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Sculpture honoring historic sternwheeler to debut at Woodland's Planters Days

By Leila Summers - The Daily News - Longview, WA - June 17, 2009

Click to enlarge
The 2009 Planters Days princesses are Sierra Hinkle, Ashely Snead and Chelsey Rohm. A queen will be selected Thursday night.
Photo by Noel Johnson
(Click to enlarge)
WOODLAND The City of Woodland is making history by honoring its steamboat past at this year's annual Planters Days celebration. At 10 a.m. Saturday, a citizen's group will gather at Hoffman Plaza to unveil the city's first public art display: a two-piece silhouette of The Mascot, known as the first sternwheeler to travel the Columbia River daily between Woodland and Portland a century ago.

Many of Woodland's oldest families arrived in town by that boat, local historians say.

The art project originally intended to be three-dimensional and only 3-feet-tall has been in the works since 2005 as a way to honor Woodland's centennial in 2006, said Tom Golik, a member of Downtown Woodland Revitalization which raised money for the project.

However, city officials and the downtown group decided this year not to put the small sculpture outside, fearing metal thieves would take it. In April, they agreed to pursue a large-scale silhouette at Hoffman Plaza, where the real Mascot once docked.

A small pond, adorned with small waterfalls and landscaping, will decorate the 12-feet tall smokestack, 24-feet long, quarter-inch-thick steel cutout. The steel will be allowed to naturally rust and lighting features will be added to the display later, Golik said.

"I hope the community is proud of it," said Vivian Mosby, a member of downtown revitalization who visited as the art piece was being buffered Tuesday afternoon.

Also new to Planters Days this year is three different laser shows being displayed in the Woodland High School Auditorium Friday and Saturday.

The shows will be in synch to songs of different themes. The "Celebrate America" shows run Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1:30 and 7:30 p.m.; the "British Invasion" show runs Friday at 8:45 p.m. and Saturday at 2:15 and 8:45 p.m.; the "Dark Side of the Moon" show runs at 10 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $7 for adults or $5 in advance.

Mike Novak, a Woodland resident for more than 20 years, works for a company that puts on the shows mostly at college campuses. He offered to bring the laser show to Woodland to add something new to Planters Days.

"They won't be able to say (there's nothing new) this year," he said.

Planters Days President John "JJ" Burke said raffle ticket sales are going well this year and it looks like the committee may sell all 20,000 tickets. The tickets help pay to put on the event each year.

"I think it's going to happen," he said. The raffle winner gets $5,000 and second-place winner receives a brand new 49-CC gas scooter.

Also new to this year's festival lineup is a children puppet show being hosted by the Love Street Playhouse, located in a residential block close to downtown. Burke encouraged people not to forget about the classic car show Sunday, which is Father's Day. Several community groups are hosting breakfasts that morning, too, he said.

More in our print edition

See a special Planters Day pullout section with more on Woodland's annual celebration and a complete schedule of events inside Wednesday's print edition of The Daily News.

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