tri-Cities. For more information on Kelli Piggee, visit her 3D Fitness Facebook page at facebook.com/FlashFit111. For more information on Renegade Rage, visit renegaderage.com.

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Photo courtesy of the Renegade Rage Team

Discover what all the Rage is about! This year, Renegade Rage is held on Saturday, July 9. The date is approaching quickly and Piggee has some excellent advice for getting yourself prepared to give it your best effort. • Hire a trainer that has participated in races and understands the components for this type of sport. • Find a local gym that offers similar obstacles you will see on the course. • Be a part of a Renegade Rage preparation class offered through SED Fitness. • Check out the Renegade Rage Facebook page for plenty more inspiration and details. • HAVE FUN!

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Summer Event Calendar June Thunder on the Island concert series Clover Island Inn, Kennewick What’s better than local bands and local beer? Clover Island Inn’s Thunder on the Island concert series delivers both on Wednesdays beginning June 15 through August 17. Check out the lineup online. cloverislandinn.com/ events-at-your-kennewick-hotel

Live @ 5 concert series Thursdays, John Dam Plaza, Richland The new stage is now complete at John Dam Plaza and will be the site of HAPO’s Live @ 5 concert series, which kicks off June 2 and runs nearly every Thursday through July. To see a full lineup search Live @ 5 on Facebook.

Tri-City Water Follies photo by Tri-City Herald

Tri-City Water Follies

Cool Desert Nights June 23 – 26, Richland Now in its 23rd year, Cool Desert Nights revs up the last weekend in June. All makes and models of classic cars, motorcycles and street rods will be on display. From car cruises and show n’ shines to poker runs and street dances, Cool Desert Nights has all sorts of fun activities in store. cooldesertnights.com

Art in the Park photo by Tri-City Herald

also feature, food, entertainment, exhibition games, clinics and even a contest to win a 2016 Subaru Crosstrek. see3slam.com

July 29-31, Columbia Park, Kennewick, and along the river in Pasco The last weekend in July might as well be considered a local holiday. Tri-City Water Follies, or as most locals call it, boat race weekend, is an essential event to add to your summer bucket list. Tons of hydroplane racing on the Columbia River during the HAPO Columbia Cup and the HAPO Over the River Airshow make for an action-packed weekend. waterfollies.com

Art in the Park July 29-30, Howard Amon Park, Richland If you need a break from watching hydroplanes on the river, or if you prefer browsing one-of-a-kind art and handmade goods, head to Art in the Park. Meander through rows and rows of artists’ booths, ranging from home décor to jewelry and all that’s in between. alliedartsrichland.org

July See 3 Slam tournament July 8-10, Richland McCurley Integrity Subaru will be sponsoring the first ever See 3 Slam three on three basketball tournament. The tournament is open to teams of all ages, and will

August KISS in concert photo by Tri-City Herald

KISS Freedom to Rock Tour

Cool Desert NIghts photo by Tri-City Herald

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July 10, Toyota Center, Kennewick KISS will be rocking the stage at the Toyota Center, and no, it’s not a tribute band. With their signature makeup and over the top costumes, KISS is sure to put on a show to remember. American Idol winner Caleb Johnson will be opening the show. For ticket information visit the Toyota Center online. yourtoyotacenter.com

Creation Fest Northwest August 4-6, Benton County Fairgrounds, Kennewick A music festival celebrating Christianity will return to the fairgrounds this summer. Some of the lineup includes Newsboys, For King and Country, Family Force 5 and dozens of others. This festival is considered the largest Christian music festival in the country. creationfest.com/nw

Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo August 23 – 27, Kennewick Judging by the smell of the deep fried food wafting through the air and the sounds of


thrill seekers shrieking on carnival rides, you know you’re bound to have a great time at the Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo. Featuring a demolition derby, rodeo events, livestock showings, exhibits, carnival rides, delicious food and several concerts. Salt N Peppa, Foreigner, Switchfoot, Olivia Holt and the Swon Brothers and Hunter Hayes will be taking the stage over the course of the week. bentonfranklinfair.com

September Tumbleweeds Music Festival September 2 – 4, Howard Amon Park, Richland The area’s largest folk music festival is celebrating 20 years of acoustic music performances. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy music on several outdoor stages. The event is free during the day, but evening performances require admission. 3rfs.org/tmf.htm

Parade of Homes September 10 – 11, 14, 17 – 18 The Home Builders Association’s popular home tour takes place over two weekends

in September. Tour new homes all over the Tri-Cities and admire some of area’s best craftsmanship and home staging. tricityparadeofhomes.com

Chefs on Parade September 15 – 16 Chefs on Parade goes hand in hand with the Parade of Homes. Some of the area’s best chefs will whip up samples of their most delicious dishes and serve them at select participating Parade homes. This event usually sells out, so reserve your spot early. hbatc.com/ events/ chefs-on-parade

Chefs on Parade photo courtesy Home Builders Assocaiton

Benton Franklin Fair & Rodeo photo by Tri-City Herald

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